Lexington, KY - Scattered showers did not stop today's Professional Hunters divisions. Riders competed throughout the day for championship and reserve championship honors in the Stonelea Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. The Kentucky Summer Classic Horse Show is a World Champion Hunter Rider qualifying event and will run through August 8, 2010.
The day got underway at 8a.m. with the First Year Green Hunters. Bob Crandall returned with mount Casallo, who won both rounds the previous day, taking the blue ribbon in the handy round and earning the championship ribbon for the division. Russell Frey and Vince had consistent rounds over fences this morning which scored them the reserve championship title.
"It was a great division," noted Crandall. "He has come so far for such an inexperienced horse. I bought him in Germany and really took my time with him. He started out in Florida and hasn't shown for a couple weeks, and then comes out here and acts like he has been here his whole life. I was hoping to keep him, but he could be great Regular Working horse or Derby horse for a client someday."
Next in order were the Green Conformation Hunters, and with a thunder storm quickly approaching, top rider Kelley Farmer held her focus. Coming off two blue ribbon rounds the previous day, Kelley Farmer and Jane Gaston's six-year-old Listen continued their success through the handy class and under saddle class to sweep the division and take home the championship prize. Coming in for the reserve championship honors was First Year Green Hunter Champion Bob Crandall and Casallo.
Farmer was all smiles after sweeping her division. "He always handles the courses great," she explained. "He is a very light and careful horse. We've had him for a year and he shows in Older Amateurs with his owner. We plan to enter the Derby Finals here and then on to Indoors.
"Kentucky is such a great venue, beautiful footing and beautiful jumps," added Farmer. "Most horse shows you don't get this much freedom."
After a brief storm break in competition, riders and horses returned for the Second Year Green Hunters and it was Tammy Provost aboard Sugar Boy, owned by Wendy Hufmeister, earning today's championship tricolor. The reserve championship award went to Jocelyn Martin and Margaret Taylor's Quality Control.
The Regular Conformation Hunters followed and after a refusal in the handy round that cost them a clean sweep of the division, Havens Schatt and Quintin, owned by Tracey Scheriff-Muser, redeemed themselves during the under saddle class to claim championship prize. Finishing just behind Schatt was Green Conformation Hunter Champion Kelley Farmer and Caitlyn Lane's Timber Ridge for the reserve championship tricolor.
"He can still be a little spooky sometimes, and it cost me in the handy today," laughed Schatt. "Tracey shows him in the Amateur Hunters and I'll continue to show him in the four foot this year. We brought him from Europe, sold him, and then bought him back at the end of Florida. He was champion in both divisions last week so we are on a roll."
The Professional Hunter Divisions wrapped-up today with the Regular Working Hunters where Scott Stewart and Fashion Farm's Summer Place scored the championship title. Last week's division Champion, Will Roberts and Dubari, owned by Gayle Cox, earned the reserve championship honors for their excellent effort during the last two days.
"He was really good in the first class and then had a couple rubs in the handy," commented Stewart. "The course was pretty forward and there were a lot of sharp turns so he handled it well. He is a First Year horse that we ride in the Workings. We plan to enter the Derby with him and then on to The Hampton Classic and Capital Challenge."
This was Stewart's first time at the Kentucky Summer Classic and he is enjoying his stay at the world-class venue. "The facility is great," he explained. "We come for Kentucky Spring and Pony Finals, but this year we came for Junior Hunter Finals and Derby Finals; the Horse Park is a great place to have those events.
Tomorrow, the Amateur-Owner Hunter and Green Pony Hunter divisions will get underway as they compete for championship and reserve championship honors during the Kentucky Summer Classic. Junior riders will have the opportunity to compete in the THIS National Children's Medal as Friday's events continue at the picturesque Kentucky Horse Park, home of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. As the week continues, the Junior Hunter divisions will be held in the Stonelea Ring and the Regular Pony Hunter divisions will be held in the newly resurfaced Murphy Ring as well as the Claiborne Ring.
For more information about the Kentucky Summer Classic please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.
Photo Credit: Kelley Farmer and Listen swept the Green Conformation Hunter division at the Kentucky Summer Classic. Photo By: Whitney Campbell/PMG.