TJ O’Mara and Kassiodam Top $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m to Kick Off Kentucky Horse Show Summer Series

TJ O’Mara and Kassiodam. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

Edited Press Release

Lexington, KY – July 27, 2022 – The Kentucky Horse Show Summer Series began jumper competition Wednesday morning with the $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m class in the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park. Top horse and rider combinations took to the track, eager to be back competing in the Bluegrass state. A wet and stormy day in Lexington set the scene for this class, presenting unique challenges to all the competitors to overcome. Ultimately, standing atop the leaderboard at the conclusion of the class was TJ O’Mara aboard Caroline Blake’s Kassiodam behind an impressive ride to take home the blue ribbon. 

Kassiodam entered the ring with a stoic presence and presented an impressive stride, maneuvering through each jump with ease. Guided efficiently by O’Mara in the irons, the 10-year-old Anglo European Studbook mare proved to be tough to beat as first in the order of go. The pair posted a double clear round with a time of 68.18 seconds in the first phase, and 42.57 seconds around the shortened jump off track, which held the top spot for the duration of the class. O’Mara and Kassiodam come to Kentucky after spending the last several weeks at Tryon[International Equestrian Center, Mill Spring, NC], where they had several podium finishes including 1st place in the 1.35m Jumper and 2nd in $25,000 Grand Prix. Starting off on the right foot, the duo looks ahead to Saturday’s $50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix here at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show.

Following closely behind in the competitive class was Jimmy Torano and his own Chewbacca. Torano, no stranger to the leaderboard, put together impressive performances in both the hunter and jumper divisions Wednesday at Kentucky Summer aboard his respective mounts. Set for second in the order of go in the 1.40m, Torano and the 10-year-old Holsteiner had a tall task to meet. The pair put themselves in a good position to take over the top spot in their first ride, tipping the wire at a time of 64.45 seconds, nearly 4 seconds faster than O’Mara and Kassiodam. However, the veteran duo fell slightly behind in the jump off track, awarding them the red ribbon with a time of 44.92 seconds. On the heels of an impressive summer that saw several podium finishes at both Tryon and Lake Placid Horse Shows, Torano and Chewbacca continue to build on their success. 

Tanner Korotkin and Orwell SCF

Rounding out the top three with the only other double clear effort in the class was Tanner Korotkin and Sandlewood Farms’ Orwell SCF. As second to last to go in the class, the duo knew the time to beat. The wet conditions proved to be a costly factor in their aggressiveness as Korotkin took a more reserved approach aboard the 8-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding. Their fault free round awarded them a spot in the jump off, where they came up short of the time to beat, settling into third with a time of 47.8 seconds. 

The $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m class kicked Kentucky Summer off on the right foot with stiff competition. Jumper competition is slated to continue in the Rolex Stadium at 8:00am Thursday with the Open Jumper 1.30m. 

FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE

TJ O’Mara – $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m

On Kassiodam’s performance through the course:

“I thought the course was perfect for the first 1.40m class of the week. The course designer did a great job of using the whole ring, and there were many stride options that you could use to your horses’ advantage. Kassiodam felt incredible today, and she was listening to me throughout the entire course. She has a naturally quick way of going, and she’s able to turn on a dime which helped us in the jump off. My goal was to have a smooth round today and work with good rhythm, and I was happy with whatever result we would end up with.”

On his relationship with Kassiodam: 

“Kassiodam has been in the barn with us for a little over a year now. I always flatted her for her owner Caroline Blake, and helped train Caroline on her. This spring I was lucky enough to get the ride on her to show, and we clicked right away. I won my first FEI class and Grand Prix with her during Split Rock, and have had many consistent placings with her. Our plan was to do today’s 1.40m and then save her for Saturday evening’s Grand Prix. I’m incredibly thankful to Caroline and her father Barry Blake for trusting me with the ride, and to Max Amaya, Victor Amaya, and the entire Stonehenge team for helping me with her!”

On competing in Kentucky: 

“It feels great to be back in Kentucky! This is one of my favorite facilities in the country, and it’s really built for horses to enjoy themselves. We typically spend 6 weeks throughout the year here, between the summer shows and indoors, and I always enjoy my time at the Kentucky Horse Park!”

RESULTS

1.40M Jumper

Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time

1 / Kassiodam / TJ O’Mara / Caroline Blake / 0 | 68.18 / 0 | 42.57

2 / Chewbacca / Jimmy Torano / Jimmy Torano / 0 | 64.45 / 0 | 44.92

3 / Orwell SCF / Tanner Korotkin / Sandalwood Farm / 0 | 72.41 / 0 | 47.8  

4 / Halland Van De Mispelaere / Jack Hardin Towell / Jack Hardin Towell / 0 | 72.17 / 4 | 43.28

5 / Lucy in the Sky / Chris Pratt / Ashley Vogel / 4 | 68.98

6 / More Than Extra / Nora Gray / Mahmouid Nour El Din / 4 | 75.39

7 / Nightshade SCF / Sarah Meier / Sarah Meier / 8 | 72.66

8 / Diamant / Celine Myers / Willa Bonnette / 8 | 74.68

9 / Diego De Baud / Brady Hayes / Mark Brady and Cathy Harding / 27 | 96.77