Lexington, Kentucky - Equitation was the focus of the competitors at Kentucky Horse Show's Kentucky Spring Classic. In the Stonelea Arena the final class concluded with top ribbons presented to the outstanding riders of the Pessoa United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Hunter Seat Medal class. Edging out the competition with their well-executed test was Lauren Tyree and Karnavall. In second place with a note-worthy finish were Eirin Bruheim and Say No More.
The Pessoa USEF Hunter Seat Medal course was designed by Bobby Murphy and featured multiple turns and single fences. The USEF Hunter Seat Medal test course included five of the ten fences from the original course. The test started with a canter from the center line-up off the right lead over a single oxer. Then riders took a tight right turn and cantered two the second fence. Riders continued by transitioning to a trot over an outside vertical followed by a roll back on the right lead to a single fence followed by an broken line to a single oxer. Riders finished on the left lead and headed back to the line-up.
Four riders were invited back for the test starting with Sarah Van Der Walde and her mount, Dasilva's Amore. Van Der Walde was the first to attempt the test course with great initiative. Unfortunately the pair left out the last oxer and wound up back at the line-up disappointed with fourth place overall. Next to follow was Alyssa Mansfield and Rebel De Sainte-Hermelle. They also had another strong attempt at the test but had to circle back for the last single oxer resulting in a third place finish. After watching the first two tests Eirin Bruheim with her mount, Say No More, chose their track. Bruheim chose an alternate route from her first two competitors and wound up back at the line-up feeling assure of the track she took. She excellent effort earned her the second place prize. Last to go was Lauren Tyree and Karnavall. The duo completed their round with no faults and Tyree Felt confident she had performed well. The final results were announced with Tyree garnering the top spot.
"The first course was good, it was kind of a nice course," noted Tyree, "The course was good for Karnavall because it had some nice turns and that is his strong suit. The test was good and that last line kind of challenged you. Some people thought they should circle but I thought there was definitely a line there."
This is Tyree's third horse show on Karnavall. Tyree is normally on her equitation horse Salt Lake but Tyree and her sister Catherine are in the process of sharing the warmblood gelding.
She continued, "Karnavall is really fun to ride because he feels like a hunter. He is really long, a little low so you have to keep him together, but he is really brave and he will do what you tell him. He is always willing to work but he is kind of nervous when it comes to new things. He is a little spooky at first but once he gets over it he is always great."
Eirin Bruheim and Say No More had two great rounds and Bruheim felt positive about today's courses. "The first course was really nice; it was kind of like a jump off course only for equitation," noted Bruheim. "The turns were tight and you had to jump across everything. Then during the test, I thought I had it right and I saw the first two go and they were not jumping the last jump. I figured I would just go ahead and do the diagonal four to the last jump. I was relieved that I got that out of the way and was hoping that was the course. Then the last girl went and I knew it was the right course. If I would have been second to do the test I may have been hesitant to do the circle prior to jumping the last jump."
Prior to the class Bruheim had to prepare Say No More. She noted, "I had to hack him this morning because he was very fresh but he was great for the classes afterword's because he had a little life in him. Normally at the beginning of the courses you tend to have to push him just to get him going a little bit but then he keeps going and might need a pull later."
Bruheim is looking forward to Regionals, the Hunt Seat Medal, and the Talent Search Finals. They are currently trying to qualify for the Washington Equitation Finals. This week during the Kentucky Spring Classic Bruheim has not only had great rounds in the hunters, but she has been riding in the FEI show jumping classes with her new mount Cicero 75. The pair have been doing very well and they are looking forward to an exciting year.
The Kentucky Horse Park, host of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, is a location that riders and horses can appreciate. Bruheim responded, "I love the Main Stadium and the great footing everywhere. I also enjoy the good competition, nice money, and everything that has been redone for WEG. It is so nice and very well kept up."
Tomorrow's hunter competition continues in the Stonelea Arena with championship ribbons presented to the Amateur-Owners. The Kentucky Spring Classic at the Kentucky Horse Park runs through May 23, 2010 with the Junior Hunters finishing the week on Sunday.
Results of the Pessoa USEF Hunter Seat Medal:
ENTRY # HORSE NAME RIDER NAME STAND BY RANK
318 KARNAVALL LAUREN TYREE 1
807 SAY NO MORE EIRIN BRUHEIM 2
948 REBEL DE SAINTE-HERMELLE ALYSSA MANSFIELD 3
1027 DASILVA'S AMORE SARAH VAN DER WALDE 4
671 SUPERIEUR CHLOE REID 5
1006 RIGHT ON ABIGAIL BLANKENSHIP 6
250 GREGOR EMILY VAN DER WALDE 7
56 DIAMOND RICHARD CHESKA 8
Photo Credit: Lauren Tyree and Karnavall win Pessoa USEF Hunt Seat Medal at 2010 Kentucky Spring Classic. Photo © 2010 Lindsay McCall/PMG.