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Brett Burlington and Quigley Best Talented Field in THIS Children's Medal at Kentucky Summer Horse Show

RELEASE: July 26, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Brett Burlington and Quigley (Emily Riden)
Brett Burlington and Quigley (Emily Riden)
Lexington, KY
- Brett Burlington and Quigley picked up the right lead canter out of a line-up and cantered straight to the top of the leader board in the THIS National Children's Medal Friday at the Kentucky Horse Park. Out of a field of 35 talented young riders, Burlington was one of four to return to test for the top honors in the equitation class held as part of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, running now through Sunday, July 28. 

Following the first round course of the THIS National Children's Medal, Haley Zimmerman led the class with a score of 88 aboard her own Zider, while Kamryn Steel and Ceasar completed the Joseph Carnicom designed course with a score of 86 putting them in second. Rounding out the top four riders were Burlington in third with a score of 85.5 and Kendall Werneiwski and Cosmo in fourth with a score of 85.

Judge Christina Schlusemeyer asked these top four riders to return and line up at the end of the ring by the in-gate. From there they each picked up the right lead and cantered straight to an outside line, then around to a trot fence before finally halting directly in front of the judge for questioning. After questioning, the riders returned to the line-up at a sitting trot.

As riders cantered straight to the outside line, Schlusemeyer was looking to see them make it down the line comfortably in six strides. In order to do so, the riders had to immediately leave the line-up and pick up enough pace, otherwise the line would ride in a more ambling and tight seven.

Werneiwski was the first to attempt the short test, delivering a solid ride, but riding the line in seven strides instead of the intended six. Upon halting in front of Schlusemeyer she asked Werneiwski the same question she would go on to ask all of the riders: "What kind of bit was in there horses mouth, and why was that bit chosen for this horse for this class?" Werneiwski nailed his answer, and his efforts would eventually move him up the placings from fourth to third place.

Burlington was the next to come back, and she rode the test just as Schlusemeyer had intended. She and Quigley proved to be the only pair who were able to nail the six stride line.

"I knew that he has a big stride, so as long as I got going to the in of the six I would probably be okay," mentioned Burlington. "He has a great rhythm so it's easy to find the distances on him."

Burlington followed her beautiful line with an excellent trot jump and articulate answer to the judge's question, showing that she definitely had what it took to win the class. It was just up to other two returners, Steel and Zimmerman.

Neither was able to master the six stride line as flawlessly as Burlington, and when Zimmerman cantered the trot jump, the placings were cemented with Burlington taking the top spot, Steel in second and Zimmerman claiming the fourth position.

A14-year-old Miami, FL native, Burlington was extremely happy with her ride Friday and with her mount Quigley, owned by Sweet Oak Farm of Wellington, FL.

"He's really nice because he can do just about anything in the hunters and equitation," Burlington explained. "I started riding him not this past year, but the year before. He's been leased out a couple of times, so I've kind of been on and off with him, but whenever he comes back I get to show him. I love it."

Burlington will continue to show in Kentucky throughout the next two weeks of the Kentucky Summer Show Series in additional equitation classes and the High Junior Jumpers.

"During the school year I show in Florida, and then during the summer everyone from Sweet Oak Farm comes here," shared Burlington. "I'm from a really big city so it's nice to go some place like this were there's a lot more open space than there would be in Florida. It's really pretty here."

Earlier in the day, Adam Darst and Sullivan Whitley kicked off the week's Children's 15-17 Hunter competition, each taking a first place over fences. Darst and Leopold, owned by Lochmoor Stables of Lebanon, OH, finished with the blue in the first class and the red second place ribbon in both the second over fences class and the under saddle, therefore leading the way in the division points standings going in to the second and final day of competition Saturday. Whitley, of Wayzata, MN, and her own Heart and Soul finished first in the second over fences class and third in the under saddle to head into Saturday close behind Darst and Leopold.

Whitley said of Heart & Soul, "We've had him for about five years. He started out as my mom's horse, and now I have the privilege of riding him. He's a 15-year-old Warmblood, and he's a master. Every time he goes to a show, it's almost like he's saying 'I'm on it. I've got this.' He's a total teddy bear on the ground. He just wants cookies and love. He's my baby."

Whitley and Heart & Soul will remain in Kentucky throughout the duration of the Kentucky Summer shows, and they'll return Saturday to vie for the Children's 15-17 Hunter division championship. Also finishing their divisions Saturday are the Amateur-Owner Hunters and Adult Hunters, while the Junior Hunters will get underway and continue through Sunday. The week of hunter competition will come to a close with Sunday's $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby, a highlight of each week the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows.

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