The Kentucky Summer Series got underway today, with familiar names at the top of the leader board at the Rolex Stadium. The 1.40m Open Jumper classes were the feature events, with Aaron Vale and Pablo Barrios each taking home a win. Vale closed out the day with a victory aboard Quidam's Good Luck in the jump-off class, while Venezuela's Pablo Barrios sped to the lead earlier with Lascana. Molly Hale also took home a blue ribbon, riding Kahula to the fastest double clear effort in the 7 & 8-Year-Old Jumpers.
Steve Stephens designed the challenging tracks for today's events in the Rolex, closing out the day with the 1.40m Open Jumper jump-off class. Seven riders were double clear over the course, making it a hoof race for the victory. Will Simpson set an early time to beat with The Dude as he broke the beam at 33.972 seconds, but it was not good enough to take over the win. Aaron Vale proved why his name is consistently in the headlines as he showed Quidam's Good Luck to a fast and faultless round in 33.566 seconds for the victory. Matt Cyphert rounded out the top three riding Lochinvar to a clear jump-off in 34.263.
"I made up a little time everywhere, because I caught nice distances to the first two fences, had a good turn back in the middle, and went inside to the combination. It was just quick enough," explained Vale of his jump-off. "Quidam's Good Luck is an 8-year-old, and he won a $25,000 class during Country Heir. He's just starting some grand prix classes, and he's a real quality young horse. He was a little wiggly in the first round today, so I am not sure about tomorrow night. Hopefully by next week he'll be comfortable and thinking about a grand prix."
Vale continued, "You just get him to the jump, let go of his head and let him jump. He's not really spooky; he's not strong. You just have to get him to the jump at a decent distance. He's not that complicated. He can cope with a little close or a little long; he's got some range."
The 1.40m Open Jumpers also competed in a speed event today, where Pablo Barrios showcased his winning ways aboard Lascana. Hannah Von Heidegger set the time to beat early in the class with E-Unanime De La Haie, leaving all the rails intact in a time of 59.995 seconds. Unfortunately she would need to settle for second when international speedster Barrios left strides out in the lines with Lascana, stopping the clock in a clear 58.317 seconds to take over the top spot on the leader board. At the end of the class, Von Heidegger made another bid for the top with her second mount Axl Rose, and although they were clear, their time of 61.450 seconds would only be good enough for third place.
"I left out strides in the first two lines, and I think that was the key to winning," said Barrios. "I kept turning tight, and she did really well. She won a couple classes in the 1.40m in Spruce Meadows, so she is staying consistent at this level."
Barrios added, "I am going to keep her in the 1.40m until she is more experienced. I tried to show her in one of the FEI 1.45m classes, but some of the decorations were a little spooky to her. She struggled a little bit. I decided to move her to another ring and she stayed very consistent in the 1.40m. She's very easy. I think she will be a very nice amateur horse; she just needs some more mileage. She's not complicated, and she's very brave, fast, and honest."
Earlier in the day, the 7 & 8-year-old Jumpers were moved from the Walnut Ring to the Rolex Stadium, which paid off for rider Molly Hay, who galloped to top honors aboard Kahula. Seven entries advanced to the jump-off, with five completing double clear efforts. Hay and Kahula set the time to beat as they left a stride out to the final jump to finish in 35.626 seconds. Aaron Vale tried to catch her with Selfie but was one second shy as he broke the beam in 36.746 seconds for second place. Colin Syquia took home the third place honors after stopping the clock at 37.385 seconds with Heidi D'Artevelde.
"Kahula covers the ground really nicely, and I am really pleased with how she went today," smiled Hay. "She's a 7-year-old that I got last year, and I have just been getting to know her. She loves the classic, American rider, light off the saddle. She doesn't need a lot of contact, just free and open."
Hay continued, "She can be a mare when she wants to be, but for the most part she is very sweet and a saint for a 7-year-old. Riding the young horses has been a great experience for me, especially when I have people like Kent Farrington and my boyfriend Claudio Baroni, who have a great program."
The $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic will be highlight event in the Rolex Stadium tomorrow evening, getting underway at 6:30 p.m. It will be the third event in the Hagyard Challenge Series, featuring the $50,000 Leading Riding Award. On Saturday, the Kentucky Horse Park will welcome Hat's Off Day, a celebration of the horse and its impact on the state of Kentucky, culminating with the $50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix at 7:00 p.m. For more information about the Kentucky Summer Series, please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.
Class 436, OPEN JUMPER 1.40m II 2b
1 89 QUIDAM'S GOOD LUCK AARON VALE 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 33.566
2 21 THE DUDE WILL SIMPSON 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 33.972
3 1497 LOCHINVAR MATT CYPHERT 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 34.263
4 1191 WHITNEY RAMIRO QUINTANA 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 34.290
5 345 LAGRAN MARK BLUMAN 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 35.428
6 1491 CARAT V MATT CYPHERT 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 36.351
7 659 ASKARIELLE P BLYTHE MARANO 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 39.259
8 1202 LARGO RAMIRO QUINTANA 0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 34.270
Class 435, OPEN JUMPER 1.40m II sec 1
1 623 LASCANA PABLO BARRIOS 0 0 0 58.317
2 23 E-UNANIME DE LA HAIE HANNAH VON HEIDEGGER 0 0 0 59.995
3 22 AXL ROSE HANNAH VON HEIDEGGER 0 0 0 61.450
4 346 APPLE SARAH BAGWORTH 0 0 0 61.707
5 12 VALINSKI S MICHAEL DORMAN 0 0 0 61.923
6 1788 DELUXE DANCER SANTIAGO ATTIAS 0 0 0 62.176
7 1492 DIEGO HANNAH JOHNSON 0 0 0 62.365
8 1279 LITTLE GANCO JACKSON BRITTAN 0 0 0 63.013
Class 404, SEVEN & EIGHT YEAR OLD JUMPER II 2b
1 1918 KAHULA MOLLY HAY 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 35.626
2 764 SELFIE AARON VALE 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 36.746
3 1412 HEIDI D'ARTEVELDE COLIN SYQUIA 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 37.385
4 1272 COPA CABANA EMANUEL ANDRADE 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 38.738
5 816 AKATSCHINO SCOTT LENKART 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 40.596
6 845 TICKSON DU LAVOIR KYLE TIMM 0 0 0 0.000 0 2 2 46.384
7 1872 CRUSADE AARON VALE 0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 41.776
8 1240 CABARET MANUEL FERNANDEZ HACHE 4 0 4 69.635
Source: Press release from Phelps Media Group, Inc. International.
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