Lexington, KY - Despite the rainy outdoors, competition spiked today as riders and spectators were safely harbored beneath the Covered Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. The two classes featured in the arena today were the ASPCA Maclay and the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search.
Competitors faced off during both classes in the sheltered ring today for first prize, an achievement which was swept away by Michael Murphy.
The ASPCA Maclay class began at 12 p.m. After thirteen riders rode their best, it was Michael Murphy and his mount, Conditor, who came out on top with the first place ribbon. Alliy Moyer, atop Bennington, was awarded the second place prize. Caroline Spogli on Prosecco 24 took home the third place ribbon, followed closely by Nikki Carr aboard Luxor, who was awarded the fourth place prize.
"He did really good," Michael Murphy exclaimed after dismounting. "He's a really smooth horse; everything went just like planned. The horse was just really easy, a really nice horse." Murphy surveyed the course thoughtfully. "Everything was pretty textbook. It rode like it walked. There weren't any real challenges in the course. It was a pretty simple course."
Reflecting, Murphy added, "The weather was a little rough this morning, but it's pretty nice here, a nice horse show." Murphy's ride, Conditor, is owned by Cynthia Hampton. "I just started riding him last week," Murphy commented. "He's a really nice horse, really smooth. He makes things really easy for me."
Following the ASPCA Maclay was the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search at 1:00 p.m. Eight riders met in the Covered Arena to show off their hard-working efforts. After the flat phase, Michael Murphy, this time riding Winnetou, once again took home the first place award after a wonderful show of horsemanship with a nearly perfect ride. Alliy Moyer on Bennington secured the second place ribbon for the second class in a row, and Catherine Hanlon aboard Coronado took home the third place prize.
"It went good," Michael Murphy admitted following his round. His new mount, Winnetou, is owned by Liz Patz. When asked how he felt about his second course in the Covered Arena, Murphy recalled, "It rode like the other course did with similar lines and rollbacks." Murphy added that his horse had a much larger stride than his previous mount. "Everything just came up nice for me throughout the course. After the triple to the skinny, it was a little bit of a tight turn. But it worked out nicely."
Murphy has been riding Winnetou since the Winter Equestrian Festival. Future plans are in sight for Murphy and Winnetou. "He's a pretty big horse. He goes good for me in the Talent Search classes, so that's where I'm going to keep doing him, and I'll take him to the finals for that." Smiling, Murphy continued, "I just want to say thank you to my Mom and the Patz family for allowing me to ride this horse and finally getting qualified. We've been chasing a win and this is the very last week to get it, so it's really nice to finally get it," he grinned.
After a long and exciting month, the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows will finish up tomorrow, Sunday, August 22, 2010.
For more information about the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.
Photo Credit: Michael Murphy and Winnetou won the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. Photo By: Kristen Snyder/PMG.