Lexington, KY - July 29, 2014 - Many top riders consider the Kentucky Horse Park horse heaven, and today, they took the opportunity to prepare their mounts for upcoming events during the Kentucky Summer Classic. With the fourth event in the Hagyard Challenge Series and the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix, sponsored by GGT Footings, coming up in a few days, riders geared up by showing the in the 1.40m and 1.35m Open Jumpers. Sharn Wardley and Kyle Timm each respectively picked up top honors aboard their speedy mounts during the competition.
The 1.40m Open Jumper class tested riders' speed and accuracy as they showed over 11 obstacles, which included an open water option and a vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination. Matt Cyphert was the first to test the speed over the track aboard Lochinvar, leaving all the rails in place and setting the pace to beat at 62.275 seconds. The score did not hold up for long though, as Sharn Wordley and Popstar Lozonais easily made their way over each fence leaving out strides and shaving the turns to break the beam at 58.977 seconds. Only one other rider would come close to challenging Wordley's time, and that was Will Simpson aboard Katie Riddle, who clocked in at a clear 61.699 seconds, taking over the second place position and relegating Cyphert to third place.
"I wanted to go medium quick because there weren't that many going fast," admitted Wordley. "Some that were jumping clear I knew were only schooling, so I didn't go really, really fast. Just fast enough that I could leave them up and still get the check."
Wardley won the same class last week with Popstar Lozonais, and he knows the horse can be tough to beat. "He's very fast," explained Wordley. "If he's clean, he's generally the winner because he can turn so fast, and he travels so fast. He won quite a lot of classes in Europe. I got him at the beginning of the year, but I am just getting to know him."
"He's French, and he's a little all over the place, so you have to sit quite and go for the ride," added Wordley. "You can't really over control him. You just need to finesse it and go for it."
Based just down the road from the Kentucky Horse Park at Ashland Stables, Wordley loves being located in Lexington for the summer. "It's great for the horses, and it's especially good as far as vets and farriers. There are also good bars and restaurants downtown. It's a laid back atmosphere, and it's central to other shows during the year. I love it here."
Kyle Timm is also a regular to the Kentucky Horse Park, but his mount Platinum is making her debut and they just scored a blue ribbon together. Fourteen horses advanced to the tiebreaker during the 1.35m Open Jumper class, but only six were able to produce a second faultless effort. Shane Sweetnam was the pathfinder with All Star De L'Aube, leaving all the rails intact in a time of 31.043 seconds, forcing other riders to chase him. Alexis Bowen came close with Oley, breaking the beam at 32.090 seconds to take home the third place award, but the next in the ring would take the lead. Timm and Platinum picked up a big gallop to the first fence. They never held back, leaving out a stride to the final oxer to take over Sweetnam's lead with a time of 30.958 seconds.
"I saw Shane go, and he was quick. It was a good round," said Timm. "I actually wasn't focused on winning today; I was just focused on rideability. Platinum is a fantastic mare, but she's a finesse ride. You have to ride her a certain way. Last week I didn't do it properly, but today it was really good."
Timm continued, "She was a very sensitive horse to start with. It took a lot of belief and a lot of hard work to get her going in the way we like. The last two years she's gotten better and better, and as an eight-year-old she had unbelievable results."
Timm has had the 9-year-old mare for three years and has worked hard to produce her and been very careful to not push her. "I always come to Kentucky, but this is her first time here," he commented. "She usually has the summer off because she's an Irish horse and sometimes she has trouble with heat, but she's been going really well this season so I brought her here. The weather has been really nice for her."
Timm and Wordley will be eyeing further success as the week goes on. The Kentucky Summer Classic will continue tomorrow with the Open Jumpers. The highlight events in the Rolex Stadium will include the fourth $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on Thursday, and Saturday's $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix, sponsored by GGT Footing.
For more information about the Kentucky Summer Series, please visit http://www.kentuckyhorseshows.com/
1.40m Open Jumpers
1 1123 POPSTAR LOZONAIS SHARN WORDLEY 0 58.977
2 20 KATIE RIDDLE WILL SIMPSON 0 61.699
3 1497 LOCHINVAR MATT CYPHERT 0 62.275
4 1136 LUCILLA SHAWN CASADY 0 65.948
5 871 FIGARRO D GEMMA PATERNOSTER 0 67.779
6 11 IV EVER MICHAEL DORMAN 0 67.835
7 345 LAGRAN MARK BLUMAN 0 70.012
8 1414 ADVENTURE E COLIN SYQUIA 0 70.344
1.35m Open Jumpers
1 846 PLATINUM KYLE TIMM 0 30.958
2 686 ALL STAR DE L'AUBE SHANE SWEETNAM 0 31.043
3 358 OLEY ALEXIS BOWEN 0 32.090
4 1192 TUA EFELE RAMIRO QUINTANA 0 32.669
5 1584 JAMESON EZEQUIEL PERALTA 0 33.181
6 1143 COCO CHANEL SHAWN CASADY 0 33.959
7 758 HONEYLANDS DOUGLASON AARON VALE 4 29.766
8 1203 EXQUIS VAN HET AKENHOF RAMIRO QUINTANA 4 30.156