Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 15, 2019 – Young, developing horses were the focal point of the Rolex Stadium on Thursday during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show as pairs gained valuable show experience as well as chased qualifying points towards the Classic Champions, Inc. Developing Jumper Tour weekend championships. Many horse-and-rider partnerships were also using Thursday’s classes as one of their final opportunities in the show ring to prepare for the year-end championships in September. Proving to be the best of the day in the Classic Champions, Inc. Developing Jumper Tour 7-Year-Old Jumpers, Hardin Towell and Taboo Holding’s Angel Twist sped to victory to add a win to the horse’s growing record. In the 6-year-old section, Mattias Ekeroth and Haydee M led the pack, while David O’Brien and Octavius SCF topped the leaderboard for the 5-year-old class.
Setting the pace for the 7-year-old class, Geoffrey Hesslink and Brendan Williams’ Goodwill V/D Coefering were first in the start list for the Developing Jumper Tour 7-Year-Old Jumpers and served as the successful pathfinders with a clear trip over the immediate jump-off pattern in 39.547 seconds. The frontrunners’ time would stand for a few rounds until Conor O’Regan and Dynomite Ranch, LLC’S Mendini DR challenged the course, besting their counterparts with a fault-free effort in 38.572 seconds with more than half of the field left to ride. Putting in a valiant effort, Jill Gaffney navigated Freestyling Farm LLC’s Hachianda Musterd to an even faster jump-off trip in 36.977 seconds, but unfortunately felled the final fence to incur 4 faults and keep them out of contention for the top spot. One of the final exhibitors, Towell and Taboo Holdings’s Angel Twist ensured that the lead changed hands one last time with their foot-perfect ride in 36.382 seconds, claiming and maintaining the lead to emerge as the victors. O’Regan and Mendini DR finished in second place, followed by Hesslink and Goodwill V/D Coefering in third position.
Earlier in the morning, the Developing Jumper Tour 6-year-old class was won by Ekeroth and Haydee M, owned by Mattias Ekeroth LLC, as the fastest of three double-clear duos thanks to their time of 39.330 seconds. Andrew Welles piloted Itasca Group LLC’s Idol H&H to second place overall following a quick jump-off trip in 42.978 seconds, and Gaffney rode Freestyling Farm LLC’s Swift Action to a short course time of 47.410 seconds to capture the third spot on the podium.
The first class of the day in the Rolex Stadium brought 5-year-old entries to center stage, with six talented young horses turning in two clear performances. With the fastest time of 41.728 seconds in the jump-off, David O’Brien and Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Octavius SCF clinched the win, followed by Sarah Sturges and Sarah Sturges LLC’s Bradley just off the pace in 42.429 seconds to earn second position in the ranking. The next-fastest of the fault-free finishers, Victoria Colvin and Victoria Colvin LLC’s Emilion Manciais rounded out the top three places in 42.430 seconds.
Classic Champions, Inc. brings European principles to course design for young jumpers and helps developing horses to meet their potential by offering competitive opportunities that are both sporting and educational. With age-group classes specific to 5, 6 and 7-year-old horses, the Classic Champions Developing Jumper tour features adapted heights, type of fences, lines and turns in its courses, in addition to experienced, specifically-trained course designers for young horses at high-quality show venues. The tour culminates with the finale event, which will feature young jumper championship classes during the Kentucky National Horse Show, which will be held Sept. 18-22.
Show jumping will continue at the Kentucky Horse Park throughout Sunday, with the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic serving as Friday’s highlight event, while Sunday will feature the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Hardin Towell – Developing Jumper Tour 7-Year-Old Jumper winner
On Angel Twist:
“Angel Twist is a 7-year-old stallion. Elissa Reisman owns him and rides him. I’ve been riding him for about a year, starting as a 6-year-old in Florida. They bought him from Peter Leone. He is by the clone of Gem Twist. He’s a really cool horse that has been great for Elissa. I ride him whenever I can be at the same shows as [her team] to help him get more experience. He’s a really cool horse. He’ll continue to do the 8-year-old’s in Florida during season and the plan is for him to be a high amateur horse. He is coming along quite well and they’re nice enough to let me ride him. He’s very simple. I haven’t ridden him in a few months and he is just the same.”
On the Classic Champions, Inc. Developing Jumper Tour:
“I think it’s really nice to be able to develop these young horses here in America. We buy all of them over in Europe and develop them there, so it’s nice we’re starting to develop them here, too. It’s starting to grow. Darragh [Kenny] and I are starting to breed ourselves a little bit but it’s nice to have classes like these in the states. These classes make it a little more affordable for people to show their young horses.”
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
Developing Jumper Tour 7-Year-Old Jumpers
1. Angel Twist / Hardin Towell / Taboo Holdings / 0 | 71.044 / 0 | 36.382
2. Mendini Dr / Conor O’Regan / Dynomite Ranch, LLC / 0 | 71.536 / 0 | 38.572
3. Goodwill V/D Coefering / Geoffrey Hesslink / Brendan Williams / 0 | 71.185 / 0 |39.547
4. Hachianda Musterd / Jill Gaffney / Freestyling Farms LLC / 0 | 75.290 / 4 | 36.977
5. El Porvenir Wanama / Patricio Rodriguez / Patricio Rodriguez / 0 | 72.318 / 8 / 41.425
6. VDL Heros / Alexa Lowe / Windsor Farm Sales / 4 | 69.510
7. Flex Star / Gabriel Matos Machado / Gabriel Matos Machado / 4 | 70.429
8. Carnac De La Pomme / Mattias Ekeroth / Mattias Ekeroth LLC / 4 | 73.375
For more information on the Classic Champions, Inc. Developing Jumper Tour, please click here.
For more information on the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, please click here.