|Victoria Press Triumphs in Junior Hunter 16-17 Divisions|
|Written by Annan Hepner|
|Friday, 05 August 2016 11:30|
Victoria Press’s rides impressed the judges in the Stonelea Ring on Thursday at the Kentucky Summer Classic Horse Show. She had wins on Eclypse in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division, as well as earning blue ribbons in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division on Café Noir.
Press and Holly Orlando’s 8-year-old mare Eclypse kicked off the morning with solid rounds in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division and the pair earned two blue ribbons in the over fences classes.
“It was an amazing feeling; she’s incredibly fun,” Press said. “I knew I was getting on a really special horse, so I trusted that she would figure out the jumps herself. I had fun with her.
“She has a huge stride and her jump is so nice it feels like you spend five seconds in the air every time,” Press continued. “I thought the courses rode nicely and I am still working on making sure the pace is even the entire time. “
Press, 18, of New York City, New York, has had recent success in the equitation and jumper ring, including clear rounds in various grand prix events. Though she is currently showing more jumpers, she is enjoying her last year as a junior by catch riding several hunters. Thursday morning was the first time she had ridden Eclipse before going in to win the over fences classes.
“It’s an incredible opportunity and I am so thankful for every ride that I get,” Press explained. “I have not had my own hunter in a few years, so it’s nice to still be able to get into the hunter ring. I’ve been focusing on the jumpers recently, but I love coming to the hunter ring with a lot of nice people who support me.”
After the first junior division of the day, Press mounted her second horse of the day, Lily Gottwald’s Café Noir for the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division. The duo won one of the over fences rounds and placed sixth in the other over fences class.
“I thought he was excellent today,” Press said. “I thought my ride improved immensely from the first round to the second round. He is small, but he has a huge stride and is incredibly scopey. He’s another horse who can find the jumps and it works really well.”
Press was more familiar with the ride on the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding since she competed him once last year in Kentucky. She explained that she competes in Kentucky every year “because she loves the show’s nice relaxed atmosphere.”
For the under saddle class, Press had to dash to compete in the jumper ring so Adam Edgar of Leesburg, Virginia hopped aboard Café Noir.
“He hacked super well!” Edgar said. “He has a nice floating trot and he is beautiful. I walked into the arena and I felt like a winner on him. He was great!”
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.
Emma Kurtz found success in the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under division by winning one over fences class with David Gochman’s Dominik and won the second over fences class with Rose Hill Farm’s William Hill.
In the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division Emma Kurtz won an over fences class with Dr. Betsee Park’s Dedication, and Sloan Hopson won the second over fences class with her own Coachella.
Feature events of the Kentucky Summer Classic Horse Show include the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix presented by GGT Footing and the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby.