Kalvin Dobbs and Woodstock O Dominate $10,000 High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic at Kentucky Spring Classic

RELEASE: May 18, 2014
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Phelps Media Group Inc, International

Kalvin Dobbs and Woodstock O (Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group)
Kalvin Dobbs and Woodstock O (Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group)
Lexington, Ky.
- The Amateur-Owner and Junior riders took over the Rolex Stadium during the final day of the Kentucky Spring Classic, showcasing their speed and accuracy. Kalvin Dobbs mastered the short course during the $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic sponsored by Audi of Lexington with Woodstock O. In the $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior Jumper Classic, sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch, it was Alec Bozorgi and Navy Blue Tarroy's double clear effort winning the blue ribbon prize.

For both events, Michel Vaillancourt challenged riders with a course similar to last night's $75,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix, and the jump-off once again featured the difficult rollbacks, as well as multiple options to open up stride and gallop home for the win.

In the High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, nine of the 24 entries advanced to the tiebreaker, where five double clears set a blistering pace. Hayley Gassel set the target with Werner 61, posting a clear round in 44.739 seconds that held up for fifth place. Erin Haas also finished over the 40-second mark with As Di Chupito, which would only be good enough for fourth place.

Dobbs took over the lead with his first mount Tea Party early in the jump-off, breaking the beam in a clear 40.913 seconds, but he still had his faster mount yet to go. Hayley Gassel bested Dobbs' time with her second mount Quite Dark 2 with a faultless round in 38.842 seconds, but she would not hold on to the top spot for long.

Dobbs knew Woodstock O would be faster than Tea Party, and he used the talented mounts speed and accuracy to his advantage. They sliced the turn to the final line and galloped through the timers in 38.592 seconds, three-tenths of a second faster to take home the victory and relegate Gassel to second place. However, Gassel's top placings throughout the week earned her the division championship, while Dobbs took home the reserve championship.

"I was thinking that I had a fast time with Tea Party, but I knew it was reachable. I knew Hayley beat me so I was just thinking about where I could be quicker," explained Dobbs about his jump-off. "I wanted to be tidier in my turns and then just let Woodstock go because he's very quick on his own. I just turn him and let him run. I was tighter to the last line, and he has a huge stride so he was able to leave out a stride to the last fence. His jump is not as high and lofty as Tea Party, so we probably shaved off some time there too."

Dobbs took over the ride on Woodstock O from Olympian Laura Kraut last fall and has been working hard to develop a partnership with the talented mount. "I've had to change my riding style on him because I sit back on my horses and drive them, and I am learning to sit up and be forward with my seat, while still keeping leg and being very soft," he commented. "Woodstock has made me a much better rider, and it's transitioned to my other horses. Laura is a very forward rider, so that is what he likes."

During the year, Dobbs usually trains with Abigail Blankenship at his family's Treesdale Farms in Carmel, IN, but after graduating from high school in two weeks he will travel to Europe to train with Laura Kraut through the summer. In the fall, Dobbs will return to the United States and attend the University of Miami, where he will be studying Business Management.

The Junior Jumper Classic was next at the Kentucky Horse Park, and while seven showed over the short course only three were able to produce another clear round. The first came from Virginia Ingram and Urban, but they chose to be more conservative to leave the fences up and clocked in at 48.336 seconds, which would hold up for third place. When Alec Bozorgi and Navy Blue Tarroy stepped into the arena they pushed the clock while still leaving all the rails intact in 43.900 seconds. Victoria Colvin and Don Juan were the last to go, and they tried to take over the lead, but fell just shy as they crossed the finish line in 43.991 seconds, just 9/100ths of a second behind Bozorgi.

"I watched a few, and there was only one double clean so I decided to cut back and play it a little conservative," said Bozorgi after his win. "Tori  [Colvin] and Don Juan are very fast, so I didn't really think I would come away with the blue. I could have shaved it a little tighter in the turns, but he jumped great. He's a naturally fast horse, so I don't usually need to worry about speed."

Bozorgi began leasing Navy Blue Tarroy from Kevin Babington at the beginning of the winter season and knows he's a very special mount. "He's a very hot horse, very gamey and goes at the jumps," he explained. "I try to hold my body over the jumps and slow his jump down, get there shortening the step so he doesn't jump at it. He's really experienced though, super careful and super scopey. I am really lucky to have him."

Later this summer, Bozorgi will return to the Kentucky Horse Park for the North American Junior and Young Riders Championship. "We're going to start preparing for Young Riders," he commented. "Kentucky is a great place. I grew up showing around here, and I was happy to come back here with Nancy Whitehead this spring. I love the Rolex ring. It's a high quality show, and I think they do a great job of making sure the riders have a good experience."

RESULTS: High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic
1    1036    WOODSTOCK O     KALVIN DOBBS     0    0    0    72.319    0    0    0    38.592
2    444    QUITE DARK 2     HALEY GASSEL     0    0    0    73.432    0    0    0    38.842
3    1038    TEA PARTY     KALVIN DOBBS     0    0    0    76.371    0    0    0    40.913
4    8    AS DI CHUPITO     ERIN HAAS     0    0    0    76.844    0    0    0    43.487
5    445    WERNER 61     HALEY GASSEL     0    0    0    79.103    0    0    0    44.739       
6    9    UDO DV     ERIN HAAS     0    0    0    77.700    0    3    3    52.361       
7    31    LANOO     ALI WOLFF     0    0    0    75.805    4    0    4    42.470       
8    982    UNEX VALENTE     JENNIFER O'NEILL     0    0    0    78.563    4    0    4    45.452

RESULTS: High Junior Jumper Classic
1    605    NAVY BLUE TARROY     ALEC BOZORGI     0    0    0    74.708    0    0    0    43.900       
2    253    DON JUAN     VICTORIA COLVIN     0    0    0    76.382    0    0    0    43.991       
3    124    URBAN     VIRGINIA INGRAM     0    0    0    75.609    0    0    0    48.336       
4    353    UGAF     JACKSON BRITTAN     0    0    0    76.404    4    0    4    41.542       
5    493    ATHENA     CHLOE REID     0    0    0    71.910    4    0    4    42.255       
6    331    CHAMONIX H     KELLI CRUCIOTTI     0    0    0    76.250    4    0    4    43.687       
7    243    CHANEL B 2     VICTORIA COLVIN     0    0    0    72.777    16    0    16    41.442       
8    1222    WHY NOT     SOPHIE SIMPSON     4    0    4    71.018