Goshen, Ky. - The Kentucky Classic CDE hosted a head-to-head competition for the USEF Advanced Pair Horse Combined Driving National Championship title. Paul Maye finished the weekend with top honors, earning his first pair horse title.
Maye (Fairfield, Va.) is a two-time USEF Advanced Single Pony National Champion who had been competing a four-in-hand KWPN and Irish Cob team of horses in 2018 prior to this event. He impressed the judges with the quality movements of his pair to win the dressage phase on a score of 51.93. Maye and his pair laid down another solid performance on Barry Hunter's marathon phase, finishing the phase in second place on a score of 108.88. A tricky cones course resulted in seven balls down and 2.12 time penalties for a total of 23.12 penalties. However, Maye won the final phase and clinched the national champion title with an overall score of 183.93.
Maye had the goal of winning the national championship title, and he succeeded. "For dressage, they were really good. I used a young horse who I have driven in my four-in-hand, and I was really pleased with him. Marathon was really tough with the heat; my horses got tired in it. Then, it was the first time the young horse did cones in a pair in competition but he did quite well. The course was tricky and pretty technical, but the experience helped my horses."
Defending champion Wilson (Louisville, Ky.) and his mixed KWPN and Lipizzaner pair started the competition off well with a score of 53.70 in the dressage phase. On Saturday, they won the marathon phase with a score of 103.74 to inch ahead of Maye and his pair. Unfortunately in the cones phase, Wilson went off course, resulting in elimination.