Lexington, KY - Pablo Barrios began his domination of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show yesterday and was able to continue his stellar year today during the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic. G & C Sinatra took home the first place award with Barrios after completing a double clear effort in 41.04 seconds. Barrios then tried to catch his own time when he rode G & C Blanchee Z across the finish line in 41.55 seconds for the second place prize.
Tonight's event was held in the Main Stadium, which is the site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™. It was the first of the five classes that make up the Hagyard Challenge Series. The classes are held at the Kentucky Horse Park during the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows and then Kentucky Summer horse shows. The rider who accumulates the most points throughout the five-class series will be awarded the $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus Award.
Tonight's first round, which was designed by Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England , was very long with 13 numbered obstacles and 16 jumping efforts. It featured a double combination, a triple combination, a liverpool fence, and an open water fence. The triple combination proved to be the most difficult obstacle, with 12 horses lowering its height throughout the evening.
Eight riders advanced to the jump-off, which began over a large oxer, followed by a tight left turn to a single vertical. Riders then continued to the first two fences in the triple combination before making a right turn to a single vertical. They then came around to a single oxer. Finally, riders jumped the liverpool oxer, made a tight right turn and galloped home over a large oxer.
Christine McCrea took an early lead with Romantovich Take One, owned by Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables. The pair left all the rails in their jumps, easily advancing to the jump-off. They set a very quick pace as they entered the ring for the short course, completing a double clear effort in 42.09 seconds, which held up for the third place award.
Reed Kessler was next to compete in the jump-off, and made a good attempt to catch McCrea's time with Mika. The pair easily cleared all the fences in their path and tripped the timers at 42.11 seconds to take home the fourth place honors.
When Pablo Barrios (VEN) entered the ring with G & C Sinatra, owned by G & C Farm, Gustavo & Carolina Mirabal, and Barrios, the crowd knew they would be in for an excellent show. Barrios had multiple wins during the 2009 summer season and the 2010 winter season. During the Kentucky Spring Horse Show he has already won four classes, tonight he planned to continue his winning ways.
Barrios and G & C Sinatra picked up a gallop to the first fence and cleared it with room to spare, before moving to the next obstacle in an easy eight strides. As they winded their way through the course Barrios and G & C Sinatra used tight turns and fast gallops to cover the ground very efficiently. With every rail in its cup the duo raced across the finish line in 41.04 seconds to take home tonight's winning check.
The last horse in the ring, G & C Blanchee Z owned by G & C Farm, Gustavo & Carolina Mirabal, was also a Barrios mount, and despite being in the lead Barrios still tried to beat his time. The pair completed a clear round and sailed into the second place position as they stopped the clock at 41.55 seconds.
Throughout the last two years the G & C Farm horses have been at the top of the show jumping ranks and they continue to get better. "I feel very confident with all the horses and the way I am riding," noted Barrios. "The competitions continue to go well and I am very excited."
Barrios has had numerous success with G & C Sinatra and today was no exception. "Sinatra is a horse that I know very well and I am considering him for the World Equestrian Games," he commented. "He always jumps nicely here and he was really easy during the first course. He has learned a lot and is becoming easier to ride."
During tonight's class the triple combination caused problems for many of the riders, and when Barrios walked the course it was one of his main concerns. "The triple was pretty tight for my horses because they have a big stride," he explained. "It was oxer, vertical, vertical coming home, and very tight. My horses have a big step so I was worried about that, but the rest of the course was very nice to ride."
When he went in the ring for the jump-off, Barrios was able to utilize both of his horse's skills. "They both have a big step and they are very scopey," he said. "They are learning and they are going fast. I think it was a very good jump-off for Sinatra because he's very scopey and he can turn tightly. He has a huge step so after the liverpool he was very fast coming home."
Last year Barrios' numerous accomplishments throughout the year almost won him the $50,000 Hagyard Leading Rider Bonus. "It's a great opportunity because normally a big percentage of the prize money goes to the owners," he acknowledged. "It is nice to have something that goes straight to the rider's pocket. This bonus is especially nice because it is $50,000 for the winner.
The Hagyard Challenge Series will continue next week with its second event, the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on May 20, 2010 in the Main Stadium. The world-class competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show will feature another highlight event this week on Sunday, May 16, 2010. The top jumper riders will have the opportunity to compete for the title during the $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, beginning at 4 p.m. in the Main Stadium.
For more information about the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows please go to www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
RESULTS: Class 231, Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI2* 1.50m
1 488 G & C SINATRA PABLO BARRIOS G & C FARM, GUSTAVO & CAROLINA 0 0 0 84.820 0 0 0 41.040
2 491 G & C BLANCHEE Z PABLO BARRIOS G & C FARM, GUSTAVO & CAROLINA 0 0 0 89.710 0 0 0 41.550
3 424 ROMANTOVICH TAKE ONE CHRISTINE MCCREA CANDY TRIBBLE AND WINDSOR SHOW STABLES 0 0 0 87.050 0 0 0 42.090
4 89 MIKA REED KESSLER REED KESSLER 0 0 0 87.360 0 0 0 42.110
5 351 NAVALD DE POHETON SCHUYLER RILEY WOLFSTONE STABLES AND SALES INC 0 0 0 82.890 0 0 0 44.090
6 444 CHIRON S PAIGE JOHNSON SALAMANDER FARM 0 0 0 86.850 0 0 0 45.910
7 623 SKARA GLEN'S DAVOS CANDICE KING SKARA GLEN STABLES 0 0 0 87.070 0 0 0 51.310
8 538 Q'S CHARM RAMIRO QUINTANA KATHRYN QUIRK 0 0 0 84.330 4 0 4 43.140
9 697 INDIGO MARGIE ENGLE GLADEWINDS FARM INC. 0 1 1 90.130 0 0 0.000
10 975 MOET WALK DAVID BEISEL HARLOW INVESTMENTS ENT. LLC 4 0 4 83.700 0 0 0.000
11 490 G & C NAPOLEON PABLO BARRIOS G & C FARM, GUSTAVO & CAROLINA 4 0 4 86.660 0 0 0.000
12 436 MADISON ALEXA PESSOA ALEXA PESSOA 4 0 4 89.480 0 0 0.000
Photo Credit: Pablo Barrios galloped to victory aboard G & C Sinatra in the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Photo By: Lindsay Y McCall/PMG.