Lexington, Kentucky - As the second day of Kentucky Spring Classic commenced the sun began to warm the show grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park, host of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™. The professional hunter divisions concluded around 1:00 PM in the Stonelea Arena and championship tricolors and awards were presented.
The last division of the day was The Regular Working Hunters where the championship ribbon was pinned on the bridle of Rock Star with Louise Serio in the irons. Jersey Boy and Jennifer Alfano earned the reserve championship honors with top ribbons in the Regular Working Hunters. Earlier in the day, the First Year Green Hunters, the Green Conformation Hunters, and the Second Year Green Hunters also completed their rounds with the top horse and rider combinations receiving championship awards.
The Regular Working Hunter division championship was presented to Rock Star, owned by Jennifer Burger/ Bright Star 158, LLC , and Louise Serio after the pair won a first and third place ribbon in the over fences on Wednesday, a second place ribbon in today's over fences, a second place ribbon in the handy hunter class, and a fourth place ribbon in the under saddle class. Jersey Boy and Jennifer Alfano's performances earned them the reserve champion tricolor in the Regular Working Hunters today. The duo finished with a first place in the handy hunters, a third place in the over fences, and a fifth place in the under saddle class. First and fourth place ribbons in yesterday's classes garnered them the reserve championship. Jersey Boy is owned by Susan Schoellkopf/SBS Farms of Buffalo, New York.
Serio and Rock Star's trips over the course designed by Bobby Murphy were very smooth. "I liked the course today I thought it was very well done and I enjoyed the handy," she commented. "My horse went really well in the handy today even though he had a little rub."
Rock Star is a horse that many hunter riders would be honored to ride. Serio noted, "He is a very quiet horse. He is not exactly a horse that drags you around because he is always lazy. In the handy classes he really makes you brave, he turns so well, and he is so scopey. Rock Star is really great to do the handy classes on because he makes you feel like you can do it. He was really good today and a fun ride."
In the First Year Green Hunter division Sandy Ferrell was aboard Showman, owned by Alexa Weisman of Sherborn, MA, and won the championship accolade with three first place ribbons in three over fences classes, one first place ribbon in the under saddle class, and a third place in the handy hunter class. The reserve championship rosette was acquired by Chris Payne and Righteous with two fourth place ribbons in the over fences class, a second place ribbon in the over fences, a first place in the handy hunter class, and a third place ribbon in the under saddle class.
Ferell was really happy with today's rounds especially after last week. Ferrell explained, "Last week my horse got a little nervous which I am not accustomed to, but this week he was back to himself. Today of all days I do not know if I have ever felt him jump that many beautiful jumps in a row. He was just on it today and he was amazing."
Ferell and Showman have had a great year together and so has Showman's owner Alexa Weisman who exhibits him in the Amateur Owner 3'3" division. Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley had originally imported Showman from Europe. At the time Ferell was looking for a new horse for Alexa. Ferell said, "We wanted something special for Alexa but I do not think any of us dreamed it would be this special. A little good luck was on our side."
When Showman enters the ring with Ferell she is confident he will do his job correctly. Ferell explained, "The hard part about it is when you have a horse that wins so much you put pressure on yourself to win all of the time, and it is just not possible. My team and I can give 100% and he can give 100%, but it is however the cards fall."
The Green Conformation Hunter championship horse and rider combination was Morgan Thomas aboard Savant, owned by First Partners LP of Valparaiso, IN. The duo claimed four blue ribbons in every over fences class offered in the division. Combined with a second place in the handy hunter class and a fourth place in the model earned the pair their top ranking. Louise Serio aboard Quinnus attained the reserve championship ribbon in the Green Conformation Hunters. Serio and Quinnus won a first place ribbon in the handy hunters, two second place ribbons in two over fences classes, a second place ribbon in the under saddle class, a fourth in the over fences class, and a fifth place ribbon in the model.
Savant and Thomas have had a wonderful year with multiple wins during Winter Equestrian Festival and Kentucky Horse Shows. When Thomas is not showing the spectacular horse, Catherine Tyree has been winning top ribbons in the Large Junior Hunters 15 & Under division. Thomas is looking forward to taking the nine-year-old warmblood to Devon at the end of the year.
Maria Rasmussen and Sandra Paulson's horse, Viva, won the Second Year Green Hunter division championship. The ten-year-old gelding won a blue in the under saddle class today, two second place ribbons in the over fences classes, and a third place in the handy hunter class. Following for the reserve championship was Cool Boy and Abigail Blankenship. The duo won the over fences, received a second place ribbon in the handy hunter class, a third place ribbon in the over fences, and a fourth place ribbon in the under saddle class. Their sequential ribbons landed them the reserve championship rosette in the Second Year Green Hunters. Cool Boy is owned by Peter Pletcher of Magnolia, TX.
Five years ago, Viva was purchased from Terry Brown. The fantastic hunter has been brought along slowly to make this horse the best it could be. Maria Rasmussen has been riding Viva for about a month now and really loves the ride. Rasmussen said, "The course was a lot fun he rode around great and he was a really good boy. In the handy trip we had a really great time, had a lot of fun turns, and Viva was really good. He is just simple, he likes to go out there do his job and jump well and he has a great personality. He is good at what he does and he knows it!"
The Kentucky Spring Classic at the Kentucky Horse Park continues through May 23, 2010. The exciting hunter competition continues with championships in the equitation classes, Junior Hunter divisions, and the Amateur-Owner Hunters.
For more information about the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows please go to www.Kentuckyhorseshows.com.
Photo Credit: Rock Star and Louise Serio win Regular Working Hunters at Kentucky Spring Classic Photo © 2010 Lindsay McCall/PMG.