Kentucky Classic CDE


First, here are a few more photos from last Saturday’s Kentucky Classic CDE marathon. Then, tomorrow, for a different sort of cross-country, I think we’ll check back in with Mr. Johnson and see how he’s doing on his cross-continent trek.

Shown, in alphabetical order: Jennifer Harber, Debbie Lawrence, Max Montoya, Carrie Ostrowski, Colten Parker, and Casey Zubeck.

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First, I apologize for not posting anything here yesterday. Jill and Mindy and I were “on location” for much of the late afternoon, doing a photo shoot for the CAA’s upcoming holiday gift catalog. We had amateur models, wardrobe changes, horses and carriages as props … the works. We also had a lot of laughs, and I’ll probably be posting a few of the sillier photos (not destined for the catalog) here.

But, for now, let’s go back to the recent Kentucky Classic CDE. Toward the end of the marathon on Saturday, the skies opened up, as you can probably see here …

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And then — thankfully, after the marathon had finished — it rained even more. By Sunday, the cones arena was a muddy mess and more rain was falling. The event organizers decided to move the cones classes for the advanced-level single horses and four-in-hand teams (the National Championship classes) to first thing in the morning. By the time A.J. and I arrived (after those championship classes had already gone), we were just in time to hear the announcement that the remainder of the event would be canceled. Soooo, I don’t have a single cones-competition photo to share with you this year.

But stay tuned, as I’ll continue to share more of the exciting marathon photos from Saturday.

As a start, here are a few of my favorite “unusual” photos from Chester Weber’s trip through the marathon course. These are from three separate obstacles, and I like them all for different reasons: the odd angle in the first (and, wow, can a four-in-hand team make a tight turn!), the generally out-of-focus image with one horse’s face in focus in the second one, and the horses’ reflections in the water in the third.

Enjoy! And stay tuned for more images from the Kentucky Classic CDE marathon.

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The first day of competition here at the Kentucky Classic CDE is now finished.

This morning, the advanced-level horses and ponies were presented for their first veterinary inspection. Here are a few photos …

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Then, this afternoon, all the advanced-level competitors performed their dressage tests for the judges. At the end of the day, Kate Shields stands in the lead in the USEF National Singles Championship.

The only single horse I got a photo of, however, was Sara Schmitt …

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Meghan Benge with her pair of ponies …

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Steve Wilson and his pair of Lipizzan horses …

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And, finally, two familiar faces in the four-in-hand division: James Fairclough …

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… and Chester Weber, who’s leading the USEF National Four-in-Hand Championship with a dressage score of 33.74.

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Yesterday afternoon, I had the opportunity to drive around the Kentucky Horse Park’s cross-country fields to see the completed and decorated marathon obstacles. Today and tomorrow, these will be busy with competitors walking the course and practicing their routes through the various obstacles. And on Saturday, of course, they’ll be filled with horses, ponies, and carriages … and surrounded, we hope, by lots and lots of cheering spectators. If you’re in or near Lexington this weekend, come on out to the Kentucky Horse Park!

If you recall seeing photos of the marathon obstacles from just before the 2010 World Equestrian Games, you’ll notice two major differences here: 1) the vines are doing a wonderful job of growing up and over the pergola on “Mick’s Mountain,” and 2) the grass is still green!

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And here’s a view of the lovely new dressage / cones arena …

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Here at the Kentucky Horse Park, we’re getting ready for the third annual Kentucky Classic CDE. I went over to the stabling area earlier today to see the “drivers’ lounge” I’d heard about …

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… which looks rather lovely and relaxing. The only other thing going on so far (while I was there) was some horse-bathing. But competitors, organizers, and officials are all making their final preparations for the event, which starts tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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Today — the final day of this year’s Kentucky Classic CDE, here at the Kentucky Horse Park — featured the cones phase of the CDE and the medal ceremonies for four new National Champions (in the pair-horse, single-pony, pair-pony, and pony-team divisions).

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In the pair-horse division, Misdee Wrigley Miller, who had the best dressage score among all the CDE competitors, was declared Reserve Champion …

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… after finishing only sixth-tenths of a point behind the winner. Jimmy Fairclough, who hasn’t competed with a pair of horses in nearly twenty years (he’s been driving a four-in-hand team in that time), is this year’s National Champion in the pair-horse division.

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Paul Maye is the new National Champion in the single-pony division

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Wendy O’Brien and her pair of ponies are this year’s National Champions in that division

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Lisa Stroud won her eighth National Championship in the pony-team division

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Katie Whaley and her team of ponies (Reserve Champions) had the only double-clear round on the cones course

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