Lexington, Ky. – August 6, 2020 – Junior hunter riders were the stars of the Stonelea ring on Friday. The highlight of the day was the crowing of the Hagyard Grand Junior Hunter Champion, Presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Awarded to competitors with the most points accumulated in either the 3’3” or 3’6” sections of the Junior Hunter divisions, Caroline Maude Hedges and her own 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Speak Up earned the coveted tricolor ribbon with a total of 44 points.
The duo, who competed in the Junior Hunter 3’3” 16-17 division started off their week stong on Thursday by turning in a first and third-place finish in the over fences portion of the 3’3” division, adding valuable points to their overall total. Maude Hedges and her longtime partner outdid themselves on Friday by sweeping the line-up of classes adding a whopping thirty points to their overall total score for their blue ribbon efforts. The young rider was excited for her favorite part of the division, the handy round, where she knew she could show off Speak Up’s maneuverability and depth of stride in order to catch the attention of the judges. Maude Hedges, who hopes to qualify for indoor finals later this fall, ended her successful week of showing with four first-place finishes and a single third-place finish highlighting her consistency and expertise.
Mae Mannis took home the honor of Reserve Grand Champion by earning the second-highest amount of overall points competing in the Junior Hunter 3’3” 15 and Under division. Mannis and Mia Mannis’ 11-year-old Hannoverian gelding, Clooney’s Pleasure, racked up their own line-up of impressive results, kicking off division competition on Thursday with two consistent fourth-place finishes in the over fences portion of the class. The pair returned to the Stonelea Ring on Friday eager to impress the judges with their style and skill. Their efforts awarded them a third-place finish in the final over fences round and a fourth-place finish in the handy round. Coming off of a highly impressive third-place finish out of 64-entires in the Large Junior Hunter 3’3 15 and Under Champion – East at the USEF Junior Hunter National Championship held during The Brandywine Valley Summer Series, the duo was able to earn yet another big win heading into the indoor season.
The strong performances that Maude Hedges was able to execute during her time at Kentucky Summer Horse Show, added not only points but also confidence to her campaign to secure qualifying points for the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Junior Hunter Championships later this fall. The pair, who started owes success to the team at Ashland Farm, one-upped their last division performance from the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival where the duo secured a Reserve Championship title in the Junior 3’3” Hunter division.
Hunter competition at the Kentucky Summer Classic will continue Saturday, August 7 with the hunter highlight class of the week, the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, set to kick-off at 8:00 a.m. in the Stonelea Ring.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Caroline Maude Hedges – Hagyard Grand Junior Hunter Champion, Presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institue
On Speak Up:
“Speak Up’s barn name is Dalton and he’s a super sweet horse. He’s easy to ride and very trustworthy and jumps great.”
On her rounds:
“I love doing the handy rounds with him because he’s super handy. My rounds were really smooth with him today, he was just on his game.”
On the courses:
“I love the courses here. I think all the jumps are really beautiful and I thought all of my horses rode the courses really well.”
On winning Grand Champion:
“It’s super exciting and I’m just really happy with him. I would like to say thank you to the whole team at Ashland Farms. They really made the show an amazing experience.”
On her future plans:
“I’m hoping to go to Harrisburg and then to National and I think we’re going to Michigan for a little bit in September so I’m super excited for that.”