Thursday evening at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show welcomed the fourteenth season opener of the seven-part Hagyard Challenge series with the $36,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*. The class hosted a substantial starting list of 94 horse-and-rider combinations, all attempting to walk away with the top honors. At the end of a competitive class, Brian Moggre and Major Wager LLC’s MTM Vivre Le Reve captured the victory after an extremely competitive jump-off against some of the world’s top ranked athletes.
The course, designed by Anderson Lima (BRA), challenged athletes to 16 efforts in the first round of competition. With a time-allowed of 78 seconds, athletes were asked to guide their mounts around a number of obstacles, including three double combinations and a triple bar featured at the end of the course. The time-allowed proved to be tight for some competitors, with 42 percent of the night’s competitors incurring time faults.
First to go in the class, Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and Gochman Sport Horses LLC’s Cornwall BH were the pathfinders with a clean and clear round, and 17 competitors throughout the course of the evening followed suit. Top-ranked athletes from around the world qualified for the jump-off, including Darragh Kenny (IRL), Scott Keach (AUS), and Shane Sweetnam (IRL). During the second round of competition, where speed played a role in addition to leaving all of the fences up, 15 horse-and-rider combinations elected to return to vie for top honors.
The first clear jump-off round was produced once again by Derbyshire, however her time wouldn’t be fast enough to hold up. Directly following her round, Alison Robitaille and Bertram and Diana Firestone’s Ace would shave six seconds off the leading pair’s time, ending on 41.180 seconds. Athletes continued to push the limits of the course, producing faster rounds with each trip. Andy Kocker (USA) and Kenny each took their turns at the top of the leaderboard, with subsequent athletes also overtaking the lead.
Sixth to go in the jump-off was Andrew Ramsay (USA) and Stranger 30, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding. The pair put in a speedy jump-off time of 37.97 seconds that would put them in the lead, but three trips later Ali Wolff (USA) and her longtime partner Casall, owned by the Black Lick Bend Farm, shaved nearly two-tenths of a second off of Wolff’s time to be the next contenders to take over the lead.
Not to be intimidated by a lineup of veteran athletes, 17-year-old Brian Moggre entered the ring twelfth in the order of go with his World Cup Qualifier winning mount, MTM Vivre Le Rive. Determined to change the standings, Moggre left out two strides in the first line and utilized tight turns to speed to a 36.18-second finish, more than one and a half seconds ahead of Ramsay and Casall. Their time would stay in the top position for the remainder of the jump-off to finish in first place.
Ultimately settling in second place was Wolff and the 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Casall. The pair has won a number of impressive titles, including the $216,000 Upperville Jumper Classic CSI4* in 2018. Third place would be captured by Ramsay and the Stranger Group’s Stranger 30, a pair that has campaigned all through Europe together during the winter season.
The Hagyard Challenge Series consists of seven show jumping events held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington throughout the 2019 show season, with the second leg of the series, the $36,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, occuring during the Kentucky Spring Classic on Thursday, May 16, in the Rolex Stadium. The following four shows to host a Hagyard Lexington Classic event include the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, the Kentucky Summer Classic, the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and the KHJA Horse Show. The series will culminate during the Kentucky National Horse Show at the end of September, where the rider who accumulates the most points throughout the series will receive a $50,000 Leading Rider Award, presented upon completion of the seventh event, the $60,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic.
Jumper competition will resume in the Rolex Stadium on Friday morning with the $5,000 Open Jumper 1.45m beginning at 8:00 a.m.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Brian Moggre – $36,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic 1.45m CSI3* winner
On MTM Vivre Le Reve:
“I call him Erkle and he’s 10 years old this year. I got him when he was around 7 so this is the third year I’ve had him, and he’s the sweetest horse I’ve ever had. He’s amazing. He hasn’t done much since Florida – I think his last class was the [HITS] Million a few months ago in March. This is actually his first class since then, so for him to just come out and perform so well is wonderful, but I always know he’s going to come out of the stall the same. All of his quirks are consistent quirks, so he and I have really gotten to know each other quite well. He is a bit flinchy [to ride]. He’s obviously amazing but he is always on his guard and very alert, but that’s what makes him as great as he is because he’s ready to go at all times. He rides like a pony when you’re at home, and then when you get to the horse show he knows what’s going on.”
On the jump-off:
“The original plan when I walked it was to do 8 [strides] in the first line and 9 [strides] in the middle, but after watching a few and hearing some people in the warm-up ring who gave me some pointers, I ended up doing 7 [strides] in the first line, which was technically leaving two strides out. Then I did 8 [strides] across the middle and I didn’t even count to the last, I just started kicking. He felt he was on it and he was looking at the jumps. I knew if I asked him to do it he would. I would definitely say [I saved time] on the rollback to the third jump – I didn’t even really look where I was going, I just whipped around and he picked his legs up.”
On Kentucky Horse Shows:
“I am here this week and next week, and then I go to Spruce Meadows all of June. I’ve come to Kentucky a lot before. We usually come for Derby Finals and the Pre-Green Incentive, and in years past I have come to the spring and summer shows. I love this horse show. I came when I was 10 years old so it was nice that we were able to fit it into our schedule and be back here. They have great classes and it’s nice on the horses.”
$36,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic 1.45m CSI3*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. MTM Vivre Le Reve / Brian Moggre / USA / 0 | 74.05 / 0 | 36.18
2. Casall / Ali Wolff / USA / 0 | 75.30 / 0 | 37.82
3. Stranger 30 / Andrew Ramsay / USA / 0 | 76.38 / 0 | 37.97
4. Romeo 88 / Darragh Kenny / IRL / 0 | 75.91 / 0 | 38.08
5. Squirt Gun / Andrew Kocher / USA / 0 | 77.29 / 0 | 39.61
6. Victorio 5 / Abigail Mcardle / USA / 0 | 75.07 / 0 | 39.83
7. Baloppi / Lacey Gilbertson / USA / 0 | 75.06 / 0 | 40.09
8. Kirschwasser SCF / Shane Sweetnam IRL / 0 | 76.50 / 0 | 40.88
9. Escada VS / Jenni Mcallister / USA / 0 | 77.63 / 0 | 41.75
10. Ace / Alison Robitaille / USA / 0 | 77.24 / 0 | 42.18
11. Cornwall BH / Amanda Derbyshire / GBR / 0 | 77.77 / 0 | 48.18
12. Dubai / Hardin Towell / USA / 0 | 77.25 / 4 | 42.24