Jumper competition in the Rolex Stadium kicked off Wednesday at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show with the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumpers serving as the highlight event. Competing over a course of 13 obstacles, athletes vied for both clear and quick rounds. At the end of the two-phase competition it was Jill Gaffney and Freestyling Farm LLC’s Dayla 6 who stole the show to walk away with the blue ribbon as the only double-clear combination of the class.
Competing over Ken Krome’s carefully constructed course, Gaffney and Dayla 6 were second in the order of go and turned in the first clear round of the day. Utilizing the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare’s quick step, the pair easily sped to the top placing with a time of 36.279 seconds during their immediate jump-off. The remainder of the pack would aim to catch the early frontrunners, but none could match their efforts, solidifying Gaffney and Dayla 6 as the victors. Though Gaffney and Dayla 6 have only been partnered together for three months, the duo is already showing a knack for fast and careful rounds as they topped the leaderboard ahead of a talented pack of challengers during their second show together. Looking ahead, Gaffney will campaign the horse during the remainder of the Bluegrass Festival, aiming to compete with her at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ – Columbus CSI3*-W in October as a part of the Split Rock Jumping Tour.
Second place honors during Wednesday’s competition were captured by KC Van Aarem and her own Las Vegas, an 11-year-old German Sport Horse gelding. As last to go during the day’s competition, the pair qualified for the immediate jump-off and, using tight turns and speed, produced the fastest jump-off time of the day in 35.08 seconds, but fell victim to an unlucky rail that would ultimately land them in second.
Finishing in third was Nicole Shahinian-Simpson and Simpson Show Jumping’s Quality Iris. Shahinian-Simpson and the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare finished their jump-off round on a total of four faults and a time of 40.064 seconds. Capturing fourth place as the final combination to advance to the jump-off was Kirsten Ostling and her own HH Zipper.
Jumper competition at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show will continue through Sunday, with two highlight grand prix events showcasing the best horses and riders in the Rolex Stadium. On Friday evening the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic will take place, while Sunday afternoon will feature the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix sponsored by Audi of Lexington.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Jill Gaffney – $5,000 1.40m Open Jumpers
On Dayla 6:
“Dayla 6 is a 10-year-old mare. She is pretty new to me, this is only our second show together. I’m still figuring her out and we’re figuring each other out. She is very game and very quick across the ground, which is super fun. I feel like she really loves to do her job. I’ve only been working with her since the end of May.”
On the jump-off:
“Because I’m just getting to know her I really just wanted to have a nice, confident ride. I wasn’t even trying to go that fast but she is just so naturally quick across the ground and nicely careful. It all worked out.”
On their future together:
“On Friday we’ll do another 1.40m class and that’s all in preparation for next week, where we will do the Welcome Stake. We’re going to a couple more shows this fall like Princeton [Show Jumping] and we’re really aiming for the 3* in Columbus at Split Rock. She will do the 3* classes there.”
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
$5,000 1.40m Open Jumpers
1. Dayla 6 / Jill Gaffney / Freestyling Farms LLC / 0 | 77.637 / 0 | 36.279
2. Las Vegas / Kc Van Aarem / KC Van Aarem / 0 | 71.073 / 4 | 35.08
3. Quality Iris / Nicole Shahinian-Simpson / Simpson Show Jumping / 0 | 72.195 / 4 | 40.064
4. Hh Zipper / Kirsten Ostling / Kirsten Ostling / 0 | 75.633 / El
5. Harley David / Samuel Parot Jr / Bellissimo LLC / 4 | 68.606
6. Halibo Van Texelhof / Hayley Barnhill / Reid Patton / 4 | 68.736
7. C’est Sue B / Peter Wylde / Katie Tyler / 4 / 70.446
8. Fandango / Rachel Kennedy / Rachel Kennedy / 4 | 71.844
9. Clearville / Jack Hardin Towell / Rock Ridge Farms / 4 | 76.267
10. Dior / Lorcan Gallagher / Marigot Bay Farm, LLC / 8 | 72.905