|Wujek and Masters Claim Victories in 1.40m High Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumpers|
|Written by Lauren Baker|
|Saturday, 06 August 2016 12:46|
Before heading to work at CMW Architects in downtown Lexington, Douglas Masters hopped on Chris Richard’s Uno Z to ride to the win in the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers on Friday. In the High Junior Jumper division, which ran simultaneously, it was Emma Wujek and her own Ugaf who rode to victory.
In the speed class, Masters and Uno Z delivered one of only three clear rounds, stopping the clock in just 57.945 seconds to claim the top spot.
“I got Uno Z last year, and we’ve been working our way up,” Masters explained. “He is a very unorthodox horse. He goes in his way, and I put my own style into him. When I first saw him in Holland, I originally was not interested in him at all. After we jumped some really big jumps, I just had a huge smile on my face; it couldn’t be any better. He’s just a very talented horse, and it’s a privilege for me to be able to ride him.”
Masters said that balancing his professional career and amateur status as a rider has presented many challenges, but he is finally hitting his stride and finding a balance between both of his passions.
“I literally came right from work and walked the course and jumped around,” Masters said. “The schedule is crazy, but this isn’t anything new for me. I just moved him down here from my mom’s barn in Ohio, so I’ve finally been able to ride every day. We’re starting to get in our groove, and it’s a blessing that I have a job that will support me.”
Coming in second to Masters was Anne Gardner and her own After Eight, who clocked in a time of 61.493 seconds. The third and final clear came from David Oberkircher and Southfields Farm LLC’s Castelino Van De Helle, whose time of 67.28 seconds would earn them third place.
On the High Junior Jumper card, which also saw three clear efforts, Wujek and Ugaf’s clear round of 59.017 seconds proved to be unbeatable by the other challengers.
“My plan worked out today,” Wujek said. “I left out strides because Ugaf has the biggest stride in the world, and I also turned inside the timers to save time. It’s nice because he’s so balanced, I can really get up through those turns. It was amazing to win this class today; it’s a good feeling.”
Wujek, who trains with Tim and Kelly Goguen, said she purchased the stallion as her first Junior Jumper halfway through the Winter Equestrian Festival in 2015.
“Ugaf is awesome,” Wujek said. “He was my first Junior Jumper, and he is the best horse to learn on. He puts up with me so well. He takes a lot of leg, but you have to let him flow. He thrives with a challenge.”
Boggs Hill Farm is based just around the corner, giving Wujek the opportunity to enjoy Kentucky year-round, and she loves showing at the Kentucky Horse Show.
“I love the show grounds,” Wujek said. “The upkeep is awesome, and it’s really nice having a farm just down the road.”
Finishing in second place on the junior card was Claire McKean, who piloted Eregast Van't Kiezelhof across the finish line in 62.64 seconds. Third place went home with Mary Elizabeth Cordia, who clocked a time of 65.338 seconds in the irons on Chelsie.
The 1.40m Open Jumpers kicked off Friday’s action in the Rolex Arena, and it was Sydney Shulman and the BCF Group’s Wamira who rode away with the blue ribbon. Finishing in second was Victor Amaya and Kristin Hull’s Arko, while third went to Alejandro Karolyi and Karolyi Showjumping Inc.’s Isibelle.
The Kentucky Summer Classic will continue on Saturday with the highlight $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix, presented by GGT Footing and the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby.