Lexington, KY – August 3, 2017 – Sydney Shulman topped a very competitive field of 50 horse-and-rider combinations to win the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic aboard Hannah Patten’s Curby du Seigneur. Fifteen of those rides came back for the jump-off and 11 of those rounds saw double-clear jumping efforts.
Thursday’s win for Shulman was arguably one of the hardest fought of her professional career on a horse that she has only competed at the grand prix level one other time. Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire finished a mere .09 seconds behind Shulman on Sibell BH and rounded out the top three with Cornwall BH, both owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC.
For Shulman, the victory was unexpected and very special as it marked only the second time she had ridden Curby Du Seigneur in a grand prix and the first time ever competing with him under stadium lights. Last week during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, the pair won the Under 25 Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon. Although Shulman had previously won this same class two years ago, she was wary about how she could possibly top a grand prix that included world-class riders such as Shane Sweetnam, Sharn Wordley and Pablo Barrios as fellow competitors. In the end, by allowing the 9-year-old Belgian Warmblood’s natural speed and carefulness to prevail, she was able to achieve one of the most important victories of her career to date by racing across the finish line in 39.216 seconds.
In addition to Curby Du Seigneur, Shulman rode Ardente Printaniere, a horse she recently purchased from McLain Ward, to a double-clear finish and placed seventh in the large class in a time of 41.421 seconds.
All three of Amanda Derbyshire’s horses entered in the class produced double-clear efforts in what ended up being a bittersweet loss to her friend Shulman. The two have been competing against one another in grand prix competitions for several years and can often be seen cheering each other on from the sidelines.
Hot on Derbyshire’s heels in the jump-off was Sweetnam who rode an impressive four horses in the first round, managing to advance three of those mounts to the jump-off. Sweetnam rode Seabrooke LLC’s Baloppi to a fourth place finish in 40.267 seconds.
Thursday’s class marked the halfway point for riders who are vying for an opportunity to win the Hagyard Challenge Series, which will award the rider with the most points at the end of the summer with a bonus prize of $50,000. The class was populated by riders who represented 10 different countries, all of whom gathered to compete over a track designed by Mexican course builder, Florencio Hernandez.
The horses that qualified for the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix will have tomorrow off before returning to Rolex Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night. On Friday, amateur competitors will rule the stadium including the Low Children’s Jumpers and Amateur Jumpers.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
On competing in a 15-horse jump-off:
“I looked at my mom and John Roche, who co-trains me, and I said, ‘I have never been in a 15-horse jump-off before! How do I win that?’ A lot of the other rounds were double rides so I knew some people would play it safe and save their horses for Saturday and others would ride to win. John told me to ride smart, so I tried to go in with a good pace and stick to my plan and it all worked out.”
On Curby Du Seigneur:
“He is naturally the fastest horse that I have ever ridden in my entire life. On any given day, without trying, he is naturally faster than any other horse in the ring. His owner, Hannah Patten, and I were very interested to see how he would handle the atmosphere under the lights and with the crowd. He was phenomenal.”
On having two clear rounds in the grand prix:
“I bought my other horse, Ardente Printaniere, a week ago and this was only my third class on her. It is probably better that I don’t know her too well yet because I didn’t get in her way. She is 11 years old and has a little more experience than Curby, so I just trusted her and let her do her thing. The two horses couldn’t be more different but they are both very careful and if I set them up carefully they both try their hearts out for me.”
On her three horses in the jump-off:
“I am really excited! I went as fast as I could on my first one, Sibell BH, and I actually thought it may be enough. I didn’t watch Sydney go, but I tried to go as fast as possible on Cornwall and it wasn’t enough. On my third horse, Luibanta BH, I decided we wouldn’t be fast enough to beat Sydney, so I wanted to aim for a double-clear but save the speed for the grand prix on Saturday.”
On Sibell BH:
“I started riding her during WEF this year. It took awhile for us to get together, but in the past few months we have figured each other out. I changed her bridle and now it’s working really well. She’s very stride-y.”
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
1. Curby Du Seigneur / Sydney Shulman / Hannah Patten / 74.485 / 39.216
2. Sibell BH / Amanda Derbyshire / Gochman Sport Horse LLC / 75.630 / 39.306
3. Cornwall BH / Amanda Derbyshire / Gochman Sport Horse LLC / 77.079 / 40.100
4. Baloppi / Shane Sweetnam / Seabrooke LLC / 75.139 / 40.267
5. Polytelle / Luis Biraben / Lui Biraben & Miguel Madero / 75.139 / 40.267
6. Don’t Touch Du Bois / Shane Sweetnam / Sweet Oak Farm & Paul Tracy / 77.835 / 41.337
7. Ardente Printaniere / Sydney Shulman / Sydney Shulman / 77.969 / 41.421
8. Shiver / Liza Finsness / Liza Finsness / 76.249 / 42.421
9. Caillou / Luis Biraben / Luis Biraben & Miguel Madero / 75.355 / 42.129
10. Barnetta / Sharn Wordley / Sky Group / 77.115 / 47.546
11. Luibanta BH / Amanda Derbyshire / Gochman Sport Horse LLC / 78.383 / 50.731
12. Gentille / Kaely Tomeu / Siboney Ranch / 75.485 / 4 / 40.163