Kevin Babington Makes Horse Show History and Thanks The Ones Who Helped
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Lake Placid, NY—July 10, 2019—Irish Olympic veteran Kevin Babington put an exclamation point on the Lake Placid Horse Shows' 50-year celebration with the greatest performance in Lake Placid Horse Show history. Babington swept the top three places in the $100,000 Great American Insurance Group Grand Prix presented by Aon, the closing event of the 2019 Lake Placid Horse Shows, Sponsored by Bainbridge Farms, LLC and Presented by Sea Shore Stables, LLC.
Babington turned in three of the seven clean rides over the 16-effort, first-round course designed by Bernardo Costa Cabral of Portugal and then had the only three clean rides over the eight-jump tiebreaker course. He rode first in the jump-off on Shorapur, a 14-year-old, Hanoverian mare, and set what proved to be the winning mark, coming home clean in 33.212 seconds.
Kevin Babington and Shorapur during the $100,000 Great American Insurance Group Grand Prix presented by Aon award presentation (c) The Book LLC Three rides later, Babington rode clean on Super Chilled, an 11-year-old, Irish Sport Horse gelding, but in a slightly slower time of 35.436 seconds for second place before ending the jump-off with his sixth clean ride of the day, coming home in third place with a time of 38.430 seconds on Mark Q, his 17-year-old, Irish Sport Horse gelding.
"I've been pinching myself ever since my last round. I never would have foreseen something like this happening," said Babington following his fourth Grand Prix win in Lake Placid. "My horses have been in really good form and I was hoping for a couple of good rounds, but if someone had wanted to bet me that I'd be one-two-three, I never would have taken the bet.
"I think I had the luck of the Irish with me. Shorapur had a really hard rub at the third-to-last fence of the first round and easily could have had it down. She's the fastest of my three horses and normally I'd prefer to have her go last; but since she was first I decided to go for broke and it all just played out beautifully after that."Babington's performance, coupled with his second-place finish in the first week's $100,000 Prevost Richard M. Feldman Grand Prix, earned him the Richard and Diana Feldman Perpetual Challenge Trophy for Excellence and $2,000 as the rider winning the most prize money in Lake Placid’s two Grand Prix events. Also, Shorapur's groom, Petra Srnec, won $200 from The Grooms Award, Ltd., a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, together with an engraved grooms bag, compliments of SmartPak, containing a variety of gifts including OutSmart bug repellent, Sterling Essentials tack cleaner and Limber Up from Back on Track.
Set against the backdrop of the stunning Adirondack Mountains, the 2019 Lake Placid Horse Shows, held at the North Elba Showgrounds, celebrated 50 years of show jumping in Lake Placid. They are considered by many as, “The Best Two Weeks of a Horseman’s Summer.” The US Equestrian Federation (USEF) has designated the Lake Placid Horse Shows as a "USEF Heritage Competition," an honor reserved for an elite group of exceptional shows. Offering $560,000 prize money, the two Lake Placid Horse Shows are USEF Premier rated for hunters and 6* rated for Jumpers.
"As many of my family and friends probably know Last Sunday's GP result in Lake Placid was one of my career highlights. On my drive home from the show I had time to reflect on how lucky I am to have so many wonderful people in my life to achieve a day like that.
I would first like to thank Dianna for all your years of supporting my career. You changed career paths from being a wonderful lawyer to being a great mom to our kids. You then changed paths to become an amazing teacher which not only has been great for our students but also has allowed me to focus on my riding and have days like Sunday. Gwyneth and Marielle have also stepped up to the plate and have become assets in all aspects of the business and I feel so lucky to have them by my side.
I would also like to thank my dedicated hard working staff that make the few minutes in the ring look like a piece of cake. Elizabeth who leads the team of Petra, David, Laura, Mary Louise, Oliva and many more behind the scenes who take care of other clients horses like Brett, Noe and Austin.
I would also like to thank the owners involved in my horses from Sunday whom without none of this would be possible. Vera's owners of many years the Benjamin family, the Bozorgi family and the Thomas family. Like we all agreed from day one, ”it's not the destination but the journey” and it has been an amazing journey so far.
Super Chilled’s owners Debra and Kirk Wycoff for believing and trusting me to allow this horse to have time to develop into what he is today. A big thank you to Kirby for all your support with Chilly.
When I purchased Mark Q I had wonderful support from my great friends Beth LaMotte, Micheal Winters and his late mom Bridget Winters and Tim Wighton who gave me a chance to purchase a horse that I love dearly.
Also thank you to Dr David Adam for keeping my horses healthy and a big thank you to our farriers Jay Flynn, Miley Conors and Todd Meister.
And last but not least thanks for all the calls and texts of congratulations and kind words from all my wonderful friends."