Lexington, KY - May 12, 2012 -For the second day in row, Wilton Porter galloped to victory aboard his talented gelding Patriot in the High Junior Jumpers at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Completing an excellent double clear effort, he managed to edge out Emanuel Andrade and La Fe Forli by just two-tenths of a second to take home top honors.
Later in the day, Andrade earned his own blue ribbon, showing Mikos to the top of the leader board in the Low Junior Jumpers. The High Amateur-Owner Jumpers were also held in the Rolex Stadium today, where Meagan Nusz and Vesuvius claimed the top prize with a fault-free jump-off effort.
Andrade was the first to produce a double clear round during today's High Junior Jumpers with La Fe Forli, setting the pace at a very quick 32.759 seconds. Porter and Patriot proved to be the only other fault-free combination over the short course, clocking in at 32.759 to take over the lead and earn the class win for the second day in a row. Abigail McArdle managed to produce the fastest jump-off track, breaking the beam at 29.968 seconds, but four faults with Cosma 20 earned the third place honors. Porter also managed to pick up the fourth place prize with his second mount Punch, and his brother Lucas Porter was fifth with Psychee D'Amour as the only other duos to show over the shortened track.
Porter was thrilled with Patriot's performance, and has been enjoying his time at the Kentucky Horse Park. "My horse was awesome. He won yesterday, so we've had a great show so far," he expressed. "I think we did one less stride in the first line during the jump-off, and then my rollback to the combination was pretty tight and that's where a lot were having rails. Patriot has got a little bit of a heavy mouth, he's a little funny, but we have a new bit in his mouth and we think it's really working now. He's going quite well with it."
Aside from Andrade, the top five finishers all train with Katie Prudent at Plain Bay Farm, and she seemed to have the winning touch today. "Katie always has the best plans for the jump-off," said Porter. "She's the one that told me to do six strides from one to two, which made up a ton of time. We can't do it without her!"
Andrade was very happy with the double clear round from La Fe Forli, and stated, "I have a very good relationship with all of my horses. I have only been riding him since Wellington, about three months now. He is a very hot horse, but the course today was perfect for him. I think we were able to ride with caution, but make up time in the last turn. Kentucky is one of my favorite places to show. It is a great show and I love being able to compete here."
In the next division, Andrade proved that he would not be denied the winning honors again, jumping to the top of the leader board with Mikos. Six horse and rider combinations produced double clear rounds, but Andrade was blazing, clocking in at 26.851 seconds. Ali Boone placed second with Wait And See after they stopped the clock at 27.915 seconds, and third place went to Taylor Schmidt and Zana Wofsi, who tripped the timers at 28.001 seconds with all the rails intact.
After his victory, Andrade noted, "Mikos is a very good horse, he is very competitive at this level. I care a lot for him because I have had him for such a long time and we have such a good partnership together. He jumps very correct if you have him balanced properly, otherwise he could jump a little over his shoulder and knock a vertical down if he is not balanced properly."
Looking towards to future, Andrade hopes to show at Indoors later this year, and represent is home country of Venezuela at the Nation's Cup in Wellington, FL next year. Eventually, Andrade would like to compete at the Pan American Games, as well as the Olympics.
The High Amateur-Owner Jumpers also competed in the Rolex Stadium today, and once again only two riders had clear efforts over the shortened course. Meagan Nusz was the first to do so with Vesuvius, setting a time that could not be beaten at 31.559 seconds, and eventually earning the winning title. Paige Johnson was the only other competitor to tackle the jump-off without fault, riding Amagedon 3 to a time of 31.949 seconds for second place. Steven Bluman had the only four-fault round, placing third with Fatalis Fatum after tripping the timers at a conservative 37.620 seconds.
Nusz really pushed Vesuvius for a good time in today's jump-off, preparing him for the High Amateur-Owner Classic tomorrow. "Today I just went in for a nice cruise and tried to win the jump-off to get him ready for the Classic tomorrow," she explained. "Vesuvius is spooky, but he's always ready and willing to do his job, so as long as you're there for him and put your leg on and tell him what you want he will do it. I left so far to the SSG oxer, I was whole stride away, my trainer was like you can do the line in six, and he jumped so high and went a little left and was so fast and ready I knew he had it; he's got so much scope it's ridiculous. I just went with him and it was no problem."
Tomorrow, the highlight events at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, in the Rolex Stadium, will include the $10,000 High Junior Jumper and High Amateur-Owner Jumper Show Jumping Hall of Fame Classics. The High Junior Jumper Classic will be part of the SSG Riding Gloves 'Go Clean for the Green' promotion, where a $1,000 bonus will be awarded to the winning rider if they are wearing SSG 'Digital' Riding Gloves in all rounds of competition.
The final event on Sunday afternoon will be the $75,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, beginning at 4p.m. This will be the final U.S. Show Jumping Team Observation Event at the Kentucky Horse Park, and the SSG Riding Gloves 'Go Clean for the Green' promotion will feature $4,000 in bonus money.
For more information about the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.
Photo Credit: Wilton Porter and Patriot win High Junior Jumpers at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.