Lexington, KY - May 20, 2012- Today marked the conclusion of the Kentucky Spring Classic, and there were nothing but blue skies to greet the Junior Hunter divisions as the morning got underway. Horse and rider combinations gathered to compete for the championship honors, as they went neck and neck for the remaining ribbons. Victoria Colvin and Ovation garnered the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunter Championship, the first division of the day.
The Small Junior 15 & Under Hunters saw intense competition first thing in the morning, with junior riders returning for the second day of competition. Although numerous riders put in consistent rounds over fences, it was Victoria Colvin and Ovation, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker of Middleburg, VA, who swept the day's over fences and took the top award in the under saddle. Her scores of 87 and 90 in the over fences added to her high score in yesterday's rounds, eventually earning the pair the championship honors.
"He's amazing, very smooth, and he has a great canter," Colvin remarked. "You definitely don't get popped out of the tack with a jump like his. He has all the scope in the world, but is so nice and easy going around the courses."
"He has had a break, and yesterday he was a bit spooky, but after settling from the first round, he has had all consistent courses," Colvin described. "I really liked the handy, especially with the turns over the hay bales. His hand gallop and turns really give him an extra edge, so that he stands out."
Vivian Yowan rode Whatever, owned by Saddle Ridge LLC of Darien, CT, to the reserve championship. She guided the talented gelding to the first and second place in the over fences yesterday, as well as earning the second place ribbon during their first round in the over fences today, and picking up the second place ribbon in the under saddle.
Shortly after, the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunters took their turn in the Stonelea Arena. It felt like déjà vu with Colvin and Yowan once again battling one another for the top positions with their mounts. Although Yowan posted the high scores of 84 and 85 for her effort in the over fences with Parker, owned by Saddle Ridge LLC, Colvin rose to the top of today's scores with the high point rounds of 87 and 88 aboard Way Cool, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker. It came down to a difference of two points, but Yowan's pair of 90s from yesterday put the pair in the lead and they took the championship tricolor, with Colvin being presented with the reserve championship.
"Yesterday, Parker was jumping really well, and it was probably the best he has gone," Yowan stated. "His first round today wasn't as smooth, but when we went into the handy we concentrated on being careful and smooth. He is such a big horse and has a big stride, that we didn't want to do anything too crazy."
"I got him the first week of WEF, so we have been learning one another," Yowan continued. "He has such a big stride and he takes the courses with ease. He is such a sweet horse, and he loves an extra attention. I thought the courses were really good with the rollbacks and hand gallop."
Shawn Casady and Savant were awarded the championship ribbon in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters. Savant earned the first and second place ribbons in yesterday's division. Today, the duo earned an additional second place ribbon during their first round for their score of 83, falling just behind Porter Allen of Boerne, TX, and her mount Maddox. It was Casady's handy round that really set the pair apart from the rest, rising to the top of the leader board with another blue ribbon win. Allen and Maddox earned the reserve championship honors with their first and third place awards over fences yesterday, two third place wins over fences today, and blue ribbon win in the under saddle.
"His owner, Catherine Tyree, who usually shows him, earned a first and second yesterday, which was a nice setup for the championship," Casady said. "He has a big stride and likes to go slow, he doesn't like to be rushed. He jumps great, and we had a very nice handy round. There weren't too many decisions in the handy, but the rollbacks were a nice touch for inside turns. You were able to be handy at the hand gallop and in the turns be neat and efficient."
The day concluded with the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters where Maryann Osborne of Mentor, OH, navigated Mine to the championship. Osborne took an early lead in today's rounds, earning the first round score of 85 and the handy round score of 82 as the first team to complete the round for the division. Their lead did not falter. Shawn Casady and Chromeo, owned by Peakewood Pharm, Inc. of Sanford, FL, were awarded the reserve championship.
"I felt really confident about my rounds, and my plan was to just stay consistent and do our best," Osbourne stated. "The handy round was challenging, and Mine is good at making those tight turns, although sometimes he takes a little time to pick up his pace again. He is really scopey, consistent, brave and has a great canter."
Today marked the conclusion of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows. Beginning July 17-22, 2012, the Kentucky Summer Series will kick off with the Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC), presented by Gotham North at the Kentucky Horse Park. Throughout July and August, riders will have the opportunity to vie for the top honors in the hunter rings, as well as have the chance to compete for the $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Bonus.
For more information about the Kentucky Spring and/or Summer Horse Show Series, please go to www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
Photo Credit: Victoria Colvin and Ovation earned the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunter Championship on the conclusion of the Kentucky Spring Classic. Photo By: Kendall Bierer/PMG.