Lexington, KY - November 3, 2011 - The exciting jumper action continued tonight at the Alltech National Horse Show as the best Junior and Amateur-Owner riders gathered at the Alltech Arena to compete in the evening's Welcome Stakes. Kaitlin Campbell and Rocky W took the winning honors during the Chansonette Farm $10,000 Amateur-Owner Jumper Welcome, and Lillie Keenan earned the top call during the Sleepy P Ranch $10,000 Junior Jumper Welcome.
The Chansonette Farm $10,000 Amateur-Owner Jumper Welcome Stake kicked-off tonight's festivities with talented horse and rider combinations vying for the winning honors. The class showcased 21 of the top competitors riding for the highest honors. The speed course consisted of 11 obstacles that tested both horse and rider alike in the time allowed of 68 seconds. The course began over a single vertical reminiscent of a mountain range, bending to an oxer at the far end of the ring. A left hand turn brought the rider to another single vertical and an oxer. With a right turn, riders then took a vertical on the outside and then quickly took the oxer set at a diagonal in the center of the ring, bending to a vertical. A left hand turn then introduced the Alltech triple bar-vertical double combination on the outside where riders then had to make a left rollback to a vertical and a sharp right to the outside Keeneland vertical-oxer combination, where they then turned right over the final Louisville slugger oxer to trip the beam.
Robert Lee of Old Saybrook, CT, aboard El Grecco were the first pair to post a clean round. Although their time of 62.310 seconds proved impressive, it was only good enough to earn them the seventh place honors. Lee seemed to set a trend as Charlie Jacobs of Wellington, FL, entered the ring next with Flaming Star. The duo set a quick pace and cleared all obstacles with ease, beating Lee's target time at 59.540 seconds; however, it eventually earned the duo the sixth place finish.
It was Kaitlin Campbell of Brooksville, MD, and Rocky W who blazed around the course in only 53.110 seconds leaving all the rails in place. Their time pushed the pair to the top of the leaderboard and stayed intact for the remainder of the class. "I just jumped last week in Washington and finished in the grand prix there which was enormous," she remarked. "I just wanted to go in there tonight and give him a really confident ride. To be honest, I always go for it and we just click. I still have an extremely fast pace being that I am not to far out of the Juniors."
Although Meagan Nusz and Banana D'ive Z, owned by TNT Equine Partners, LLC of The Woodlands, TX, raced against the clock in an attempt to master Campbell's time, they claimed the second place award after stopping the timer at 54.146 seconds. Caitlin Hope of Barrington, IL, and Total Touch also posted a clear effort, but their time of 56.862 seconds secured the third place honors. Coming in the fourth place position with a time of 58.110 seconds was Paige Johnson of The Plains, VA, and La Martinee with Samantha Seft, of Boca Raton, FL, and Early Morning right on their heels tripping the beam at 58.405 seconds.
"Rocky was my Junior Jumper and then he got hurt for a while," Campbell explained. "I have been showing him this whole year, and since his return everything has just clicked so much. I won my first grand prix with him, three grand prix classes now, and this is beyond what I ever thought he would be."
Lillie Keenan and Vanhattan, owned by Chansonette Farm LLC of New York, NY, dominated the Sleepy P Ranch $10,000 Junior Jumper Welcome Time First Round earlier in the evening. The duo set a speedy pace from the start, easily taking each jump and using Vanhattan's long stride to their advantage. Although Keenan opted not to take a popular inside turn to save time, the pair stopped the clock at 53.047 seconds, proving untouchable.
"For me, my plan was really just to stay smooth. I actually got the horse from Kent Farrington, and Vanhattan was his open jumper, he's used to going fast and knowing that he has to keep the jumps up," Keenan described. "The biggest thing for him is coming a little bit undone, so for me it is having to stay smooth and keeping him under control and staying calm. He really helped me out there, and he does everything that he can to take care of me. I couldn't have asked for more from him."
Although last in the ring, Meg O'Mara and Sinatra IV, owned by Walstib Stables LLC of Rumson, NJ, cleared the course in 53.276 seconds, garnering the second place award behind Keenan. Charlotte Jacobs and Karonda V. Schl'hof Ch, owned by North Star Ventures of East Aurora, NY, were the first to post a clear round in the class, and finished with a time of 54.611 seconds, but she bested herself aboard Promised Land, owned by Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables of East Windsor, CT, later in the class. Her speedy and consistent efforts eventually earned the junior rider the third and fourth place awards respectively. Frances Land followed close behind with a time of 54.812 seconds with Merlin owned by Frances Land of Alpharetta, GA, taking home the fifth place honors.
"I went around the oxer after landing from the outside combination," Keenan explained. "I watched some people who took the inside turn, but going around for him was not going to take that much more time, and tonight was about staying smooth and not getting in his way, so by going around I was able to stay going forward and was able to make it up somewhere else."
"This win tonight was really special, because the Kentucky Horse Park holds a lot of history for me. This venue is great, we are surrounded by horses, and the scenery is beautiful. It is different here, but I think that the Alltech National Horse Show definitely has found a home," Keenan concluded.
The Alltech National Horse Show continues tomorrow with more jumper action as the Chansonette Farm $15,000 Amateur-Owner Jumper Stake and the Sleepy P Ranch $15,000 Junior Jumper Stake commence in the evening. The highlight event features the Spy Coast Farm $60,000 International and Open Jumper Faults Converted class. For more information about the 2011 Alltech National Horse Show, 128th Edition, please visit www.nhs.org.
Chansonette Farm $10,000 Amateur-Owner Jumper Welcome Stake
Order Entry # Horse Name Rider Name JF1 TF1 AF1 Time 1
1 365 ROCKY W KAITLIN CAMPBELL 0 0 0 53.110
2 204 BANANA D'IVE Z MEAGAN NUSZ 0 0 54.346
3 102 TOTAL TOUCH CAITLIN HOPE 0 0 0 56.862
4 218 LA MARTINEE PAIGE JOHNSON 0 0 0 58.110
5 239 EARLY MORNING SAMANTHA SENFT 0 0 0 58.405
6 255 FLAMING STAR CHARLIE JACOBS 0 0 0 59.540
7 387 EL GRECCO ROBERT LEE 0 0 0 63.310
8 451 FRISCO ALEX PARRISH 0 0 0 63.336
9 314 CASINO LAURA LINBACK 0 0 0 66.098
10 376 KOSTA DANIELLE COOPER 4 0 4 57.034
11 311 QUASTOR VAN DE HELLE Z PAULENA JOHNSON 4 0 4 58.312
12 187 WHISKEY SOPHIE COPPEDGE 4 0 4 63.428
Sleepy P Ranch $10,000 Junior Jumper Welcome Stake
Order Entry # Horse Name Rider Name JF1 TF1 AF1 Time 1
1 353 VANHATTAN LILLIE KEENAN 0 0 0 53.047
2 277 SINATRA IV MEG O'MARA 0 0 0 53.276
3 306 PROMISED LAND CHARLOTTE JACOBS 0 0 0 54.230
4 309 KARONDA V. SCHL'HOF CH CHARLOTTE JACOBS0 0 54.611
5 213 MERLIN FRANCES LAND 0 0 0 54.812
6 128 HENNESSEY CHASE BOGGIO 0 0 0 55.996
7 267 BELLE DAME D KATIE DINAN 0 0 0 56.355
8 374 PAKO LILLIE ROSS 0 0 0 57.289
9 302 WAMINKA VICTORIA COLVIN 0 0 0 61.122
10 301 MONSIEUR DU REVERDY VICTORIA COLVIN 00 0 63.351
11 269 OLINDA GENEVIEVE ZOCK 4 0 4 55.117
12 266 SANDRO KATIE DINAN 4 0 4 57.065
Photo Credit: Kaitlin Campbell and Rocky W earned the top honors for their blazing fast round during the Chansonette Farm $10,000 Amateur-Owner Jumper Welcome Stake at the Alltech National Horse Show, 128th edition. Photo By: Kendall Bierer/PMG.
Photo Credit: Lillie Keenan and Vanhattan set the untouchable target time of 53.047 seconds and garnered the blue ribbon during the Sleepy P Ranch $10,000 Junior Jumper Welcome Stake at the Alltech National Horse Show, 128th edition. Photo By: Kendall Bierer/PMG.