Articles: Horse News
Christina Kelly and Camirage Soar to $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix
Victory at Bluegrass Festival Horse Show
Christina Kelly and Camirage won the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix
Victory at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.
Photo By: Heather Bellock/PMG
Heather Bellock for
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at email@example.com
Lexington, KY - August 21, 2011 - It was a beautiful and sunny afternoon at
the Kentucky Horse Park as the final day of the Bluegrass Festival Horse
Show commenced. Today, top jumper riders turned out to compete for the
winning title in the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix in the Rolex
Stadium. Christina Kelly and Camirage stole the show after completing an
incredible double clear-effort with a blazing jump-off time of 35.655
seconds. Although Kaitlin Campbell navigated Rocky W to a double-clear
effort, the duo fell less than a second behind Kelly, earning the second
Today's class featured courses designed by Allen Rheinheimer with the first
course including an oxer-oxer double combination with two long strides, a
single stride triple bar-vertical double combination, a vertical-vertical
two stride double combination, a water jump followed by a tall vertical,
numerous related lines, and rollbacks. Thirty-two starters were vying for
the top spot, and 14 riders were able to show perfection over the technical
first round track and advance to the jump-off, but only five of them were
able to go double clear.
The short course began over the same first fence, a wide oxer leading to a
tall vertical. Next, riders rolled back to the right over another wide oxer,
then turned to the left and headed to the vertical-vertical combination from
the first course. Riders then rolled back to the left over a single tall
vertical. Finally riders turned to the right and finished over the last two
"A lot of the riders went clear and it looked like it seemed to be a more
rideable course then Friday night's Grand Prix course," noted today's winner
Christina Kelly. "I thought it was definitely still technical and difficult
enough and was a great course."
Friday night's Hagyard Lexington Class Grand Prix winner, Yann Candele and
Game Ready were the first horse and rider combination to complete the
jump-off without fault. Candele and Susan Grange's Game Ready cut turns,
keeping a fast pace. They tripped the beam in 37.871 seconds without fault
to become the leaders and set the bar for the rest of the riders. However,
with many more to go, their efforts were only good enough for the third
The next pair to have a competitive time was Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast
Farms' O' Splendido. They stopped the clock in 38.670 seconds, which would
have earned them the fourth place finish, but with an unlucky rail they
settled for the sixth place award as the fastest four fault round.
Sharn Wardley and Filip Amram's Bukowskis Conan cleared the fences leaving
all rails in tact. They took a more conservative track and stopped the clock
in 41.076 seconds, which would earn them the fourth place honors.
Kaitlin Campbell of Brookeville, MD and her mount Rocky W took over lead
when they entered into the ring. The duo blazed around the short track
without fault. They broke the beam in 36.286 seconds, but with other riders
to follow, their effort earned them the second place award.
"I have had Rocky W since I was doing the Junior Jumper classes and
Christina and I actually rode at the same barn a few years ago," noted
Campbell. "Even then, Christina was always a big competitor and we were
always finishing one in front of the other. So, I know she is a really fast
rider. My horse was really careful out there today. I could kind of dig him
at the jumps. Her horse has a bit bigger stride and she did the four stride
from fence one to two and that wasn't an option for me."
"The course was definitely more inviting than Friday night's Grand Prix
course under the lights, that was really big," said Campbell. "This wasn't
as difficult of a course for myself and my horse, but it set up a really
good jump-off with a lot of fast riders in there. It was a lot of straight
lines and numbers to remember if you count the strides and get there, you
could have a chance to win. I just wanted to focus on my jump-off round even
though I knew Christina was going in last and there was a good chance she
would win, she is always fast. She wants to win as much as I do, so I knew
it was going to be a fast jump-off. I wanted to go for it a bit and Rocky W
jumped the double vertical so clear that I knew after that I could really
gallop because he didn't want to have a rail out there."
Hector Florentino and Ultimo, owned by Stransky's Mission Farms, Inc., put
in a competitive round and had spectators on the edge of their seats. They
were trying to be quick and upon landing after the second oxer, the crowed
gasped as Ultimo tripped, but quickly recovered. However, they did have a
rail at the second to last fence resulting in a four-fault penalty with
their time of 40.312 seconds they settled for the seventh place finish.
Yann Candele was the next rider to go clean. He returned to try and take
back the lead this time aboard Susan Grange's Carlotta Singular La Mag. The
duo took inside turns and sped around the course, but their time of 44.176
seconds was only good enough for the fourth place award.
The last horse and rider combination to enter the jump-off would prevail. It
was Christina Kelly and Diamond Edge Farm's Camirage who earned today's
victory. The team took all the inside turns and kept and extremely fast pace
throughout the course. They tripped the wire in 35.655 seconds to take the
"Camirage is an awesome horse. I have had her for two years and she has
progressively gotten better and better," expressed Kelly. "For her to win a
Grand Prix is unbelievable, she is an amazing horse."
"I was actually worried. I thought it was difficult with the triple bar with
the one stride to the vertical and with the other double with the brushes
under it she is quite spooky sometimes," explained Kelly. "Camirage handled
it amazingly. Some of the places where I planned to add or take out strides
I actually did the opposite of what I planned, but it worked out. In the
jump-off I think she was super about the time from fence one to two. I did
the four instead of the five because she has a massive stride and I thought
she could make up time there. Also we cut time at the last two fences since
she is very good at galloping to oxers like that."
"I love Kentucky this ring is amazing and the whole place is great. All the
Junior and Amateurs riders get to ride in the Rolex Stadium all the time
which is pretty cool," Kelly concluded.
Today's $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix was the final event during the
month-long Kentucky Summer Horse Show series. Now, the Kentucky Horse Park
will begin preparing for the 2011 National Horse Show, where the top horses
and riders will compete at the highest level of the sport.
For more information about the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.