Lexington, KY - The Kentucky Spring Horse Show got underway today at the picturesque Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. A brief thunderstorm rolled through during today's competition, but in the afternoon the sun started to appear and riders had the opportunity to compete for top prizes in the Main Stadium. Pablo Barrios (VEN) took home two blue ribbons after winning the $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m class with G & C LaGran, and capturing the $5,000 pen Jumper 1.45m victory aboard G & C Quick Star.
Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England designed today's courses. The 1.40m class was scored under Table 2 Section 1, time first round. The track featured two double combinations, a liverpool and an open water. The course for the1.45m class included a triple combination and before qualifying for the jump-off riders had to complete 13 jumping efforts.
Jonathan McCrea and Promised Land, owned by Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables, were the first to enter the ring when the 1.45m class commenced. They easily cleared each of the fences and advanced to the jump-off round. The duo picked up a quick pace and made their way to the first fence, a large oxer. McCrea and Promised Land left all the rails in the cups and set a fast time of 41.274 seconds, which would hold up for the second place prize.
After completing a clear first round effort, Daniel Bluman and Fatalis Fatum made an excellent effort to catch McCrea's time. The duo was right on the pace as they cleared each fence, but Bluman had to steady hard to the final vertical and the added strides put them into third place as they tripped the timers at 41.508 seconds.
Pablo Barrios was confident he would be able to catch McCrea's time when he stepped into the ring with G & C Quick Star, owned by G & C Farm, Gustavo & Carolina Mirabal. After completing a clear first round effort the pair moved on to the short course. They cut the turn to the difficult liverpool fence and made another slice coming home over the double combinations. The duo's efforts allowed them to cross the finish line in 39.637 seconds to win the class.
"I did not get to see Jonathan because I was at another ring, but I heard he was quick so I went as fast as possible," explained Barrios. "Quick Star is, very fast. She has rested for a few weeks and felt amazing today."
Earlier in the day Barrios was victorious in the 1.40m class with G & C LaGran, owned by G & C Farm, Gustavo & Carolina Mirabal. The pair beat 11 other clear entries when they completed a fault-free effort in 60.649 seconds.
Todd Minikus and Little Annie came the closest to catching Barrios, but their time of 63.877 seconds was still three seconds behind him. Daniel Bluman took home the third place honors aboard Lifestyle after stopping the clock at 65.968 seconds. The fourth place ribbon was presented to Clementine Goutal for her ride aboard Kelline Fonroy, owned by Cloverleaf Farm when the duo crossed the finish line in 68.001 seconds. Christine McCrea and Baloubet Junior Z, owned by Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables, also completed the difficult course in less than 70 seconds, breaking the beam at 69.031 seconds for the fifth place honors.
Barrios was thrilled with the performance of both his mounts during today's classes. "They both have fire, they both are careful, and they both find every jump," he noted. "It is a very nice feeling when you get to the ring and you know the horse is giving 100%. They are winners, they are fast, they are compact, and they are quick off the ground."
Both horses will compete in the $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix on Sunday, and Barrios is considering G & C LaGran for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, which will be hosted at the Kentucky Horse Park.
"LaGran is getting better and better," explained Barrios. "He won the World Cup Qualifier at Palm Beach and he won a lot here last summer. He is becoming my best match right now and I feel very comfortable with him."
The pair set a blazing pace during today's class that no one else was able to compete with. "I tried to be very efficient with my track and keep the rails up," said Barrios. "I saw the horse that was leading and I knew could maintain a more efficient track. I went very tight to the liverpool, I went tight the combination, and I think I left one stride out to fence eight and the water jump."
Barrios continued, "LaGran is always fast and now he's doing the grand prix classes, so this is an easy class for him. I knew I could make very tight turns and let him gallop. He felt amazing today."
Last year Barrios had many blue ribbon rides at the Kentucky Horse Show and he is excited to be back. "It's nice to come here after a long season," he noted. "The footing is always great and I think the horses like it a lot here because it is horse country."
The Kentucky Spring Horse Show will continue tomorrow with the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at 6 p.m. in the Main Stadium. This event will kick-off the Hagyard Challenge Series consisting of five grand prix classes to be held during the 2010 show series. At the end of the series the rider that accumulates the most points will earn the $50,000 Hagyard Leading Rider Bonus.
For more information about the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
Class 226, Open Jumper II sec 2b, 1.45m
1 492 G & C QUICK STAR PABLO BARRIOS G & C FARM, GUSTAVO & CAROLINA 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 39.637
2 429 PROMISED LAND JONATHAN MCCREA CANDY TRIBBLE AND WINDSOR SHOW STABLES 0 0 0 76.271 0 0 0 41.274
3 839 FATALIS FATUM DANIEL BLUMAN DANIEL BLUMAN 0 0 0 76.384 0 0 0 41.508
4 426 TWISTER CHRISTINE MCCREA CANDY TRIBBLE AND WINDSOR SHOW STABLES 0 0 0 77.255 0 0 0 43.176
5 697 INDIGO MARGIE ENGLE GLADEWINDS FARM INC. 0 0 0 79.705 0 0 0 43.410
6 525 LORD G CARA RAETHER TRELAWNY FARM LLC 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 48.155
7 89 MIKA REED KESSLER REED KESSLER 0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 41.015
8 818 CATARO ASK MARK BLUMAN MARK BLUMAN 0 0 0 76.600 4 0 4 47.205
9 490 G & C NAPOLEON PABLO BARRIOS G & C FARM, GUSTAVO & CAROLINA 0 0 0 0.000 4 6 10 60.675
10 726 CARTELL 6 ALISON ROBITAILLE M/M BERTRAM FIRESTONE 1 0 1 1.000 0 0 0.000
11 246 PAPARAZZI AARON VALE THINKSLIKEAHORSE & NORMAN PETERSON 4 0 4 74.421 0 0 0.000
12 88 LIGIST REED KESSLER REED KESSLER 4 0 4 75.991 0 0 0.000
Class 225, Open Jumper II sec 1, 1.40m
1 489 G & C LAGRAN PABLO BARRIOS G & C FARM, GUSTAVO & CAROLINA 0 0 0 60.649
2 942 LITTLE ANNIE TODD MINIKUS TODD MINIKUS LTD 0 0 0 63.877
3 837 LIFESTYLE DANIEL BLUMAN DANIEL BLUMAN 0 0 0 65.968
4 605 KELLINE FONROY CLEMENTINE GOUTAL CLOVERLEAF FARM 0 0 0 68.001
5 425 BALOUBET JUNIOR Z CHRISTINE MCCREA CANDY TRIBBLE AND WINDSOR SHOW STABLES 0 0 0 69.031
6 30 LORD SPEZI JORGE ZAMUDIO ASHLAND FARMS & STADIUM SPORT HORSES 0 0 0 71.926
7 222 LAJANA WIM JANSSEN WIM JANSSEN 0 0 0 72.045
8 167 CARLOS DE NOEL TIFFANY FOSTER TIFFANY FOSTER 0 0 0 74.835
9 481 ARNADO PABLO BARRIOS G & C FARM, GUSTAVO & CAROLINA 0 0 0 76.106
10 623 SKARA GLEN'S DAVOS CANDICE KING SKARA GLEN STABLES 0 0 0 76.479
11 526 LYONELL CARA RAETHER TRELAWNY FARM LLC 0 0 0 77.449
12 351 NAVALD DE POHETON SCHUYLER RILEY WOLFSTONE STABLES AND SALES INC 0 0 0 77.475
Photo Credit: Pablo Barrios rode G & C LaGran to victory in the $5,000 1.40m class at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.