Lexington, Ky. – July 24, 2020 – Equitation competition took center stage in the Stonelea Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park Friday, July 24 for the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Showcasing junior talent, a number of medal classes and equitation divisions filled with a hefty number of entries as athletes made their efforts to garner valuable points toward the 2020 indoors season finals. Making her mark in the ASPCA Maclay, Ellie Ferrigno walked away with the blue, while Lola Head won the USHJA Hunter Seat Medal and Samantha Takacs won the Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3” Medal.
Ferrigno, who is a seasoned competitor in the equitation and the 2019 winner of the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Finals – East, bested a field of 23 entries in the ASPCA Maclay with a new partner, Olivia Robertson’s Astro de Ravel. Ferrigno and Astro de Ravel delivered a picture-perfect round, making the Jasen Shelley’s (USA) designed track look as seamless as possible. Demonstrating correct position and accuracy to the nine fences, Ferrigno and the seven-year-old Selle Francais answered each question in the course with ease. The 18-year-old rider was thrilled with the performance of her mount as this was the gelding’s first time out in the ASPCA Maclay with her.
In the USHJA Hunter Seat Medal, it was Head who rode Apollo to the top spot. Head produced a lovely round aboard the 12-year-old Warmblood gelding. Following a competitive first round, the top four riders were asked to return for the test. As the last to go in the four-horse lineup, Head and Apollo met each fence in perfect stride, finishing their shortened course with a balanced counter canter before walking into the lineup. Head was rewarded for her test, walking out of the arena with a smile and a blue ribbon in hand.
Also taking place Friday afternoon, the Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3” Medal was the penultimate equitation class of the day. Topping the ranks out of 23 total entries was Takacs, who rode a beautiful round and showed skill on the flat aboard Stephanie Rings’s For Advance, a 10-year-old Westphalian gelding.
Competition in the Stonelea Ring will pick back up Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. with the Amateur Owner Hunters. Equitation competition will also continue Saturday morning with the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 2* in the Walnut Arena and the Dover/USEF Medal in the Covered Arena.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Ellie Ferrigno – ASPCA Maclay winner
On Astro de Ravel:
“He is seven years old. We imported him last summer for one of my mother’s customers but she unfortunately lost interest in riding. So, I have been lucky enough to spend a lot of time developing him and he has been like my project, especially during quarantine, I spent a lot of time putting the work in with him. We went to a few local shows but this was out first big outing with him so this was his first real equitation class I would say. I was so proud of him! He is like my baby!”
On the course:
“My plan going in was to give him a confident ride. He is very brave, but he has never really done anything so I was just thinking about having a good solid round with a strong canter going around.”
On her plans:
“We are offering him for sale, but I am hoping I get a little bit more time to put the work in because I just love him. He has been awesome so I think for the rest of the summer I will do the Medal and Maclay on him to get his experience up. Going forward, I am going to go for the ASPCA Maclay Finals with my seasoned equitation horse that I will probably take for that.”
On showing at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show:
“I am so happy! I think that management is doing a lovely job making sure that it is safe and following all the guidelines with COVID-19. All in all, it is amazing to be back at a horse show and doing what we love! My whole life is horses so it is so nice to be back doing it.”
Place / Rider / Horse
1. Ellie Ferrigno / Astro de Ravel
2. Eleanor Rudnicki / Simply Stated
3. Austin Krawitt / Vendredi Riverland
4. Augusta Iwasaki / Nick of Time
5. Grace Defoe / Firestone II
6. Alivia Kohus / Cristallo’s Carlchen P
7. Isabella David / Contelido
8. Anna Robson / Eres Tu