|Sweetnam Wins Second Saturday Grand Prix in the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix|
|Written by Lauren Baker|
|Sunday, 07 August 2016 11:36|
After winning the $50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix last Saturday, Shane Sweetnam and the Blue Buckle Group LLC’s Cobolt returned one week later to pick up another victory under the lights, this time in the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix, sponsored by GGT Footings.
Forty-seven horse-and-rider combinations attempted Marina Azevedo’s first-round track, with only four eventually advancing to the short course.
Mirroring Thursday’s grand prix, Sweetnam and Cobolt were again the first to go clear, and subsequently the first to return for the jump-off. Their jump-off time of 39.991 seconds would stand for the lead as the remaining three challengers fell short of taking over the top spot.
“Cobolt was brilliant,” Sweetnam said. “It was a difficult course; the designer did a really great job, as she did all week. For the jump-off I knew I had to go quick. The other day I went very quick, but I did get caught. I thought if I did a special turn from fence two to three that I could be the winner of the class. He did that no problem, but we landed and we slipped, which cost a few seconds to get organized. We still could have been beat, but the way it went, my lead stood.”
Sweetnam said he got the ride on Cobolt in January, and said he has been very happy with the horse’s progress. The pair has most recently finished in the top three during all four grand prixs during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show series.
“This summer Cobolt has been getting better and better,” Sweetnam said. “He is very competitive. He really loves his job, but he still has things to learn. We will see what he does when we go to the Hamptons and indoors, but he is really making a lot of progress.”
Finishing in both second and third place was Mavis Spencer on her own Cornetiero and Neil Jones Equestrian Inc.’s Disco Lady, respectively. Spencer returned with Disco Lady first, and an unfortunate refusal and rail down would leave the duo on an 8-fault finish in a time of 61.587 seconds.
“Disco Lady is only 8 years old,” Spencer said. “She jumped Thursday and that was her second night class, and this is her third one, so I’m really happy with her. On Thursday, we had a skinny down. There was a shadow that she looked down at, and I think she got a bit green, to be honest. She is so smart and she never makes the same mistake twice, so in the first round she just knew exactly where the poles were at and she jumped incredibly.”
With Cornetiero, Spencer outpaced Sweetnam with her time of 39.161 seconds, but an unlucky rail dropped at the penultimate fence to earn the duo the second-place spot.
“They are very different types of horses,” Spencer said. “Cornetiero has all the scope, and he’s super brave. He’s a little bit scrappy; he gets the job done. I only started riding Disco last week, and this was my fifth class with her. I rode Coronet last summer until the fall, and this was also my 5th class with him. He is my go-to horse at this level. But, overall, I was really happy with them both.”
Spencer said that just a few hours before the grand prix, a Facebook Timeline Memory reminded her that two years ago she was in Poland grooming for Neil Jones’ horses at a 3* event.
“To see the difference from two years ago to now is incredible,” Spencer said. “Just the fact that I rode three horses in this class is incredible for me. To be second and third, I would never have imagined that this afternoon. It’s an amazing feeling, and I really have a lot to thank Neil Jones for; it is a super support system to have for me.”
The final pair to compete in the jump-off, Juan Andres Rodriguez and his own Bugatti, collected a total of 4 faults and a time of 55.45 seconds to finish in fourth place.
Picking up only 1 time fault in the first round, Max Amaya and Meridian Partners LLC’s Bueno took home the fifth-place ribbon, while the fastest of the 4-fault rounds, Celso Ariani and Ricardo Romero’s Reus De La Nutria rounded out the top six.
The Kentucky Summer Classic will wrap up on Sunday to make way for the 2016 United States Pony Finals. The Kentucky Summer Horse Show Series will resume on August 16 with the start of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, which will feature both the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship and the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship. Other highlight events include the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby, the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington.
1. Cobolt/Shane Sweetname/IRL/83.248/0/39.991/0
|Last Updated on Sunday, 07 August 2016 11:39|