Cathleen Driscoll and Arome dominate $125,000 Grand Prix CSI3* at Kentucky Spring Classic

Cathleen Driscoll and Arome dominate $125,000  Grand Prix CSI3* at Kentucky Spring Classic

The ladies ruled the ring again as international show jumping action at the Kentucky Horse Park concluded on Saturday with the $125,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3*, presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute during the Kentucky Spring Classic. The top three finishers from Thursday’s $62,500 Spring Classic CSI3* returned to the podium at the end of the night. This time it was Cathleen Driscoll and Arome (Norway de la Lande x Attila III) who topped the nine-horse jump-off and accepted the winning prize from the Murphy family. Thursday’s winning combination, Ali Ramsay and Conrado 12 (Cardento x Diarado), placed second, while Sloane Coles and Ninja JW Van De Moerhoeve (Elvis ter Putte x Kashmir van Schuttershof) took home the third place prize as one of the night’s early pathfinders.

The grand prix was held in memory of the late Mary Rena Murphy, one of the horse industries’ most influential people. She worked diligently to promote the Kentucky Horse Park and was a major influence for the first hunter jumper shows at the venue. Her vision for an exhibitor-friendly competition at a world-class facility helped shape the Kentucky Horse Park into what it has become today.


After leading the night’s lap of honor, Driscoll credited her partnership with Arome, a 14-year-old Selle Francais owned by Plain Bay Farm, for their success. “I’ve been riding Arome for a couple of years now and he’s really my steady Eddie in my string,” she expressed. “He’s the horse that I jumped my first five star on, so I have a lot of experience with him and we’ve had a great partnership.”



Guilherme Jorge set a technical track that kept horses and riders focused from start to finish for the final FEI event of the week. After an opening bending line, riders had to jump an oxer-vertical-oxer triple combination in the middle of the ring before continuing to a wide triple bar and a delicate vertical-vertical double combination. They finished over a bending line to a plank vertical next to the gate. Only nine athletes completed the course without error and advanced to the tiebreaker. The jump-off included the second half of the triple combination, two tight rollbacks and a long gallop before the final line of oxers.


Ashley Vogel and Ceres Van Het Moeshof (Ogano Sitte x Mozart des Hayettes) were the first to return and set the time to beat with a clear round in 44.70 seconds, which would hold up for fourth place. Coles and Ninja JW Van De Moerhoeve were next, and quickly moved to the top of the leaderboard as they dashed across the ring with all the rails intact in a time of 41.67 seconds. Ramsay already had one win under her belt for the week with Conrado 12 and tried to claim her second win as she traversed the track in a speedy 41.16 seconds to edge ahead of Coles. Her leading time did not hold for long though, with Driscoll in the ring next, who had the advantage of watching the leading riders’ tracks. She used Arome’s huge stride to her advantage, leaving out in the long lines as she galloped home in 39.77 seconds with the victory in hand.



“I saw Roberto [Teran] go and his plan matched mine,” explained Driscoll. “It was nice to be able to see it once and see that the numbers were accurate. I thought my horse was just super with me everywhere. When I called on him, he responded well. He has a huge stride, so this was quite a good jump off for him. I was really able to keep galloping and I think I just did fewer strides than everyone on those long lines.”


As the Kentucky Spring Series begins to wind down, Driscoll concluded, “Kentucky is always a staple on our calendar. We make a point to come to these shows in the spring. It’s a fantastic venue. After being in Florida for so long, the horses come here refreshed and ready to go. I find they always jump well. The arena’s beautiful, I love the field and getting to take the horses out, and the town of Lexington is a lovely town. There are a lot of nice restaurants and things to do, so it’s really a joy for us to be able to come here for these two weeks in the spring.”



Source: Press Release