Kentucky Spring Classic Wrap Up, May 13-17
RELEASE: May 21, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Rebecca Walton and Lauren Fisher
Mario Deslauriers and Vicomte D charged across the finish line to win Saturday night's $55,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix, sponsored by Air 51 and Audi of Lexington, at the Kentucky Spring Classic. Deslauriers and Vicomte D had completed double-clear rounds during the past three grand prix classes held during the Kentucky series to earn top placings, but the fourth time was the charm. Four horse-and-rider combinations qualified for Saturday's jump-off round, held in the main outdoor stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park, and all completed clear efforts. Deslauriers and Vicomte D were the last to enter the ring, but they laid down the fastest time to win the class over Todd Minikus and Pavarotti.
Todd Minikus, of Loxahatchee, FL, stepped into the ring aboard Pavarotti. Minikus spurred Pavarotti to the first jump and spun him through each turn. Pavarotti carefully lifted his legs over each jump without touching a single fence. The duo galloped to the last oxer and stopped the clock at 40.89 seconds to set a blistering pace with little room to spare and his score would hold up for the second-place award.
The final pair to make their bid over Palacios jump-off course would be Deslauriers and Vicomte D, owned by Jane F. Clark of New York, NY. Deslauriers knew he would have to go all out to beat Minikus, but he and Vicomte D had been preparing for this moment all week. The duo picked up their gallop and made their way to the first fence, clearing it easily. They quickly began to pick up pace and cut the turns. They had a fast gallop to the double combination, but Deslauriers was careful to wait through the fences despite losing time. Once they had cleared both hurdles and were easily rivaling Minikus' time the crowd began to cheer and they sped to the final oxer. The pair galloped across the finish line in 40.03 seconds with every jump intact, and was almost a full second ahead of Minikus to claim their opportunity to lead the victory gallop.
Despite the difficulty that the jump-off round posed, Deslauriers was confident in his mount's abilities. "Every time we go in the jump-off we go for the win," he explained. "I'm starting to know this horse better now, and he has a huge step. It's great because I can leave out strides where sometimes other people can't and he's quick. It was a long gallop all the way to the double, and it's a little tight in there, so I couldn't come in flat out. So I took him back and he was very nice to pat the ground at A and then to finish it off with his big step, so it was an easy enough task."
Vicomte D is an 11-year-old gelding, and Deslauriers has high hopes for him. His top placings with Vicomte D during the first two $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic classes have made him the current leader in the 2009 Hagyard Challenge Series, sponsored by the Hagyard Medical Institute.
Deslauriers has been very happy competing at the Kentucky Spring Series and has been very impressed with the renovations that have been made to the Kentucky Horse Park. "It has been great here this year," he said. "Big things are coming here, especially WEG next year. This is the best facility we have in the United States now and it's fantastic."Jumper Highlights
Kim Prince and Superieur flashed through the finish line in a time of 63.392 seconds to win Wednesday's $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40 m class at the Kentucky Summer Classic. The pair beat out five other horse-and-rider combinations that completed clear rounds during Wednesday's timed first-round class, held in the new outdoor stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park. Prince and Superieur made sharp turns and kept a fast pace to give them the leading time and the day's win.
Prince and Superieur, owned by Kirsten Pollin of Washington, DC, entered the ring, and Prince was confident that her mount could handle the sharp turns and set a fast pace. The duo soared over each fence with eas