Lexington, KY – Aug 3, 2021 – Young horses were the focal point of the Rolex Stadium on the opening day of the Kentucky Summer Classic on Tuesday, August 3. Top up-and-coming mounts took to the expansive ring for the 7-Year-Old Jumpers in hopes of proving their training and maturity to top the podium. Of the horse-and-rider duos, David O’Brien packed a one-two punch taking home first and second place aboard One In A Million SCF and Octavius SCF.
The developing mounts were given their time in the spotlight, taking to Bobby Murphy’s 13-obstacle, age-appropriate track. Featuring four rollbacks and two combinations, Murphy set a competitive track for the horse-and-rider pairs that allowed the developing mounts to showcase their confidence and stride on the expansive track.
Spycoast Farm’s Belgian Warmblood gelding, Octavius SCF ridden by David O’Brien was the first to take to the ring. Opting to use speed to try and leave the remaining riders to catch him, O’Brien stopped the clock with an impressive 55.183. The duo kicked off their year in the division with Championship wins at the Ocala Winter Classic and Ocala Winter Festival and have continued to find success this summer at Tryon, taking home numerous top three placings and more Championships.
David O’Brien piloted not one but two mounts for Spycoast Farm in the class, the second being another one of the farm’s Belgian Warmblood geldings, One In A Million SCF. Last to take to the ring, O’Brien utilized the gelding’s natural footspeed to his advantage coasting home on a blazing fast time of 52.202, rightfully putting them at the top of the leaderboard above fellow barn mate, Octavius SCF. The partnership also claimed the Seven-Year-Old Developing Jumpers Championship Title at The Kentucky Spring Classic in May, well-outriding everyone else in the class. The bay out of Presley Boy and Werly Chin De Muze showed skill beyond his years, heading into the summer season, coming off of third-place at the $10,000 HITS Open Prix at the Ocala Winter Classic. O’Brien looks forward to piloting the bright talent in several smaller Grand Prixs later on this fall.
Sarah Sturges and her homebred Warmblood gelding, Bradley, gave it their all in the Rolex Stadium. Eager to see their name at the top of the leaderboard, Sturges took bolder turns and gustier gallops, making sure to stay clean and tidy over the fences. In the end, the duo was quick, posting a time of 52.962, but an unlucky rail barred them from claiming the second-place spot as they settled into third place.
Show jumping will continue throughout Sunday at the Kentucky Horse Park, with the 6 Y/O 1.30m Jumpers kicking off Wednesday morning in the Rolex Stadium. Highlight events of the week include the $5,000 USHJA National Derby, $25,000 Kentucky Summer Classic and the $50,000 Hagyard Grand Prix.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
David O’Brien – 7-Year-Old Jumpers
On One In a Million SCF:
“He was bred at Spy Coast Farm, just next door. He’s been consistent all year. He’s jumped the 7-year-old classes here, some in Tryon, and we did a few in Ocala. At the moment, we’re just getting him back up fitness-wise and getting him ready for the end of the year and some of the finals. Everything’s been pretty simple with him all the way. He’s done a few of the smaller spring grand prixs, some of the classics, and came second in one of those. It looks like he has a bright future ahead.”
On Octavius SCF:
“Octavius was born and bred next door as well. He’s been consistent every year. He’s been champion in classes for the 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds, and 7-year-olds. He’s always clear, has a great personality, and is always looking for the next jump. He’s very careful and very competitive. He’s a winner. His heart is brave. Octavius will move up next year and hopefully get a couple 1.40 meter classes done. And if everything is going well, some of the FEI classes.”
On showing at the Kentucky Summer Classic:
“It’s easy. It makes life easy because they can go home and go out in the fields after they compete. We bring some of our younger horses over on the schooling days to get them around other horses and into some of the open rings. It’s great exposure for the horses to be able to use the park when the shows are on.”
On his future plans:
“Usually we do the finals at the Kentucky Horse Park in September, then in October we go to Tryon for a couple of weeks and do the finals there with the young horses.”