Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 3, 2018 – Upon Friday’s conclusion of junior hunter competition at the Kentucky Summer Classic, the Junior Hunter Grand Champion was crowned in the Stonelea Ring with more than 50 young riders vying for the top prize. Based on top ribbons in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter division across Thursday and Friday’s competition, Ashley Vogel secured the highest point total aboard her own Legacy to earn the Junior Hunter Grand Champion title, generously sponsored by Visse Wedell.
Thanks to their consistently strong performances, Vogel and the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding swept all three Small Junior 16-17 Hunter over fences classes, placed second in the handy round and finished third in the under saddle to claim the division championship ahead of their grand award.
Vogel purchased “Leo” just over one year ago and competes him under the guidance of Maria Rasmussen and Jeff Wirthman at Sea Change Farm in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The pair is coming off recent success after riding to victory in the junior/amateur section of the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at the Brandywine Horse Show just last month.
The Kentucky Horse Shows Grand Hunter Champion Awards are presented by Visse Wedell, with champions awarded in the Professional, Amateur-Owner, Junior, Pony, Adult Amateur and Children’s Divisions.
Hunter competition will return to the Stonelea Ring Saturday morning at 8 a.m. with the Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions, and will conclude with the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by World Equestrian Center and Kentucky Horse Shows.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Ashley Vogel – Junior Hunter Grand Champion
On her grand champion award:
“Legacy and I have been so close every single week to getting an overall champion or reserve. We’ve won really great ribbons in every class, but we’ve been 1 or 2 points off, so it really felt great to finally fulfill the second day and do well. I really didn’t expect to get grand champion so that was a really great achievement for him.”
“I’m just starting to completely figure him out. We’re really clicking at this moment, so it was very nice that it worked out. I got him at the end of WEF [Winter Equestrian Festival] in 2017. I’ve had him for about a year now. I started him right away in the 3’6” juniors but I only did a little bit of the division before, so now it’s really starting to work out and I’m so glad. He’s been such a great horse for me and he’s teaching me so much in the junior hunter rings. He’s kind of a quirky horse. He’s a favorite among the barn. He always has a special spot in my heart and he’s the best. I can always count on him to have a good time in the ring.”
“Kentucky is my favorite horse show. It’s an easy place to come back to. I’ve been coming here for the last four years and it’s great. I’m from Wisconsin so it’s a little ways away, but it’s just such a comfortable place and it’s such a great place to show. The courses are always nice and so is everyone at the ingate – it’s just a nice community.”
On her plans with Legacy:
“We have a lot of points right now so we’re probably going to Harrisburg. I think we’re 13th in the country right now so we will hopefully get in to all of the indoors shows. If we do, I’m hoping for some solid rounds. We went to indoors last year and it was very good so we’re hoping to repeat that again.”