Lexington, KY – Aug. 18, 2021 – Young jumper competition kicked off the first day of the jumper competition in the Rolex Arena at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show on Wednesday. The 5-year-old, 6-year-old, and 7-year-old jumper classes took place back-to-back showcasing the top prospective show horses to compete for the blue ribbons and valuable experience. The first-place finishers were David O’Brien and Qualito SCF in the 5-year-olds, Kelly Arani and Procyon SCF in the 6-year-olds, and Sarah Sturges with Bradley in the 7-year-old class.
Peter Grant’s (CAN) Table II, Section 2(d) courses boasted 7-8 obstacles with sweeping turns and rollbacks appropriate for each group’s age, but with sufficient challenges for the athletes, affording growth opportunities horse and rider pairs.
Qualito SCF, Spycoast Farm’s Belgian Warmblood gelding, took the win in the 5-year-old Jumpers with David O’Brien aboard. The pair navigated Grant’s track with relative ease, having had plenty of practice throughout the season in the 5-year-old classes, including numerous first-place finishes at the Tryon International Equestrian Center. Despite Wednesday morning being the gelding’s first time in the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park, O’Brien rode him to a clear 33.543-second finish for the win.
In the 6-year-old class, Kelly Arani piloted Procyon SCF to the only clear round to be seen throughout the lineup. Another Spycoast Farm-bred gelding, Procyon SCJ, completed the round in 35.554 seconds. Though their partnership is new, Arani has high hopes for the development of Procyon SCF in the young horse classes throughout the season.
Sarah Sturges’ homebred Warmblood gelding, Bradley, showcased his skill set in the 7-year-old class. The pair bested the field towards the end of the class, with the fastest first round and an equally swift second round. The gelding jumped clean and efficiently under Sturges’ guidance, tripping the timers in 27.065 seconds. Sturges has earned high placings with Bradley throughout the year, finding success in the 7-year-old classes and 1.20m jumpers.
Competitors will have the chance to continue developing their mounts on Thursday morning when the young horse jumper classes return to the Rolex Stadium alongside the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumpers. . Along with top jumper competition, the Bluegrass Festival will feature the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship in the Walnut Ring.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
David O’Brien – Winner of the Five-Year-Old Young Jumpers
On Qualito SCF:
“Qualito SCF was bred next door at Spy Coast and has been jumping consistently all year in the 5-year-olds. This was his first time in this ring. He was a little bit green, but he’s such a big character and always wants to get to the jumps. He has a great personality.”
On showing at the Kentucky Horse Park:
“For these young horses, to get to compete in the Rolex Stadium here is so important. You don’t get that exposure anywhere else. It really helps their development.”
Kelly Arani – Winner of the Six-Year-Old Young Jumpers
On Procyon SCF:
“We got him after the Florida season. He’s Spy Coast Farm bred, so this (Kentucky) is his home. I took over the ride this summer after Shane Sweetnam started him. He’s so cool! You feel like you’re on a big lion! He has so much scope, and so much jump. He’s been coming along so well.”
On showing at the Kentucky Horse Park:
“We’re here all summer. It’s amazing to be able to stay here, since this is home for us. These young horse classes are awesome, because we can be a little competitive without racing around. It’s really good for their development. The horses love it here, and so do we.”
Sarah Sturges – Winner of the Seven-Year-Old Young Jumpers
“Bradley is actually homebred. We bred him eight years ago, so it has been really fun having him and bringing him along. He is awesome and steps up at every new level. He always rises to the occasion.”
On the course:
“I thought that the track this morning was good. It was a little tricky right in the beginning for some of them but he was Champion here right before Pony Finals, so he is warmed up and ready to go and stepped right around.”
On showing at the Bluegrass Festival:
“I love it here. This is one of the best horse shows, especially if you like to watch top hunters. I come here all summer long and it is super competitive and fun. It brings all of the best people together.”
Bradley / Sarah Sturges / Sarah Sturges LLC / 0 / 47.743 | 0 / 27.065
VDL Jesmond / Evan Coluccio / Hampton Green Farms LC / 0 / 52.045 | 0 / 27.714
Cavalier / Jonathon Millar / Jennifer Morton / 0 / 50.676 | 0 / 30.049
MHS Czarina / Christine Carlsen / Valhalla Equestrian / 0 / 49.638 | 0 / 32.126
Estrellada HDC / Theo Genn / Bridlebourne Stables LLC / 0 / 49.348 | 0 / 32. 539
Justice / Colin Syquia / Sandra O’Donnell / 0 / 50.745 | 4 / 33.161
I Am Du Bosquetiau / Nicole Loochtan / Nicole Loochtan / 0 / 51.949 | 6 / 38.302
Olympic Van De Meyhoeve / Filip de Wandel / 0 / 52.483 | 6 / 38.612
Calesta / Sloane Coles / Candesco LLC / 4 / 49.086
Emerald City / Kady Abrahamson / Abrahamson Equestrian LLC / 4 / 50.433
Procyon SCF / Kelly Arani / Marigot Bay Farm, LLC / 0 / 48.405 | 0 / 35.554
Polaris SCF / David O’Brien / Spy Coast Farm, LLC / 4 / 46.717
Caaligular / Grace Long / G & T Equestrian / 24 / 58.043
Qualito SCF / David O’Brieni / Spy Coast Farm, LLC/ 0 / 45.573 | 0 / 33.543
Quintana SCF / David O’Brien / Spy Coast Farm, LLC / 0 / 46.679| 0 / 35.443
Quickly DW / Filip de Wandel / Five Way Farm, LLC / 4 / 50.787