Lexington, KY - July 29, 2011 - It was another day of nothing but sunshine at the Kentucky Horse Park for the Kentucky Summer Show. Today featured the Junior Hunters in the Stonelea Ring, where the top horse and rider combinations competed for top honors in their respective division. This week is World Champion Hunter Rider event, and the second class of each division was judged for the valuable points that towards to year-end awards.
Porter Allen of Boerne, TX, shined aboard her horse Gisele in the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunter division. The duo earned two first place ribbons and one fourth place ribbon during today's classes. Allen also brought home a first place ribbon aboard her second mount Mine. "Gisele is still a First Year horse, and today she just went amazing. For being so green, she's been great. She takes a lot of leg to hand connection, because she has such a big stride, to keep her collected, but once you figure that out she's really fun and easy to ride," said Allen.
"Gisele was a Baby Green Hunter when we bought her last June," added trainer Bill Schaub. "I thought Porter rode beautifully. In the second round, she picked up a nice gallop, and she's figured out how to soften Gisele, and she's learning to make a nice jump out of every distance."
Destry Spielberg had great success about the very talented Rumba, owned by Dogwood Hill LLC, of Los Angeles, CA. The pair brought home three blue ribbons during the Large Junior 15 & Older Hunter division. "I thought the first round was spot on; all the lines were good, they were consistent. There were no changes and I counted every step I took. I thought the second round was good too, but the first round was better," said Spielberg. "Rumba is very playful, so when I'm riding him, he sometimes shakes his head after a jump. You have to school him in the corners, stay out, and sit in the tack, because he will want to get that loose long gallop and that's when jumps sometimes come up funny. So, if I sit in the corner, then the jumps will come up better."
Trainer Stacia Madden also spoke about the duo, "I thought she rode great, she was very steady. Destry made good decisions, and she had a good time out there. It's beautiful here. The ring is beautiful, the horses have been great, and today it's not so hot."
Shawn Casady, riding Vida Blue, owned by Elm Rock LLC of Bronxville, NY, earned three blue ribbons for their great rounds in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunter division. "Vida Blue warmed up really nicely, I thought she jumped really nicely in the schooling area," said Casady. "She went in, and she had the same feel in the ring. She was really taking her time and jumping slow. She jumps amazing, so I just try and keep her in a nice box, between my hand and leg in a very soft way. Very soft feel, very open canter but really coming from behind in every step."
Tomorrow, in the Stonelea Arena, the Junior Hunter divisions will conclude and award championship and reserve championship honors to the top horse and rider combinations. The Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions will also begin, with championship honors being determined on Sunday. The exciting week of competition during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show will conclude with the USHJA National Hunter Classic on Sunday.
For more information about the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
Photo Credit: Shawn Casady and Vida Blue win in Large Junior 16-17 Hunters at Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Photo By: Holly Whiteman/PMG.