Paige Johnson and Amagedon Raise the Bar for High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic Win at Kentucky Summer Classic
Written by: Jenny Ross Koning
Lexington, KY – August 2, 2009 – The High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic was the main show jumping event on the final day of the Kentucky Summer Classic. The class was held in the Sheila C. Johnson Ring at the New Outdoor Stadium, and Paige Johnson earned first place aboard Salamander Farm’s Amagedon 3. Michel Vaillancourt designed the course for the class, which was scored under a Table II.2(A) format.
Only seven horse and rider combinations jumped the first round without penalty. Johnson, who was the first rider to return for the jump-off, piloted Amagedon to a stellar fault-free finish over the short course, setting the pace with a fast time of 40.667 seconds. Whitney Weeks of Southport, CT, and her horse Subliem lowered the height of one fence and finished in 39.934 seconds, which would result in fourth place.
Luis Ferrando Larrazaba rode Maarten, owned by Newsprint Farm of Newhope, PA. He was the fastest four faulter, and his time of 38.655 seconds would finish in second place, edging Francesea Bolfo of New York, NY, into third. Bolfo also received four faults during her ride on Venus TR, clocking in at 39.236 seconds.
Gabriel Galan of Monterrey, Mexico, and his horse Aruba La Silla were next in the order. They had an eight fault finish and a time of 44.084 seconds. Johnson then competed again on her second qualified mount, La Martinee, but they accrued eight faults and retired from the course, assuring them a seventh place finish. Hilary McNerney and Liefhebbers Transavia, who were the last pair to revisit the ring, were penalized with eight faults for lowering two rails. Their time of 43.827 seconds would go into sixth place.
Johnson of The Plains, VA, and Amagedon 3 produced the only double clear ride in the class and came away with top honors.
“I was a little bit nervous because this was the biggest track that I’ve done with Amagedon,” commented Johnson after her win. “I thought the course was really hard and very technical. It was definitely the biggest and most technical track I’ve ever ridden with this particular horse, but he was really brave. He listened to everything I asked him to do, and I thought it was a really good, solid round. I thought I rode him really well and he responded, which is all you can ask for. You try your best and then, if they listen, the result is hopefully a clear round,” she related.
Johnson discussed the jump-off and how it rode for her mount. “The jump-off was a little bit more scattered,” she laughed. “But he was fantastic. This was a big round for him, and he was double clear. I thought that the course designer asked a lot of difficult questions. It was definitely a course you would see used in the High Amateurs in Palm Beach during circuit. I thought it was a great ending to a two week show.”
She went on to explain that Amagedon was double clear in all three of the classes he competed in this week, and that a lot of work has gone into his success. “He’s eleven, and I got him when he was six years old. He’s always been very green to ride. Kent Farrington would ride him for me sometimes during circuit in the 1.40m Open Jumpers to help get his confidence up,” she said. “He tends to over jump sometimes because he’s very, very careful. When he gets in a tricky position, he just gets higher. So between Kent and I, we’ve been really working on his confidence and trusting his capability and scope. I think today proved that, with teamwork, it’s turned out well. With me knowing him really well, and Kent riding him well for me and teaching him to be confident with himself and the rider, I think the program’s working,” she smiled.
The Kentucky Summer Classic concluded today at the Kentucky Horse Park. The competition was held from July 26-August 2 and was managed by Kentucky Horse Shows LLC. After next week’s USEF Pony Finals, Kentucky Horse Shows LLC will host the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and the KHJA Horse Show.
HIGH JUNIOR/AMATEUR-OWNER CLASSIC RESULTS
1 158 AMAGEDON 3 PAIGE JOHNSON, 0, 40.667 2 639 MAARTEN LUIS FERRANDO LARRAZABA, 4, 38.655 3 582 VENUS TR FRANCESEA BOLFO, 4, 39.236 4 846 SUBLIEM WHITNEY WEEKS, 4, 39.934 5 927 LIEFHEBBERS TRANSAVIA HILARY MCNERNEY, 8, 43.827 6 968 ARUBA LA SILLA GABRIEL GALAN, 8, 44.084 7 157 LA MARTINEE PAIGE JOHNSON RET 8 1253 PUERTAS NAPOLEON JUAN CARLOS ALVAREZ, 4, 81.844 9 187 IVEENA S NELLIE FOOSANER, 4, 82.559 10 581 ZORRO’S PRECISION MBA CALLIE BASS, 4, 82.871 11 287 ASTRO Z BENJAMIN SIMPKINS, 4, 83.093 12 548 PLATINUM CLAUDIA BILLUPS, 4, 83.641
For more information on the Kentucky Summer Classic, please go to www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
Photo Caption: Paige Johnson and Amagedon 3 jump double clear for High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic win at the Kentucky Summer Classic. Photo C 2009 Jenny Ross Koning. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.