Kentucky Spring Horse Shows Series Week 1 Wrap-Up
RELEASE: May 15, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jenny Ross and Rebecca Walton
Powerful winds and rain on the final day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show instigated a change of plans for the $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix CSI***. Originally scheduled for 1:00 p.m. in the Sheila C. Johnson Arena, early announcements informed exhibitors that the grand prix would be held in the indoor arena at 2:30 p.m. This alteration did not daunt Hidden Creek's Pamina L, who Margie Engle maneuvered flawlessly for an expeditious grand prix win.
Out of 34 starters, 13 horses completed Richard Jeffery's track without fault. The course had a comfortable time allowed of 93 seconds, and it included numerous bending and direct lines and stride options. Difficult lines included a natural vertical bending to a triple combination and a three stride followed by a bending line to a liverpool oxer.
Schuyler Riley was the first to qualify for the jump-off aboard Lapacco, owned by South Beach Stables in Wellington, FL. She rode beautifully over the short course and finished with a speedy time of 32.15 seconds. Michael Morrissey rode Scaraberas, his first of two mounts in the tie breaker, and slowed his pace after he lowered the height of one fence. After knocking a second rail, Scaraberas, owned by Eugene Mische of Bradenton, FL, crossed the finish line with eight faults in 36.46 seconds. Robin Sweely of Madison, VA, revisited the arena with Acorn Hill Farm's Qarco V'T Merlenest, and they too had an unfortunate rail. Their time of 34.62 seconds would result in ninth place.
Pablo Barrios of Wellington, FL, rode very quickly but accrued eight faults in the jump-off with his mount Sinatra. Their prompt time of 31.38 seconds would have taken over the lead. New York, New York's Georgina Bloomberg and her mount District followed Barrios and matched his score with eight faults. Her time of 35.70 seconds would finish up in 11th place. District is owned by Gotham Enterprizes.
Shane Sweetnam and Little Emir, owned by Spy Coast Farm of E Setauket, NY, seized the top spot after they sped around the course with very tight turns. A slight rub at the last fence caused the crowd to gasp, but the rail remained in its cups as Sweetnam clocked in at 31.51 seconds. Mario Deslauriers stole the lead soon after with his mount Paradigm. They bettered Sweetnam's score with a time of 30.19 seconds, taking over the top position. Deslauriers resides in New York, New York.
Morrissey had a stellar trip with his second mount, Crelido. With a rapid pace and extremely snug turns, the duo galloped home in 30.44 seconds, which would hold up for third place. Alison Robitaille took a shot aboard Intrepide Du Valon and came close to Deslauriers' time, but their time of 30.74 was not quite close enough. Her horse is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Firestone of Upperville, VA. Sweetnam had another chance to capture the top spot with Spy Coast Farm's Memphis; however, they lowered the height of fence 6, a natural vertical, and finished with a time of 34.35 seconds.
Vegas and Christine McCrea had an unlucky ride in the jump-off, receiving four faults for a knockdown and another four for a run-out at the last element. Their score and time of 45.09 seconds would place them in 13th. Vegas is owned by Windsor Show Stables of East Windsor, CT. Ramiro Quintana and Cataro Ask, owned by the Cataro Group, added to the excitement with their clear round and their swift time of 33.20 seconds. Quintana hails from Wellington, FL.
The final horse to jump-off was Hidden Creek's Pamina L, and Margie Engle trotted into the ring with confidence. Despite Engle's small stature and Pamina's large size, the two fit together perfectly for Jeffery's challenging course.
Engle revved the mare's engine as they broke the start timers with strong momentum. The audience held its collective breath as Pamina sailed over the first few obstacles. After the mare rubbed the natural vertical at fence 6, the enthusiastic