Hunter riders at the Kentucky Spring Classic enjoyed a day without rain at the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park. Today was the second day of the Kentucky Spring Classic, which is the second week of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows. This week features the World Champion Hunter Rider Week, which gives riders the opportunity to earn fabulous prize money along with quality points toward year end awards for Pony, Junior, Amateur, Professional, Adult and Children’s hunter riders. The professional hunter divisions awarded championship honors in the Stonelea Arena. Louise Serio earned four tricolor awards throughout the day, scoring the High Performance Hunter Championship and the Second Year Green Working Hunter Championship, as well as the reserve championship title in the First Year Working Hunters and the Green Conformation Hunters. Scott Stewart had a successful day taking home the championship in the First Year Working Hunters and the Green Conformation Hunters.
The High Performance Hunters awarded the championship honors to Louise Serio and Phillipa owned by Jennifer Burger. Serio and Phillipa earned three blue ribbons and two yellow ribbons during this week’s competition. Brian Walker earned the reserve championship prize with Garfield, an entry from Steeple Chase Farm. The pair received two first place ribbons, a second, and two thirds for their efforts.
“Phillipa was recently purchased from McLain Ward for Louise to work towards doing the Hunter Derby classes. We have been getting used to her in Virginia and Kentucky doing the High Performance Hunters and the Regular Conformation Hunters,” said Burger. “I have seen huge progress. Every time she walks into the ring she relaxes more and more and takes on the hunters role. We are thrilled with her and Louise is doing a beautiful job with her. We are eyeing the Derby at Devon.
Burger added, “The horse park is one of my favorite horse shows it is such a beautiful facility so relaxing for the horses and exhibitors, the footing is fantastic and it’s beautifully run. It is a great town to be and I think they do a great job overall.”
In the First Year Green Working Hunters, Scott Stewart secured the championship prize aboard Dedication. Stewart and Dedication earned two blues and a red to secure the championship award.
“Dedication was really good, but was a little rusty in the first class both days. I haven’t shown since the derby in WEF week 12,” said Stewart. “He just got here on Sunday and I was really happy with him, because he is the greenest of my green horses. Today’s handy was almost like a little derby so I was happy that he was good about everything..”
Louise Serio continued to be successful earning the reserve championship prize in the First Year Green Working Hunters with Rock On. The pair earned two blue ribbons for their efforts.
Serio commented, “Today I thought he was awesome; he really did great today.” She added, “I love this place, and I think they did a fantastic job with the course this week. They decorated it and put some different things out there. It wasn’t just the normal jumps. As riders we always appreciate that. I think it’s lovely when they actually look like they care about what is going on out there.”
Scott Stewart took home his second championship of the day in the Green Conformation Hunters. This time Stewart piloted Becky Gochman’s horse Empire to the win. Stewart and Empire earned four blue ribbons out of the five division classes.
“Empire was really good today. I liked my first round better then my second round, but he is pretty consistent all of the time any way,” said Stewart. “He is always so easy to ride and is a really fun horse to ride. The course was nice and he really liked the handy round.”
Louise Serio took home another reserve championship this time in the Green Conformation Hunters. Serio was aboard Black Tie an entry from Deer Hill Farm. They earned a blue, three reds, and a yellow ribbon during throughout the division.
“Black Tie was great today. I thought he might be a little spooky with all the new things out there, but he was awesome,” noted Serio. “He is fun to ride; he is scopey and honest and is just quite a nice horse.”
Serio commanded the Second Year Green Working Hunter Division earning the championship aboard Susanne Stroh’s Sigfried. The new partnership between Serio and Sigfried proved to be successful. They earned two first place ribbons and three third place ribbons to secure the championship.
“This is only my second week showing him. I feel like this week I was a lot more comfortable on him and know him a little bit better,” said Serio. “He was back into the groove after a break since Florida. He is really nice to ride, he is very brave, honest, and careful. I thought my rounds were really good and consistent..”
The reserve championship in the Second Year Green Working Hunters went to Cookie Beck and Last Call owned by Lisa Cudahy. Beck and Last Call earned two blue ribbons and a yellow ribbon for their efforts during this week’s competition.
“Last Call is amazing. He is one of the nicest horses that I have ever ridden,” noted Beck. “He wins the hacks which obviously helps. He tries really hard to win every single class. He is amazing to ride. You can go really slow, the spookier the jumps the higher he jumps. The worst thing he ever does is try too hard. All my rounds were beautiful on him this week.”
Beck went on to earn the championship honors in the Regular Working Hunters with Déjà vu owned by Lisa Cudahy. Beck and Déjà vu earned two blue ribbons, two red ribbons, and a yellow ribbon to secure the championship title.
Déjà vu is funny. He is small, but he thinks that he is 17 hands. You could canter down through fire on him,” Beck commented. “He is a blast to ride. Never afraid of anything and always goes in and does his best for you. Last Call was amazing today as well. He is one of the nicest horses that I have ever ridden”
Ken Berkley took home the reserve championship in the Regular Conformation Hunters aboard Becky Gochman’s Sambalino. Berkley and Sambalino earned three first place ribbons and a yellow for their efforts throughout the division.
Hunter riders look forward to rest of the week at the Kentucky Spring Classic at the Kentucky Horse Park. As the week nears the end, championship honors will be awarded in the Amateur-Owner and Junior Hunter Divisions over the weekend.
Louise Serio and Phillipa
Photo: Louise Serio and Phillipa at the Kentucky Spring Classic Photo Credit: Holly Whiteman Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.