Lexington, Ky. – May 26, 2018 – Hayley Barnhill and Donald Cheska’s Gregory ES were the winners of the $10,000 ANIMO Youngster Bowl at the Lexington International CSI 2* 2018, part of the Split Rock Jumping Tour.
Barnhill piloted the 7-year-old KWPN gelding by Echo Van T Spieveld and out of Wende around the course, designed by Oscar Sorberon, to victory turning in two clear rounds and a jump off time of 37.716 seconds.
“I really thought I would be second,” said Barnhill after the class. “I watched the first horse go in the jump off and he was a more experienced horse, he won a U25 class last week, and they were very fast so I thought I would do what was best for my horse and hopefully be second. So I was really excited with outcome.
“My horse has got a great jump and he is fast, but he is also very playful. He will land and kind of mess around a little bit and that will slow us down. He is starting to grow up and really look for the jumps and I think that shows he is really maturing. For a lot of us we have to buy our horses young and develop them ourselves. Classes geared towards the young horses at a venue like this allow them to learn without the pressure of competing directly with the big guys.”
Victoria Karam and Sacatina won the $1,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Power and Speed class and gave the crowd an excellent fist pump, a Split Rock Jumping Tour signature move.
The $5,000 EquiThrive 1.30m Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Final went to Alexandra Welles and her mount XM in decisive fashion. The pair navigated a track that let them save time and distance over the jump off course. Passing through the timers, the clock showed them 5 seconds ahead of the nearest competitor.
“He is really fast and as long as I can stay out of his way he usually gets the job done,” said Welles. “I am very lucky to have him. He was my husband’s grand prix horse and the best hand-me-down I could have ever asked for. He is 16 now but he loves what he does. As long as he is jumping he is really happy. EquiThrive was a fitting prize to win for my senior horse. I look forward to giving it to him.”