New this year to the Kentucky Horse Park, the Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour kicked off its fourth show of the eight-part tour Wednesday at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show with three divisions offered for 5, 6 and 7-year-old horses. A talented collection of up-and-coming young horses tackled the 5-year-old and 6-year-old divisions in the Walnut Ring on Wednesday, while Grace Long and Andrew Kocher’s Happiness VD Hazel HOF emerged with the fastest clear round in the 7-Year-Old Jumpers set in the Rolex Stadium. Long tripped the timers in 36.521 seconds, and Aaron Vale was hot on her tail, finishing second in the class on Thinks Like A Horse’s Prescott in 37.319 seconds. Ridden by Jennifer Waxman, Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Maui SCF finished the jump-off in third place in 39.494 seconds.
“This is the most exciting opportunity that we’ve had yet. We wanted to provide young horses with the best educational opportunity so they have the best possible experience in the ring,” explained Cynthia Hampton, founder and president of Classic Champions, Inc. “We have the whole series followed by a championship, which is really optimal for showing the development of the young horses. The championship will take place here at the Kentucky [Horse Park] in September.”
Classic Champions, Inc. brings European principles to course design for young jumpers, and helps young horses to become the future stars they can be, offering competition opportunities that are both sporting and educational. With specific classes for 5, 6 and 7-year-old horses, the Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour features adapted heights, type of fences, lines and turns, as well as experienced, specifically trained course designers at top-notch show venues.
The tour will culminate with the year-end championships, which also features their 4-year-old division at the Kentucky National Horse Show, held September 18-22.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Grace Long – Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour 7-Year-Old Jumper winner
On Happiness VD Hazel HOF:
“We’ve had her for about 4 months now. She is an opinionated chestnut mare, but she always tries really hard. She is coming along well and she was great today. I thought the course was wonderful and I always like Marina’s courses. This is the mare’s best result so far. It’s wonderful to have support for young horse programs. It makes it much easier as a rider and trainer when you have correct courses to develop your horses.”