After spending the summer in Europe, Lauren Hough and Quick Study made a triumphant return to the United States during the Alltech National Horse Show, 129th Edition. The pair bested a 14-horse jump-off with a speedy double clear effort during the $75,000 Double H Farm International Open Jumper class at the Alltech National Horse Show. Ireland's Richie Moloney galloped into second place position aboard Slieveanorra, while Kent Farrington and his young mount Venus left all the rails in place for the third place honors.
The riders found the key to Richard Jeffery's first round early on, which featured a triple bar, a liverpool, an oxer-vertical double combination, and a vertical-vertical-oxer triple combination. Fourteen horses returned to the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park for the jump-off, which would prove to be a foot race over a bending line to a single airy vertical, part of the triple combination, and two final wide oxers.
Belgium's Olivier Philippaerts was the first to conquer the challenge with Stal De Kalvarie's Denver Van't Goemanshot, but his fault-free round in 44.41 seconds would only be good enough for seventh. Aaron Vale and Palm Sunday, owned by Amen Corner Farm, bested the pair in 42.830 seconds, but their effort eventually placed fifth, with Great Britain's Tim Gredley and Unex Timo IV, owned by Unex Competition Yard LTD, slipping into sixth at 42.88 seconds.
It looked like Ireland's Richie Moloney was going to be the victor after he set a time of 40.66 seconds, well ahead of the other competitors with Equinimity LLC's Slieveanorra. Just prior to Moloney, Kent Farrington had set the time to beat with Venus, owned by Raylyn Farm's Venus at 41.39 seconds. Unfortunately, Moloney and Farrington would have to settle for second and third, respectively, after veteran duo Lauren Hough and Quick Study, owned by Laura Mateo, entered the arena.
Making his first appearance in the United States since this spring, Quick Study was right on point, easily clearing the obstacles in his path to victory. They sliced the single vertical for the combination and deftly maneuvered through the inside turns to one of the final oxers. Hough and Quick Study's swift pace and path added up to the win as they dashed for the cash in 40.51 seconds, one tenth of a second ahead of Moloney.
"My horse has a severe right drift, so I sort of made a last minute adjustment in the first line and Quick Study was good to clear the second jump," admitted Hough. "It set up my turn well to that second vertical. I was quite quick from the double onwards; I think that is where I made up time. I think it was quite close."
Hough continued, "At this stage in his life, Quick Study is quite rideable; he used to be a handful. We know each other quite well at this point, and I am thankful to have him. I have had a run of unlucky streak of four fault rounds this summer. The last show in Europe was in Vienna. We made the second round, but had the first jump down in second round. He's been knocking on the door, I just had to stay patient and not change anything. Last week he hung out with Joe Fargis in Middleburg, Virginia, for the week. He's a pretty easy keeper these days; we keep him fit and happy."
Moloney was also pleased with his horse's performance stating, "He's a good indoor horse, naturally very quick. I am just doing these shows for now and will see what happens. I will probably jump my other horse on Saturday during the World Cup Qualifier though."
Farrington will also ride a different horse for Saturday's World Cup Qualifier, his leading mount Uceko. "This is still a pretty green horse to be doing this level, especially inside. He jumps a lot behind; he doesn't have the best front end right now. Inside these are still quite difficult courses right now for this horse. This is the comfort level right now."
Hillary Simpson slipped into fourth with Nopus Du Gue Joubert, owned by Quiet Hill Farm. Australia's Matt Williams and Watch Me VD Mangelaar, owned by Samantha Tuerk, had slower round of 45.66 seconds that went into eighth. Margie Engle and Royce, owned by Elm Rock LLC, had the slowest clear round, clocking in a conservative 48.19 seconds. Kaitlin Campbell and Rocky W did have the fastest round of the night, but they had an unfortunate rail before the combination for four faults to round out the top ten.
$75,000 Double H Farm International Open Jumper
1 OHLALA - LAUREN HOUGH
2 SLIEVEANORRA - RICHIE MOLONEY
3 VENUS - KENT FARRINGTON
4 NOPUS DU GUE JOUBERT - HILLARY SIMPSON
5 PALM SUNDAY - AARON VALE
6 UNEX TIMO IV - TIM GREDLEY
7 DENVER VAN T GOEMANSHOT - OLIVIER PHILIPPAERTS
8 WATCH ME VD MANGELAAR - MATT WILLIAMS
9 ROYCE - MARGIE ENGLE
10 ROCKY W - KAITLIN CAMPBELL
Source: Press release from Phelps Media Group, Inc.
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