Articles: Horse News
Reed Kessler and Ligist Earn 1.45m Open Jumper Blue at Kentucky Spring Classic
Reed Kessler and Ligist won the 1.45m Open Jumper class at the Kentucky
Spring Classic. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.
Rebecca Walton for
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at email@example.com
Lexington, KY - May 16, 2012 - Sunny skies greeted the exhibitors as they
kicked-off the Kentucky Spring Classic in the Rolex Stadium of the Kentucky
Horse Park. Once again it was Reed Kessler at the top of the leader board as
she piloted Ligist to the only double clear effort in today's 1.45m Open
Jumper class to earn the blue ribbon prize. Earlier in the day, Andre
Rodriguez and Remonta Eden sped to victory in the 1.40m Open Jumpers, just
topping Kessler and Onisha, who placed second during the speed class.
Germany's Olaf Petersen Jr. built a technical track for the 1.45m Open
Jumper class that snaked through the Rolex Stadium and included a triple
bar, two double combinations, and an open water option. Only two horse and
rider combinations were able to master the first round and advance to the
jump-off, which featured three new fences and a double combination.
Reed Kessler, of Lexington, KY, and Ligist were third on the posted order,
and made the first round look easy as they made their way over each
obstacle. Advancing to the short course, Kessler picked up a quick gallop,
and despite a hard rub at the first part of the double combination, they
left each rail intact and dashed across the finish line in 32.588 seconds.
Wilton Porter and Paloubet, owned by Sleepy P Ranch of Bartonville, TX, were
next in the ring, and they also managed to leave each fence up and qualify
for the jump-off. Their luck did not continue though, and as they took a
sharp cut through a double combination to the final oxer. They were not
quite steady enough, and the last obstacle hit the ground, adding four
faults to their score. The pair was faster, clocking in at 32.309 seconds,
but their effort was only good enough for second place. The third place
award went to Meagan Nusz and Dynamo, owned by Amalaya Investments of The
Woodlands, TX, who were fault-free over the first round, but just a tick
over the time allowed for one time fault.
"Ligist was great," smiled Kessler. "I thought there would be a lot more in
the jump-off so I got a little lucky there. Wilton came right after me and
he was faster, but he had the last jump down. I actually meant to do the
inside turn to the last oxer, but he had a better slice on the vertical than
I did, so I think he really beat me there."
Earlier in the day, Venezuela's Andres Rodriguez was victorious in the 1.40m
Open Jumper speed class. The talented rider piloted Remonta Eden, owned by
Sandra Van Dyke of Lake Worth, FL. to a very quick and clear round breaking
the beam at 65.548 seconds. He edged out Kessler and Onisha by almost a full
second, and they earned the red ribbon for their clear time of 66.32
seconds. Rounding out the top three was Ilan Bluman and Quatro, owned by
Daniel Bluman of Weston, FL, who stopped the clock at 69.898 seconds with
all the rails in place. Rodriguez picked up the fourth place award with his
final mount Da Vinci, owned by Cavallo Farms of San Diego, CA, who was clear
in 70.359 seconds.
"This is my first show with Remonta Eden," explained Rodriguez after his
win. "We got the horse to show in Calgary in the Speed Derby events. Last
week he won a class, and I was very surprised because I thought of him being
more of a big scopey horse, but he's a wonderful speed horse too. He's won
two out of the three classes we've shown him in, so I am very excited about
Calgary and this horse."
Rodriguez added, "He's very hot. The quieter you stay on him, the better he
is. In the show ring he likes to be a little hyper. Today, I think we were
pretty fast going across the ring. I had a good sprint, and I knew after
that I was fast enough."
Second place finisher Kessler said, "Onisha was great. I think I was a
little wide to the third jump and one of the rollbacks, but she was pretty
quick everywhere else. She's so careful, she can go fast every single day
and never lose carefulness, it's really nice for her, like a little
Kessler's current focus is qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics with her
top mounts Cylana or Mika. Both horses will compete later this week in the
grand prix competitions, before heading to Spruce Meadows for the final
U.S. Show Jumping Team Observation Event. "That was Katie's [Prudent] plan,"
concluded Kessler. "She doesn't want to change what we've been doing, just
keep going like it's a normal show and not get out of practice before
The jumper action at the Kentucky Spring Classic will continue tomorrow with
the $32,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic. This is the second in the seven part
series, where riders have the opportunity to vie for valuable points towards
the $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus. Riders will also be competing for $6,000 in
Bonus Money as part of the SSG Riding Gloves "Go Clean for the Green"
promotion. The main event on Saturday at 6pm will be the $75,000 Mary Rena
Murphy Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington.
For more information about the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, please visit