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Kennzo and Molly Ashe Win $20,000 Holiday & Horses USHJA International Hunter Derby

RELEASE: December 2, 2012
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Molly Ashe and Kennzo (© ManciniPhotos)
Molly Ashe and Kennzo (© ManciniPhotos)
Wellington, FL
- Kristen Abbatiello-Neff's Kennzo and Molly Ashe jumped their way to victory in two rounds of competition in the $20,000 Holiday and Horses USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Dietrich Insurance, on Sunday, December 2, 2012. Concluding the week-long competition, the class was held in the spacious International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center with a beautifully designed course set by Skip Bailey, of Wellington, FL.

The class was judged by two panels, including Danny Robertshaw and Scott Williamson on panel one and Robert Bielefeld and Julie Winkel on panel two. For their victory, Kennzo and Molly Ashe earned the high scores in both the classic round and the handy round for the winning overall total. The pair scored a 175 in round one and a 201 in round two for a two round total of 376.

Darragh Kenny and Star Lane Farm's Martel finished in second with scores of 171 and 194.5 for a 365.5 total. Kelley Farmer and Jessica Stitt's Taken placed third with a 152 and 203 for a two round total of 355. David Oliynyk rode Lori Gaudet's Generous to scores of 162.5 and 185.5 for a 348 total and fourth place honors.

Class winner Kennzo is a ten-year-old Finnish Warmblood gelding by Coriano. Molly Ashe owns Kennzo in partnership with Dr. and Mrs. Abbatiello. Ashe purchased the gelding when he was seven years old. He started out as a jumper prospect, but has now proven himself as an excellent hunter.

"He had a bit of an incident here with a water jump in this ring and he basically decided that he didn't want to be a jumper after that," Ashe explained. "We dabbled in the equitation for a little bit and then I started doing him in the hunters and he really likes it. This is his third derby and he has now been first twice and second once. He won in Southampton this year and now this one and then he was second in Michigan at Horse Shows by the Bay."

"It is fun to have him," Ashe smiled. "He didn't work out as a jumper, but it is nice to have him work as a hunter. He seems to have found his niche."

Ashe described each of her rounds, in which she earned points for taking all of the high options and impressed the judges with handiness in the second round.

"The high options felt very high today," Ashe noted. "From the initial entrance this morning when they let you flat in the ring I thought they were big. I was happy to be showing Kennzo to be honest. The course was great though. It was a fun class."

"I thought he was very good in the first round," she stated. "I got a low score, so he must have looked funny somewhere to one side. I did all of the high options though, that is the only thing that saved me."

"The second round he was beautiful, really just high and lofty and everything came up just how I wanted it to," Ashe continued. "The trot jump was perfect and he felt great. He has really turned into a great horse. He is really fun to ride too; he is slow and lazy. The second you think of something other than keeping him going, you are standing still! But it is nice, and he is very simple. You get on and go basically, there is no prep. He is a laid back kinda guy and he booms the jump. His jump gives you a great feeling."

Ashe explained that she showed Kennzo in the 3'6" Performance Hunter division this year and will now move up to the High Performance classes.

"In the beginning, after being a jumper, he would really set himself," she detailed. "He would get light on his feet and get bouncy in front of the jump, so I stayed low for last year mostly and now he has settled in."

Kennzo and Ashe hope to continue their success showing throughout the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival this winter and have their sights set on competing in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the conclusion of the circuit in March.

The major sponsor of the USHJA International Hunter Derby, part of the 2012-2013 series, was Charles Owen & Co., while awards sponsors include Dover Saddlery, The Clothes Horse, and Essex Classics.

For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com. For full results, go to www.showgroundslive.com.

Final Results: $20,000 Holiday & Horse USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Dietrich Insurance

1. KENNZO MOLLY ASHE KRISTEN ABBATIELLO-NEFF: 175 + 201 = 376
2. MARTEL DARRAGH KENNY STAR LANE FARM: 171 + 194.5 = 365.5
3. TAKEN KELLEY FARMER JESSICA STITT: 152 + 203 = 355
4. GENEROUS DAVID OLIYNYK LORI GAUDET: 162.5 + 185.5 = 348
5. PRAISE HOLLY ORLANDO KEN & SELMA GARBER: 174 + 173.5 = 347.5
6. WAGNER DARRAGH KENNY HASBROUCK DONOVAN: 152 + 195 = 347
7. CR MOET DARRAGH KENNY SARAH MILLIREN: 156 + 186 = 342
8. CASINO KELLEY FARMER LE REVE FARM, INC: 144 + 190 = 334
9. TEMPTATION KRISTY MCCORMACK AUTUMN JANESKY: 149 + 182.5 = 331.5
10. SUNDANCE MEREDITH LIPKE MEREDITH LIPKE: 149 + 181 = 330
11. INVINCIBLE ELLEN TOON ELLEN TOON: 151 + 172 = 323
12. AVALON MOLLY ASHE VISSE WEDELL: 154 + 155 = 309

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