Lexington, Ky. – May 16, 2018 – The second week of CSI3* competition at the Kentucky Horse Park kicked off during the Kentucky Spring Classic with the $35,000 1.45m Welcome Speed in the Rolex Stadium where 36 horse-and-rider combinations raced ahead of the rain, contesting Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) 14-effort track. The speed class saw eleven clear rounds, but Andy Kocher (USA) was uncatchable as he raced to the victory aboard Christian Rogge of Top Line Sporthorse International, LLC’s Kahlua with over two seconds separating him at the top.
Kocher intends to jump the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood in Saturday’s $131,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3*, so his initial plan was to use Wednesday’s class as training, but with identical prize money to Thursday night’s $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* and a careful mare, Kocher decided to go for it and his last-minute decision paid off. He flew through the timers with a quick, clear round in 61.11 seconds to capture and maintain the lead.
Mexico’s Santiago Lambre and his own 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Doloris, chased Kocher’s time, but fell short, finishing a clear round in 63.68 seconds to settle for second place. Alejandro Karolyi (VEN) and Lincourt Gino, the 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Monica Carrera, captured the third place prize with a clear time of 64.07 seconds.
Jumper action continues Thursday at the Kentucky Spring Classic with the $5,000 1.45m Open Jumper beginning at 8:00 a.m. in the Rolex Stadium, followed by the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix. Scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m., the highlight event is the second of the seven-part Hagyard Challenge Series at the Kentucky Horse Park.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Andy Kocher – $35,000 1.45m Welcome Speed CSI3* winner
On his plan:
“My plan was ruined a little because my plane got delayed from all of this weather. I didn’t get to my hotel until around two in the morning and I had to get up around 6. Kahlua is the horse I am planning to jump in the grand prix on Saturday, so I was thinking we’d take it nice and easy – hope to have a nice round tomorrow night and have her really prepared for the grand prix – but then I thought it’s the same prize money for tomorrow night as today. I think a lot of people were training today in the speed class, so I thought I’ll just let [Kahlua] go around and if she has a pole down that would still be good training, but I’ll give it a go. She knows what she’s doing and then I was thinking to myself that I was going to go for it and then if she had one down I was going to slow up and try to work on rideability, but she just never touched any poles so I just kept going.”
On his course:
“The first line, I came at it and hit the timer running. I was flying, so I didn’t lose any time going to the first jump. I was really short back to fence three and that made the five[strides to fence 4] desperate. I asked her for more than you should ask of any horse at that oxer and she just flew. After she jumped that, I was thinking in my head if I just don’t make a stupid mistake here she’s definitely won it and I only had two singles and a combination left. I was like as long as I can not do something dumb here I got this. She jumped the last in and out perfectly too.”
“Kahlua is a cool horse because I’ve had her since June or July and I’ve been bringing her along. She has jumped some 5* grand prix classes now, she won a speed 1.45m at WEF and she was second in another one, so she’s really starting to come up. She kind of looks like a big, heavy, cold horse, but she’s not. She has lots of blood and she’s the kind of horse, the more you show her, the better she jumps. She wouldn’t be one that jumps better off rest, so I’ll jump her tomorrow and if everything goes the way it usually goes she would be my choice to jump Saturday night [in the grand prix]. Kahlua is just really coming into her own. I think people will see that horse winning a lot of classes this year and the cool part about her is that she can win a speed class and come right back the next day and jump clear in a jump-off class. She’s got a good brain like that, she’s super focused.”
On Kentucky Horse Shows:
“I think any time you can win classes every place seems fun. I don’t think that anyone argues [the Kentucky Horse Park] is a beautiful facility. The footing is awesome and the jumps are nice. We always have nice course designers and and for me, I think it’s cool that you get to show in the Rolex Stadium. I also like that the FEI horses are stabled near the stadium. I didn’t come here at all last year except for the National [Horse Show] and they’ve made a few changes and improvements that I think are really nice. There’s a lot of pluses.”
$35,000 1.45m Welcome Speed CSI3*
Place / Horse / Ride / Country / Faults | Time
1. Kahlua / Andrew Kocher / USA / 0 | 61.11
2. Doloris / Santiago Lambre / MEX / 0 | 63.68
3. Lincourt Gino / Alejandro Karolyi / VEN / 0 | 64.07
4. Indigo / Margie Engle / USA / 0 | 64.36
5. Zantos II / Andrew Kocher / USA / 0 | 64.47
6. Caillou / Luis Biraben / ARG / 0 | 64.62
7. Silteplait De Circee / Darragh Kerins / IRL / 0 | 66.55
8. Quirie 2 / Ali Wolff / USA / 0 | 66.62
9. Balou Du Reventon / Darragh Kenny / IRL / 0 | 68.16
10. Barnetta / Sharn Wordley / NZL / 0 | 68.52
11. MTF Saint Simeon / Sloane Coles / USA / 0 | 69.91
12. Pappa Ante Portas 2 / Eugenio Garza / MEX / 1 | 81.53
Chris Payne Places on Top With Ovo in the Green Hunter Incentive Stake
Earlier in the day, in the Stonelea Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park, hunter competition began with 10 competitors vying for the Green Hunter Incentive Stake’s top prize. Horse-and-rider combinations competed in the 3’6’’ and 3’9’’ sections of the Green Hunters, with one round being designated toward the stake’s final results. It was Chris Payne and Ovo who claimed Wednesday’s top ride after putting in a near flawless round that would earn them a winning score of 88.
Ovo, an 8-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding, was purchased by Melissa Jacobs in November of 2017 from The Hunt, a European hunter auction organized by Chris Sorenson. Payne took over the reins during the start of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida. Payne and Ovo have had a successful partnership, finding themselves in top placings consistently throughout the WEF circuit in Wellington, Florida.
Second place was captured by Havens Schatt and Diantendro with a score of 85. Tim Goguen and Just A Cobbler secured third place with a score of 83.
The Green Hunter Incentive Program was created by the USHJA in the hopes of increasing participation at the Green level. This year, the program introduced the option for athletes to compete at the 3’6’’ and 3’9’’ height in order to attract even more entries. At the end of the year, the top placing horse and rider combinations will be invited to return to the Kentucky Horse Park to compete at the the Green Hunter Incentive Championships in August at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, which will include four fence height options upon adding the 3’6” and 3’9” to the existing 3’ and 3’3” fence heights.
Hunter competition will resume in the Stonelea on Thursday with the Green Hunter 3’6” at 8:00 a.m.
Green Hunter Incentive Stake
Place / Horse / Rider / Score
1. Ovo / Chris Payne / 88
2. Diantendro / Havens Schatt / 85
3. Just A Cobbler / Tim Goguen / 83
4. Just Ask / Jeff Gogul / 82
5. Shameless / Kelley Farmer / 81
6. Talladega / Jennifer Alfano / 74
7. Poetic / Ryan Sassmannshausen / 73
8. Cesar De Lison Z / Ryan Sassmannshausen / 63
9. Arturo / Jeff Gogul / 45
10. Exceptional / Kelley Farmer / 39