|Mavis Spencer Claims Win in 1.40m Open Jumpers at Kentucky Summer Classic|
|Written by Lauren Baker|
|Thursday, 04 August 2016 13:05|
After winning the 1.40m Open Jumpers during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show with Disco Lady, Mavis Spencer returned on Wednesday with her own Cornetiero to best a field of 27, again winning the 1.40m Open Jumpers during the Kentucky Summer Classic.
After Sharn Wordley and Caiman De Sequoias, who he owns with the Sky Group, set the time to beat at 35.558 seconds in the jump-off, it seemed their lead would not be overtaken, until Spencer entered the ring with Cornetiero.
Spencer put in a clear first round and advanced to the jump-off, where she opened her horse’s stride and stopped the clock in 33.801 seconds – two seconds faster then Wordley – to take over the top spot.
“Today Cornetiero was super,” Spencer said. “I didn’t get to see anyone go because we were busy changing bits. I know Sharn is a very fast rider, so my plan was to play to my horse’s strengths. We don’t turn very well, but he’s so quick across the ground, so I used that make up time.”
After Spencer got the ride on Cornetiero during the 2014-2015 Winter Equestrian Festival, the duo went on to jump clear rounds at top European venues during the following summer. After Cornetiero spent the past year in England, the owners recently gave him to Spencer.
“I just got him back two weeks ago,” Spencer explained. “He kind of likes to do things his own way, so we were still kind of getting back into the feel of things last week. Today I was really happy with him. He’s got a world of experience, and he’s very scopey, so I’m very glad to have him back.”
One final challenger, Pablo Barrios, entered the ring with his own Stackfleth. The duo also won a 1.40m Open Jumper Class during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, but today Barrios would settle for second after narrowly missing Spencer’s leading time by one-tenth of a second. Wordley and Caiman De Sequoias finished in third.
Following next, the 1.35m Open Jumpers took the stage in the Rolex Arena. The speed class saw 23 starters, and each round became progressively quicker until Rebecca Conway and Ark Partners LLC’s Farina stole the lead and held it. Keely McIntosh, who set the early pace to beat aboard Jenny Booth’s So Live Helau, finished in second.
“Farina is a really special horse; I really love her,” Conway said. “She’s very sensitive and careful, and she really anticipates where you’re going. She lands and she’s already turning, so you have to almost think about going straight, because otherwise she turns so quickly. When the jumps come up smoothly, she’s just such a fast horse, and it worked out for us today.”
Conway said she has the ride on the mare for the summer while her owners are in Europe, and this show marks the last week the two will spend together.
“It’s going to be sad not having her around the barn,” Conway expressed. “She’s really an awesome horse. She’s a hard worker and always tries in the ring. You can always depend on her for a good result.”
Conway, who spends the summer in Lexington, concluded by praising the Kentucky Horse Park and surrounding areas.
“It’s great for the horses to be able to jump on nice footing in big rings. It’s also nice for them to be able to go out on the cross country fields on their days off. Everyone here is also very helpful; I love the ladies in the show office. It’s just a nice atmosphere, and for me it’s like a second home.”
The Kentucky Summer Classic will continue on Thursday with the highlight $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic. Other feature events include the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix presented by GGT Footing and the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby.