Super Chilled Keeps His Cool to Claim First Grand Prix Win in $35,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix With Kevin Babington

Kevin Babington accepts his award for the $35,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix presented by AUDI of Lexington aboard Shorapur
Kevin Babington accepts his award for the $35,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix presented by AUDI of Lexington aboard Shorapur

Lexington, Ky. – May 13, 2018 – The final day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show highlighted national jumper competition in the Rolex Stadium with the $35,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, presented by AUDI of Lexington, and the $20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Hollow Creek, to conclude the first week of competition in the spring series. Sunday’s featured victories were awarded to Kevin Babington (IRL) and Eugenio Garza (MEX) in their respective classes.

Keving Babington and Super Chilled
Kevin Babington and Super Chilled

In the $35,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, the first round saw 32 starters over Robert Murphy III’s 17-effort course, resulting in a 10 horse jump-off. With two mounts in the class, Babington increased his odds when he piloted both Super Chilled and Shorapur to clear rounds and into the jump-off. Babington and the first of his two rides, Debra Wycoff’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse, Super Chilled, scored a double-clear round in a time of 38.761 seconds to capture the gelding’s first grand prix win. An unfortunate rail with Shorapur LLC’s Hanoverian mare ended with the pair in seventh place.

Ramiro Quintana and Corento VH Dingenshof
Ramiro Quintana and Corento VH Dingenshof

Ramiro Quintana (ARG) rode Corento VH Dingenshof, the 9-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Smith Hogan LLC, to a double-clear finish in 40.217 seconds for the second place ribbon. Third place was awarded to Alex Granato (USA) aboard Moyer Farm LLC’s Beorn. Granato and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding finished just behind Quintana with a time of 40.449 seconds.

Alex Granato and Beorn
Alex Granato and Beorn

Prior to the National Grand Prix, 25 riders challenged a very difficult 1.50m track in the $20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Hollow Creek. Many of the athletes found trouble at the final combination, consisting of a triple combination to a liverpool oxer, and only the final two riders of the class cleared all 17 efforts fault-free with room to spare under the altered 88 second time-allowed.

Eugenio Garza and Bariano
Eugenio Garza and Bariano

The head-to-head jump-off saw Sloan Hopson and her own Costa Rica VH Waterschoot Z put the pressure on as they flew to a clear second round in a time of 46.081 seconds. Eugenio Garza followed as the final rider in both the first and second rounds, knowing he had nothing to lose with longtime partner Bariano. Garza and the 17-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, owned by El Milagro, flew to the finish in 41.127 seconds to earn the victory. Garza concluded a successful first week at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, hot off his third place finish in Saturday night’s $131,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3* with Armani SL Z. Hopson and her 10-year-old Zangersheide mare settled for the second place finish.

Eugenio Garza and Bariano

Lacey Gilbertson and Teddy Vlock ended the first round with just one time fault, but as the faster of the two, only 10 milliseconds over the time-allowed, Gilbertson earned the third place ribbon, finishing in 88.018 seconds with Seabrook LLC’s Cobolt. Vlock received the fourth place prize.

Darragh Kenny also concluded a successful week, capturing the Leading Open Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Envisian Products, with a total of 28 points based on wins in Thursday’s $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* and Saturday’s $131,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3*.

The Kentucky Spring Horse Show series will continue with the Kentucky Spring Classic, held May 16–20, and will also feature a FEI CSI3* rating. The $35,000 Welcome Speed will be held on Wednesday, followed by the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on Thursday, as riders try to accumulate valuable points for the Hagyard Leading Rider Bonus. On Saturday, May 19, riders will compete under the lights in the Rolex Stadium during the $131,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix. Once again all three FEI classes will count for the Longines Ranking List and the Thursday and Saturday classes will also count for the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List. In addition, the featured national classes will be the $35,000 Bluegrass Grand Prix, which counts towards the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List, and the $20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix to be held on Sunday, May 20, in the Rolex Stadium.

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE

Kevin Babington – $35,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix winner

On his plan:
“The first round walked as a nice course – tricky enough for a national level Grand Prix, but a nice course. The only difference in my plan from what I walked was that I did, and almost everyone did, six [strides] to the last fence instead of seven. Everything else walked just like it rode. [Super Chilled] has a huge stride, so it was a little easier to get down the lines on him [versus Shorapur]. In the jump-off, I wanted to make sure I saw Todd [Minikus] go and Todd did seven to the last [fence] – it walked a long eight [strides]. He had it down, but it looked like he could’ve jumped it. I was still planning on the eight when I went in and then the second to last fence I found a flyer at it and I thought let’s just stay on it and it worked out.”

On Super Chilled:
“He’s 10 years old now and I’ve had him since he was 6. I own him with Debra and Kirk Wycoff and we’ve brought him along. This is his first grand prix win so I’m excited about that. He was second [place] I think twice already and I have really high hopes for him. He has a little break now and then Devon will be his next show.”

On Kentucky Spring Horse Shows:
“I live in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania and we’re two and a half hours from Old Salem and I drove 11 hours to jump in Kentucky because I just love it. The footing is great here. What I really enjoy, especially if you come for the two weeks, is the hacking and taking the horses out in the fields. There’s so many places to ride. It doesn’t matter if it rains or it’s dry, the footing is always perfect. At this time of year there’s a good chance you’re going to get rain so it’s good to go to a place where the footing is great. The horses seem very happy here. My horses that weren’t showing today I worked them out on the hills this morning – it’s just so refreshing for them.”

Eugenio Garza – $20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix winner

On his plan:
“I think when we walked [the course] everyone knew it was tough – it was big. I think this is the biggest U25 courses we have jumped all year including Florida, but we got to go last. I got to see all of the lines, but it didn’t change the fact that it was a very hard course. We just executed what my trainers told me to do and the horse really tried – he’s an amazing horse. Again luckily we were to go [in the jump-off] so I saw what Sloan [Hopson] did and she really put the pressure on when she went clean and she was fast. She went very tight from to fence 3 to 4 so I knew I couldn’t just lope around and I had to go for it. [Bariano]’s a very fast horse and he really helped me out there. He really didn’t miss a step today, he was really good.”

On Bariano:
“He really tried out there for me and I was really happy with him. He’s my long-time partner. He’s 17 [years old] this year and he’s jumping great. Every time he comes to Kentucky he seems to do well. He loves it here and we always say that this might be his last season, but he keeps on doing well. As long as he’s happy doing his job and as long as he continues to do it, I’ll be grateful to have him for as long as possible.”

On Kentucky Spring Horse Shows:
“Kentucky treats us well. I love being in Kentucky. The show is amazing. I think most importantly the horses absolutely love it here. Coming from Wellington [Florida] which is home base for us, but near the end of April it starts to get a bit humid and a bit hot, so coming here is like a breath of fresh air. They love it here. You have the cross-country field to go out in. It’s just a lovely show to be at and it really sets up the horses great for the summer.”

RESULTS

$35,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Super Chilled / Kevin Babington / IRL / 0 | 80.922 / 0 | 38.761
2. Corento VH Dingenshof / Ramiro Quintana / ARG / 0 | 80.703 / 0 | 40.217
3. Beorn / Alex Granato / USA / 0 | 81.377 / 0 | 40.449
4. Caillou 24 / Karl Cook / USA / 0 | 80.422 / 0 | 41.168
5. Button Sitte / Richie Moloney / IRL / 0 | 80.646 / 0 | 50.333
6. Amex Z / Todd Minikus / USA / 0 | 77.644 / 4 | 36.880
7. Shorapur / Kevin Babington / IRL / 0 | 79.167 / 4 | 40.067
8. Quintender LS / Carlos Myrrha / BRA / 0 | 79.942 / 4 | 41.925
9. Pappa Ante Portas 2 / Eugenio Garza / MEX / 0 | 81.852 / 4 | 47.782
10. Venus / Hector Florentino / DOM / 0 | 77.785 / 8 | 42.387
11. Corona 93 / Jack Hardin Towell / USA / 1 | 82.372
12. Fedor / Scott Keach / AUS / 4 | 77.542

$20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Hollow Creek
Place / Horse / Rider / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Bariano / Eugenio Garza / 0 | 84.533 / 0 | 41.127
2. Costa Rica Vh Waterschoot Z / Sloan Hopson / 0 | 86.752 / 0 | 46.081
3. Cobolt / Lacey Gilbertson / 1 | 88.018
4. Gasper Van Den Doorn / Teddy Vlock / 1 | 88.697
5. Elizabeth / Kaely Tomeu / 4 | 81.620
6. Cassius 74 / Stephen Foran / 4 | 83.238
7. Jersey V.D. Hunters / Nicole Bellissimo / 4 | 84.405
8. Pippi / Emma Kurtz / 4 | 84.481
9. Espatako’s Electra R / Savannah Talcott / 4 | 85.013
10. Cantero Da Lagoa / Anna Beth Athey / 4 | 85.059
11. Carjo Z / Marion Head / 5 | 88.842
12. Westbrook / Kerry Mc Cahill / 8 | 83.723

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