Lexington, Ky. – May 17, 2019 – Friday morning at the Kentucky Spring Classic opened with the $5,000 1.45m Open Jumpers to kick off jumper competition in the Rolex Stadium, which saw 32 horse-and-rider combinations test over Kelvin Bywater’s (GBR) 13-effort track. Seven pairs produced clear rounds to ride to an immediate 6-obstacle jump-off where Andy Kocher and Eye Candy Jumpers’ Darius De W captured the fastest time of 31.915 seconds to earn the first win of the morning. Following in second was Ryan Genn, with Hardin Towell finishing in third.
Genn set the early pace with the first double-clear finish in a quick time of 32.139 seconds aboard Taylor Reid’s Dieta. The time set forth by Genn and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare would remain unbeatable through a large duration of the class as athletes chased the pair’s double-clear effort.
Towell and his Oakmont Stables LLC entry, Joli Jumper, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, challenged Genn 12 rounds later with the next fault-free jump-off round in 34.737 seconds, but fell short of the leading time.
Kocher and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding followed after three combinations to produce the next double-clear round, flying to the fastest time of 31.915 seconds to best Genn and Towell’s top two times.
All three leading riders topped the class aboard new mounts for the 2019 show year. In his early partnership with Kocher, Darius De W marked his first big victory Friday morning at the Kentucky Spring Classic.
Immediately following, 32 horse-and-rider combinations entered the stadium for the High Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper speed-style format. Friday’s class yielded ten clear rounds with Alma Björklund once again besting the competition, this time aboard her own Loro Piana Ballyleck Royale. Björklund repeated her victory from last year’s Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper class at the 2018 Kentucky Spring Classic, which she captured with her own Flecu. Björklund and Loro Piana Ballyleck Royale, a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, flew to an unbeatable time of 66.830 seconds to capture the victory by nearly two seconds.
Second place was captured by Riley Newsome with her own Dakar VDL in a time of 68.379 seconds. Newsome and the 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding also rode to the top of the leaderboard in last year’s competition with a third place finish.
Nicole Loochtan and her own 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Caiman Des Sequoias, were awarded third place for their clear effort in a time of 75.06 seconds.
Show jumping competition resumes Saturday morning in the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Spring Classic with the Low Junior 1.20m Jumper beginning at 8 a.m., and will highlight the $134,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3* starting at 5:30 p.m.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Andy Kocher – $5,000 1.45m Open Jumpers winner
“He’s just stepping up to this level. One of my owners, Eye Candy Jumpers, bought him last year in England and we’ve slowly been bringing him along through WEF and now here to Kentucky. I’m hoping he’s going to be a nice 1.50m horse or more. We’re just getting going and I would say this is his first big win. He has won some 1.40m classes, but this is his first 1.45m win so we’re excited about him.”
On the course:
“Jacqueline [Steffens] who works for me was first to go in the class and I was tied up so I wasn’t able to walk the course, but I came and watch her go. I didn’t really know the course or the strides, so I had Jackie explain and set jumps. She wanted to tell me the jump-off and I thought ‘oh, she can tell me later.’ I went clear so I ran over to the in-gate and she told me the jump-off then. He jumped really well and I got lucky and we won a class.”
On Kentucky Horse Shows:
“Previously I went to Old Salem, but I really prefer this facility. It rains hard each year, but it’s built for it – the rings drain and the footing is good. Last year I had a horse named Kahlua here who is probably my horse with the best results to date. She came here and she won two ranking classes, so I had great success with her and I think that;s why I like coming here. I also like coming here because we brought around 18 horses and there’s classes for everyone – we can jump from the 1.0m up to the grand prix, but the main thing I think is the facility.”
Alma Björklund – High Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper
On her round:
“From fence 5 to 6, I went inside the vertical and it was really tight but my horse is older and really experienced. He’s really honest, so I figured I would give it a shot and it worked out.”
On Loro Piana Ballyleck Royale:
“He is older and I’ve had him for 9 years. I’ve grown up with him and he’s taught me everything. He’s been so good for me for all these years. We keep thinking this will be his last season and he keeps bouncing back so it’s really incredible to have a horse like this and that I know so well.”
On Kentucky Horse Shows:
“This is actually my favorite show of the year. I love coming here, especially after spending the winter in Florida – it’s so nice to come here and relax. It’s so horse friendly and a really nice vibe.”
$5,000 1.45m Open Jumper
Place / Horse / Rider / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Darius De W / Andrew Kocher / 0 | 66.281 / 0 | 31.915
2. Dieta / Ryan Genn / 0 | 59.961 / 0 | 32.139
3. Joli Jumper / Hardin Towell / 0 | 65.845 / 0 | 34.737
4. Chaccomo 11 / Theo Genn / 0 | 66.286 / 0 | 41.874
5. Freaky Liefhebber / Jacqueline Steffens / 0 | 63.668 / 4 | 33.166
6. Chippendale’s Boy DZ / Sloane Coles / 0 | 65.586 / 4 | 34.398
7. Vragance Manciaise / Teddy Vlock / 0 | 62.202 / 4 | 36.004
8. Randon Pleasure / Fabio Costa / 4 | 60.038
9. E’special P.S. / Karl Cook / 4 | 61.831
10. Bull Run’s Prince Of Peace / Kristen Vanderveen / 4 | 62.281
11. Firewall / Theo Genn / 4 | 63.412
12. Imogen De Regor / Callan Solem / 4 | 63.553
High Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper
Place / Horse / Rider / Faults | Time
1. Loro Piana Ballyleck Royale / Alma Björklund / 0 | 66.830
2. Dakar VDL / Riley Newsome / 0 | 68.379
3. Caiman Des Sequoias / Nicole Loochtan / 0 | 75.016
4. Charrisa / Carolyn Anderson / 0 | 77.196
5. Arno VH Scheefkasteel Z / Jamie Walker / 0 | 77.846
6. Janoe Van Het Steentje / Carolyn Anderson / 0 | 78.695
7. Cantero Da Lagoa / Anna Beth Athey / 0 | 79.197
8. Echo D / Lily Gottwald / 0 | 79.558
9. Corneel / Virginia Bonnie / 0 | 82.506
10. Corlanda / Sophia Studd / 0 | 87.039
11. Merida 8 / Viggo Bjorklund / 4 | 4 66.846
12. Luron S Z / Riley Newsome / 4 | 71.654