|The introduction of hunter competition to the Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) culminated Saturday, June 19, with the $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby featured in the Rolex Stadium for the second week of the Lexington Split Rock Hunter Jumper Classic. Impressing in the handy round with a score just shy of 200 was Greg Crolick with Carole Chase’s Chappy.|
The course was set by Steve Stephens and utilized the entire stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park, with spectacular hunter jumps created by Dalman Jump Co. Heading into the second round of competition, Crolick sat steadily in fourth place as he and the 10-year-old Mecklenburg gelding tried their hand at the derby round. Combinations were asked to show their handiness throughout the shortened course with rollback turns, a trot fence and a hand gallop to the final fence on course.
While Crolick climbed up the placings following the handy round to take the win, second place was captured by Caitlyn Shiels and Durpetti Equestrian LLC’s Cassius and Havens Schatt with Ken and Amy Wexler LLC’s Cascartini rounded out the top three. Hunter competition will conclude Sunday, June 20, with the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby offering both Open and Junior/Amateur divisions.
Earlier in the afternoon, jumper riders took to the Claiborne Ring with FEI competition featuring the $37,000 1.45m Power & Speed CSI3*. Eve Jobs (USA) claimed victory in the class, racing to a 24.90 second time in the second phase aboard longtime partner Charleville. Second place was claimed by Jessica Mendoza (GBR) and Dublin, while Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Ideal finished in third place.
The $20,000 1.35m National Prix saw a competitive start list, with over 100 entries vying for the top spot. Operating under an immediate jump-off format, it was Luis Fernando Larrazabal (VEN) and Coralina LS La Silla who captured the quickest double-clear finish. Caelinn Leahy (USA) and Zarkava finished in second place and Laurel Walker (USA) and Gatsby rounded out the podium.
In Friday’s $50,000 1.50m Welcome CSI3*, nearly 70 combinations tried their hand at Oscar Soberon’s track, but it was Kristen VanderVeen (USA) and Bull Run’s Prince of Peace (Cardenio 2 x Contender) who emerged victorious. The 1.50m course consisted of 16 jumping efforts, challenging competitors with a vertical-vertical combination and the narrow Split Rock wall to a large liverpool oxer. Rails were dropped in various places across the track with just three competitors finishing clear in the first round to secure their spot on the podium. Ultimately VanderVeen and the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC, would produce the best jump-off effort to take the top spot. Spencer Brittan finished in second place with his own Uncle Blue (Chacco-Blue x Robin Z) while Alex Granato and The Bright Lights Group’s Carlchen W (Chacco-Blue x Continue) captured third.