Lexington, Ky. – May 18, 2022 – Hunter competition got underway Wednesday, May 18, to kick off the first day of the Kentucky Spring Classic II. Setting the stage in the Murphy Ring, riders and their thoroughbred mounts took to the TAKE2 Thoroughbred Hunter division to showcase versatility off the racetrack. Starting the first day of competition strong, Tess Fortune leads the way aboard her own MVP, hopeful to close out the division Thursday with the championship.
The TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program Inc. assists in developing and promoting careers for thoroughbreds following their racing careers. TAKE2 aims to secure safe futures for off-the-track Thoroughbreds by providing divisions where the versatility of the breed can shine. Competitors in Thursday’s competition vied for valuable points for The TAKE2 Thoroughbred League Year-End Finals held at the Kentucky National Horse Show from September 22-26, 2021, where $10,000 in prize money is rewarded in both the TAKE2 Hunter and TAKE2 Jumper Divisions.
Fortune piloted the 11-year-old gelding to impressive over fences rounds Wednesday, claiming first and second place to place her in the lead for the tricolor honors. No stranger to the winner’s circle, MVP took top honors at the 2021 TAKE2 Hunter Final at the Kentucky National Horse Show. Fortune has been partnered with the gelding for eight years now, and looks forward to a bright future with MVP. The division will wrap up Thursday with one final over fences round and an under saddle class to see who will be crowned champion.
Also in contention for the championship are Patricia Stovel and Bridgette McNeese’s 15-year-old gelding Caught Me Looking. The duo also rode to top placings Wednesday, claiming first and third place over fences to set themselves up nicely for Thursday’s portion of the division.Caught Me Looking had 11 track starts and two first-place finishes during his career as a racehorse and has earned previous TAKE2 Thoroughbred Hunter championships, including during the 2021 Kentucky Summer Classic.
Hunter competition will continue at the Kentucky Horse Park for the Kentucky Spring Classic II Thursday, May 19, spotlighting the Grand Hunter Championship.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Tess Fortune – Take2 Thoroughbred division leader
“He is a thoroughbred and he ran twice on the track, but he was not very good. I bought him as a 3-year-old from Galloping Out in Illinois just outside of Chicago and restarted him and did all the work on him myself. He shows in the 3’6” Amateur owners as well. He has gone to indoors and got ribbons in the 3’6” hunter. He is 11 years old now and he’s truthfully one of the best horses I have ever owned. He is wonderful, super brave, he jumps great, he loves to be challenged, you challenge him with a bigger jump he just jumps higher and he’s super easy going. He’s shown everywhere – he’s gone to the Pennsylvania National Horse Show for the younger Amateur-Owner 3’6” division and has gotten ribbons there, he got ribbons at the National Horse Show in 2019 in the Younger 3’6” Amateur-Owner division and he won the TAKE2 Finals last year. The first two years showing in the TAKE2 we were second, so last year was finally my chance to be the bride in that class. He’s really really wonderful.“
On Kentucky Horse Shows:
“I love the Kentucky Horse Shows, it’s one of my favorites. I’m originally from Wisconsin and moved to Louisville in 2015 and I love being able to call the Kentucky Horse Park basically my backyard for horse shows. The horse show is beautiful, the arena’s are beautiful, the jumps are beautiful and they always have good courses. The classes are always competitive, but in a good and fun way. It’s a good gauge for indoors and you kind of know what you’re up against, so it’s a great show. I love Kentucky Horse Shows.“