Lexington, KY – May 9, 2013 – The first week of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows continued today with the awarding of the professional hunter division championships. The Kentucky Spring Horse Show runs May 8-12, 2013 and attracts elite hunter riders and horses from across the country. Among them are Hayley Barnhill and Puppet, owned by John and Stephanie Ingram LLC of Nashville, TN. The pair earned the Second Year Green Hunter division championship today, joining Kelley Farmer, Havens Schatt, Scott Stewart and Hunt Tosh on the list of the day’s tricolor award winners.
Barnhill and Puppet soared over the fences in the Stonelea Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park to finish with the blue ribbon over the first Second Year Green Hunter Course and second over the handy course, clinching their position as the leaders of the division.
“Puppet’s a really special horse. He’s one of the most scopey and powerful horses. He’s got a huge stride. You can go really slow, and he jumps so huge. He’s really talented,” Barnhill shared following her rounds. “I thought he was great today. He went probably the best he’s gone this year. The handy rounds are still a little difficult for him because he’s so big, but we were really proud of him today.”
Hayley Barnhill and Puppet
Barnhill has been a regular at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows for the past seven years since riding as a junior and the Tennessee native always enjoys returning to the Bluegrass State for the series.
“It’s one of my favorite horse shows. It’s a beautiful facility; the horses love it, and the footing’s great,” Barnhill remarked.
Finishing in reserve in the Second Year Green Hunter division were Hunt Tosh and Imagine, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wheeler of Keswick, VA. Imagine is a relatively new mount for Tosh, having just been purchased by the Wheeler’s in the past few months, but the two have seen continued success thus far, including finishing first in today’s handy class.
In the High Performance Hunter division it was Scott Stewart and Dedication, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker of Middleburg, VA, who secured the division’s highest award, with Kelley Farmer and Taken, owned by Jessica Stitt of Elburn, IL, finishing in the reserve position.
With second and third place finishes over yesterday’s courses, Stewart and Dedication rose to the occasion today to finish first over both of the High Performance Hunter courses.
“He hasn’t shown since week six of the Winter Equestrian Festival, so yesterday I was out of the groove a little bit, and today he felt like he was back to his winning form. He was great,” Stewart shared.
Like Barnhill, Stewart has often made the Kentucky Spring Shows a destination on his horse show schedule, this year making the trip to the Kentucky Horse Park en route to home in New Jersey from the farm’s winter base in Florida.
“You can’t beat the stabling and the footing, and the jump’s are beautiful. The management does a great job,” Stewart commented.
Both Stewart’s and Farmer’s names were heard frequently throughout the day’s awards presentations as Stewart was again back at the top of the list with Beholden, owned by Fashion Farm of New York, NY. The pair claimed the championship in the Regular Conformation Hunters, while Farmer finished in reserve in the division with Skorekeeper, owned by Larry Glefke and Quail Run Partnership of Keswick, VA.
The two switched roles in the Green Conformation Hunters where Farmer topped the field with Quotable, owned by Kenneth and Selma Garber and Larry Glefke of Keswick, VA, and Stewart finished in reserve with Concept, owned by Alexa and Krista Weisman of Sherborn, MA. Throughout the winter, Quotable had been extremely successful in the Green Conformation Hunter division with Holly Orlando and proved to continue to be so with Farmer at the reins, earning first over both of today’s Skip Bailey designed courses.
Farmer secured another division championship this morning with Mythical, owned Kenneth and Selma Garber and Larry Glefke of Keswick, VA, finishing above Havens Schatt and Sans Souci, owned by CH Farm LLC of Delano, MN, in the First Year Green Hunter division.
Tomorrow, the Stonelea Ring will feature the Amateur Owner Hunters, as well as the equitation divisions. This week’s hunter highlights include the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Saturday evening, as well as the first $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby. The $50,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series features seven events that culminate with the $15,000 Leading Hunter Rider Awards.
For more information about the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
Photo Credit: Hayley Barnhill and Puppet soared to the Second Year Green Hunter division championship today at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Photo by Emily Riden. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.