Lexington, KY - April 13, 2012 - The Kentucky Spring Horse Shows are just around the corner and some of the nation's top riders are gearing up for the two-week event. The first week of competition, the Kentucky Spring Horse Show CSI3*, May 9-13, 2012, has been designated by the USEF as a 2012 US Show Jumping Team Observation Event. Long Listed riders such as Reed Kessler, Margie Engle, Beezie Madden, Mario Deslauriers, and Christine McCrea will all be at the event to showcase their talent to the Selection Committee.
The jumper highlights in the Rolex Stadium during the first week will include the $35,000 Welcome Cup on May 9th. This will be followed on Friday, May 11th by the $50,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and on Sunday, May 13th by the $75,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix. These two major competitions are Observation Events for the US Show Jumping Team.
Seventeen-year-old Reed Kessler was the winner of the 2012 USEF Selection Trials for the US Show Jumping Team, and has been competing at the Kentucky Horse Shows for many years. "I am really excited," she expressed. "I think it's a terrific venue. It's a perfect test and a great observation site to prepare for London because it's another big, impressive ring, so that's why we decided to show there."
Olympian Margie Engle added, "I have always liked Kentucky, I think it's one of the best facilities we have in our country. The footing is always really good, there is permanent stabling, and I really enjoy the area; I've always liked that horse show."
Mario Deslauriers represented the United States in Kentucky during the 2012 Alltech World Equestrian Games (WEG), and is excited to compete at the world-class venue once again. "We just had WEG there two years ago and it's a place that most riders like to show," he explained. "I think there are going to be some good classes. The facility is well equipped, I am sure they are going to use some of the WEG jumps, so I think it will be a really high standard."
Fellow WEG teammate Beezie Madden commented, "Kentucky works really well with our schedule this year and I didn't want to leave the observation events for my horses until the last two because you never know what could happen. The facility is a great place to compete. The Stadium is very nice, no matter what the weather, the footing is always excellent."
Finally, Pan American double Gold medalist Christine McCrea concluded, "We always go to the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows because it's a great place to jump and it's a super place for the young horses to gain some experience and grow up a little bit. It's a high quality, top-notch show. You can't get better footing and I think that plays a huge part in why they picked it as an observation site. The Stadium that they built is unbelievable. They also have jumps from the WEG and that is really important, and their course designer, Richard Jeffery, always does a fabulous job."
In addition to the three major jumper classes during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, the competition will continue with the Kentucky Spring Classic CSI2* held May 16-20, 2012. The $32,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic will be held on Thursday, May 17 as riders try to accumulate valuable points for the Hagyard Leading Rider Bonus. On Saturday, May 19, riders will compete under the lights in the Rolex Stadium during the $75,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix sponsored by Audi of Lexington.
For more information about the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows or to download the prize list, please go to www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
KENTUCKY HORSE SHOWS 2012 HORSE SHOW SERIES FAST FACTS
Events: 2012 Kentucky Spring Horse Shows
What: The Kentucky Horse Shows 2012 series includes two weeks of top competition during the month of May. These premier hunter/jumper competitions feature a USEF 5* Jumper Rating and a "AA" Hunter rating. The Kentucky Horse Show Series is the host of the Hagyard Challenge Series and Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series.
Where: Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY, site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™. Home to the United States Equestrian Federation.
When: KENTUCKY SPRING HORSE SHOW CSI3* - May 9-13, 2012
$35,000 Welcome Cup
$50,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic(US Show Jumping Team Observation Event) $75,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix(US Show Jumping Team Observation Event)
$15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby
KENTUCKY SPRING CLASSIC CSI2* - May 16-20, 2012
$32,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$75,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix sponsored by Audi of Lexington
WCHR recognized hunter competition
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby
Sponsors: A special thanks to the generous sponsors of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows: Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Hallway Feeds, Audi of Lexington, Johnson Horse Transportation, Farm Vet Dietrich Insurance and Sleepy P Ranch.
Hours: 8am - 5pm daily
Photo Credit: 2012 Olympic Trials for Show Jumping Winner Reed Kessler has had great success with Mika at the Kentucky Horse Shows for many years. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.