|Emma Kurtz Takes Back-to-Back Equitation Wins with Clearway at Kentucky Spring Horse Show|
|Written by Taylor Renner|
|Saturday, 14 May 2016 12:52|
Emma Kurtz dominated the Stonelea Ring on Friday at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show with back-to-back equitation wins in the WIHS Equitation Hunter Phase and the ASPCA Maclay on Clearway, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker.
Kurtz and Clearway are coming off of a successful 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) season, after claiming numerous top placings in the equitation ring, but Kurtz has not shown the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding since the circuit ended in April.
"I'm very excited about today," said Kurtz. "He hasn't shown in probably a month and a half. It's been a long time since these horses have shown, so it's really nice to come out here and have them be perfect."
Kurtz piloted Clearway, who previously had a famously decorated equitation career with Tori Colvin, past 24 horse and rider combinations in the WIHS Equitation Hunter Phase and 22 in the ASPCA Maclay to take the two blue ribbons.
"It's big shoes to fill for sure, but he's an amazing horse and I love him," said Kurtz.
The pair impressed the judges in the ASPCA Maclay on Friday with a smooth and effortless round, navigating an in-and-out combination to a bending line as well as rollbacks and a brush fence.
"Since it was in a hunter ring, it was like a hunter-y kind of course but it was really nice," said Kurtz. "The bending was just a normal eight off the turn, and then just the two straight lines and the in-and-out. It wasn't too challenging so that was nice, especially coming off of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF)."
Out of the 22 original entries, 11 were called back to show on the flat.
Kurtz's equitation once again stood out as the judges challenged the riders to demonstrate a working canter, a half turn and reverse at the sitting trot, a lengthening of stride at the trot and a working walk.
Finishing in second in the ASPCA Maclay behind Kurtz was Emma Wujek and Isle of Wight, owned by Castlewood Farm, Inc. of Wellington, Florida.
"Today's course wasn't too technical," said Wujek. "This was like a nice hunter equitation course. My horse was awesome. He's a young one. We just got him this past WEF and he's come so far. He's gotten so much stronger. He's a great horse."
Rounding out the top three was Lauren Brown and Cashmann, owned by Angela Brown.
Sunday is "Derby Day" with the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby taking place.
EQSportsNet will stream live webcasts of the $130,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3* on Saturday as well as the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3* during the Kentucky Spring Classic on Saturday, May 21. EQSportsNet Full Access subscribers can also watch all rounds of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows series on demand at www.eqsports.net.