Introduced last year to the Kentucky Horse Park, the Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour offers riders the opportunity to get their young horses exposure to the show ring in an educational and friendly atmosphere. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Sweet Oak Farm’s HDB Quality kicked off the 2020 inaugural event with a win Wednesday afternoon, stopping the timers at a nimble 40.77 seconds in the Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour 7-Year-Old Jumpers.
The pathfinders for the power and speed class, Aaron Vale and Camiro Blue PS, were the third pair to take to the ring, delivering a quick and clear round in a time of 43.16 seconds. Their position on the leaderboard didn’t last long as David O’Brien (IRL) and Spy Coast Farm’s entry Nightshade SCF took over the top spot by just fractions of a second with a time of 43.01 seconds. The lead exchanged hands yet again when Sweetnam entered the Rolex Arena aboard his second mount of the class, HDB Quality. The duo shaved three seconds off of O’Brien’s time, ultimately holding the lead for the remainder of the class and earning first place honors. O’Brien and Nightshade SCF remained in the second place spot, with Vale and Camiro Blue PS rounding out the class to claim third place.
While the win may not have been his in the Seven-Year-Old division, Aaron Vale (USA) bested the field earlier that morning in both the 5 and 6-Year-Old divisions of the Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour. Aboard Maliclaire Glancy’s Sambo do Brasil, Vale would take home top honors in the 6-Year-Old class, with Alex Matz (USA) and Jillz coming in second place and Jill Gafney (USA) aboard New Sunrise SR Z rounding out the top three.
Aaron Vale’s (USA) own entry, Parallax SCF, would rise to the occasion in the 5-Year-Old class, with David O’Brien (IRL) taking both second and third place aboard Paso Doble SCF and Polaris SCF respectively.
Classic Champions, Inc. brings European principles to course design for young jumpers and helps developing horses to meet their potential by offering competitive opportunities that are both sporting and educational. With age-group classes specific to 5, 6 and 7-year-old horses, the Classic Champions Developing Jumper tour features adapted heights, type of fences, lines and turns in its courses, in addition to experienced, specifically-trained course designers for young horses at high-quality show venues. The tour culminates with the finale event, which will feature young jumper championship classes during the Kentucky National Horse Show, which will be held September 16-20.
Show jumping will continue at the Kentucky Horse Park throughout Sunday, with the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic serving as Thursday’s highlight event, while Saturday will feature the $50,000 Rood and Riddle Grand Prix.
source: Phelps Media