Ivy and Chris Payne Garner Grand Hunter Championship at Kentucky Spring Horse Show

Chris Payne and Ivy

Edited Press Release

Lexington, KY – May 9, 2024 – Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC, was thrilled to welcome professional hunter riders back to the Kentucky Horse Park this week. New Hope Farm’s Chris Payne has a name that is synonymous with victory. The Kentucky Spring Horse Shows was no exception as he swept the Green 3’ Hunter division aboard Debbie Bass’ 9-year-old Warmblood mare Ivy. After earning the division’s championship prize, the duo also returned center ring to accept the Professional Grand Hunter Championship, presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Payne after receiving the Grand Championship. “There are such great riders here and nice horses, that it’s a very nice feeling to be in this position. Ivy is a wonderful horse. She’s a very old soul. She’s green, but she just picks up the canter and does her job very effortlessly.”

Ivy showcased her brilliance and consistency during the first two days of competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Payne and Ivy won all four over fences classes during the Green 3’ Hunter division, and after proving that she is a beautiful mover as well, Ivy won the under saddle to claim the championship prize. With a clean sweep and 50 points in the division, Ivy’s performance was also rewarded with the Grand Hunter Championship, presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.

Chris Payne and Ivy. Photo by Shawn McMillen

“Ivy is beautiful about picking up one canter and she just stays in that canter and until you want to tweak it a little bit for the distance and she lands and she thinks about her own lead change,” explained Payne. “She’s really quite straightforward about it all. I just have to organize her and then just let her find the jumps.”

Next week, Ivy will compete with her owner, Debbie Bass, in the Adult Hunter division. “I want to thank Debbie for the support she’s given us for years and for supporting the hunter industry,” noted Payne. “She’s very solid about supporting the hunter industry, which is very refreshing for an owner.”

Payne was thrilled to be back at the Kentucky Horse Shows, concluding, “The weather’s beautiful during the day and the facility is amazing – it’s a great place to show!”

As a World Champion Hunter Rider week, the Kentucky Spring Horse Show will feature more hunter action this week, including Sunday’s $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by All Bizness Insurance, Friday’s $5,000 Open National Hunter Derby and $5,000 Jr/AM National Hunter Derby, and the $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby.

For more information on Kentucky Horse Shows LLC and the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.