The first week of the Lexington Split Rock Hunter Jumper Classic culminated Sunday, June 13, with hunter, jumper, and equitation competition taking place throughout the Kentucky Horse Park. Highlighted by the $100,000 1.45m Grand Prix CSI2*, the Claiborne Ring saw 53 horse-and-rider combinations set out to tackle Anderson Lima’s (MEX) 16-effort track, but none could catch 22 year-old Taylor St. Jacques (USA) who took the top honors aboard longtime partner Upsilon De La Liniere.
Jessica Mendoza (GBR) set the pace early on in the jump-off with 14-year-old Dublin. Holding the lead for five trips, her time was finally challenged by St. Jaques and her own 13-year-old Selle Français gelding as they stunned the crowd to overtake the top time of 39.560 seconds by just under one second. Mendoza ultimately finished in second place, while Catherine Tyree (USA) finished in third place with BEC Lorenzo to showcase an all-female podium.
“This is my first FEI and my first Grand Prix win so this is very special for me. I am over the moon. I’ve had this horse for almost three years and we have a really good partnership. We’re now at a point where when we go into the ring he wants to win as badly as I do and I can feel that in every jump. This is my first Split Rock show that I’ve been to and I’m impressed. The venue is fantastic and the turnout is great. I have really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to next week here,” commented St. Jacques.
The Rolex Stadium switched up its usual jumper scenery this week to welcome hunter and equitation horses, offering an Open, Junior and Amateur division for the USHJA National Hunter Derby. With vibrant hunter fences created by Dalman Jump Co., hunter riders of all levels enjoyed the derby format.
In the Open division, Sam Berry and Brittany Davis Haugh’s Denver S rode to the top prize. The Junior division was dominated by Campbell Brown and MMK Equestrian LLC’s Fleetwood, while Erika Jakobson and her own Nobel Laureate claimed a victory in the Amateur division.