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Reed Kessler Still Holds 2012 Hagyard Challenge Series Lead

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Reed Kessler with Cylana. Photo by Rebecca Walton/PMG.Although young rider Reed Kessler of Lexington, KY, is currently representing the United States at the Olympic World Games in London, she still holds the top spot in the 2012 Hagyard Challenge Series, sponsored by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Consisting of seven grand prix classes to be held during the 2012 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park, the Hagyard Challenge Series offers a $50,000 Leading Rider Award. The rider accumulating the most points throughout the series will be presented with the bonus during the $50,000 World Cup Qualifier at the Kentucky National Horse Show in September 2012.

On Thursday, May 17, 2012, Kessler piloted Cylana to a second place finish in the $32,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at the Kentucky Spring Classic, and also nabbed the fifth place award with her second mount, Mika. The previous week, Kessler and Mika were also fifth during the $50,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, and the 17-year-old rider jumped to the top of the Leading Rider Standings, holding a resilient lead.

Shane Sweetnam has moved up in the rankings after last night's second place finish in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic. Sweetnam, Beezie Madden and Ashlee Bond, are currently tied for second. Madden won the $50,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic with Simon during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, while Bond and Cadett 7 led the way during the Kentucky Spring Classic's $32,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic. Paige Johnson won the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic with Chiron S, now holding the fifth place position with 250 points.

Last night was one of four remaining Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix events, which are held during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, the Kentucky Summer Classic, the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and the KHJA Horse Show. The Series concludes with the $50,000 World Cup Qualifier during the Kentucky National Horse Show. Following that exciting competition, the winner for the $50,000 Leading Rider will be announced and presented with the prize by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. The 2012 Hagyard Challenge Series will also feature a high point Thoroughbred Award. Following the final event, a $10,000 prize will be presented to the high point Thoroughbred participating in the Series.

For more information about Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC, in 2012, please go to www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Hagyard Challenge Series Leading Rider Standings:

PLACE TOTAL RIDER

1 350 REED KESSLER

2 290 SHANE SWEETNAM

3 290 ASHLEE BOND

4 290 BEEZIE MADDEN

5 250 PAIGE JOHNSON

6 190 MARGIE ENGLE

7 130 JACK H. TOWELL

8 120 DANIELLE GOLDSTEIN

9 120 CHARLIE JAYNE

10 120 RITCHIE MALONEY

11 100 LAURA KRAUT

12 100 WILTON PORTER

Source: Kendall Bierer for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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