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[Lexington, KY] Back stateside after a summer in Europe, Lauren Hough is wasting no time making her presence known here in the USA; on Thursday evening she picked up the win in the $75,0000 Double H Farm International Open Jumper 1.50m at the Alltech National Horse Show.
That win comes on the heels of Hough’s victory in last week’s Open Jumper class at the Washington International Horse Show with Oh La La. However, while Oh La La is an up and coming “second horse” in Hough’s grand prix string, Quick Study is well known as her veteran partner at top international levels.
Hough and Quick Study. Photo ©PMG
Hough considers the 13 year old French Warmblood gelding an easy keeper, and much more rideable than he was at the beginning of their partnership six years ago. Quick Study came into the Alltech Arena on Thursday evening fresh and in top form after a weeklong stay at Joe Fargis’ Sandron Farm in Middleburg, Virginia.
The Richard Jeffrey designed course, with a generous first round time allowed of 72 seconds, attracted 36 horse and rider pairs. While there were significant trouble spots in that first round, namely over an especially wide oxer liverpool and the tightly set triple combination against the arena wall, 13 riders managed to clock clear rounds and qualify for the jumpoff.
Some wondered afterwards, was the course too soft? All three top finishers in the class agreed that they expected a big group to go clear in the first round.
“It was well done,” said Kent Farrington, who finished second with Raylyn Farm, LLC’s Venus. “You had some there were in there for a warm up class [for Saturday night’s $250,000 World Cup Qualifier], and some that probably can’t jump the big dimensions so well. But I think the class was built appropriately.”
Farrington considers Venus green at the international level, but his rollback to the second to last jumpoff fence, and flat gallop to the last had many betting on him for the win. However, Ireland’s Richie Moloney and Slieveanorra squeaked into second place with a 0.73 second lead over Farrington’s jumpoff time with a smooth, confident round.
“It was a nice open class and a lot of these horses will be jumping Saturday,” added Hough. “I don’t mind tonight to have 13 clear, it turned out to be a good class, these horses got loosened up and I think Saturday will be a big question for $250,000.”
Young Olivier Philippaerts, who has attracted much attention on his first-ever tour of the United States, notched the first clear round of the evening with Denver Van T Goemanshot, but later fell victim to that very position as six riders stopped the clock faster then his clean 41.41 effort, keeping him out of the top ribbons.
On the other side of the age spectrum, a well-seasoned Margie Engle completed her third successful double clear in as many weeks over an open jumper course. This is notable as Engle is just recently recovered from a fractured ankle that occurred in July and required surgery. Engle piloted Royce to two double clear rounds and placed an eventual 10th place.
Nine riders in all ended the night with double clear rounds, and for those who came straight from competing in the tight confines of the Washington International Horse Show’s Verizon Center last week, the Alltech Arena must have felt decidedly more spacious. Particularly in the jumpoff, since all the jumps not used in the second round were removed, there was ample room to gallop between fences, turn to shave off time and seek to beat the previous leader.
As the last stop on the fall indoor circuit for East Coasters, the Alltech National Horse Show ramps up in action throughout the weekend. Saturday’s $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix World Cup Qualifier will precede Sunday’s 2012 ASPCA Maclay Final, making for a busy two show days at the fabulous Kentucky Horse Park. Check back with ProEquest for more coverage and results as the NHS continues.
Hough is congratulated by her team after her winning jumpoff ride. Photo ©EqSol
Top Ten - $75,000 Double H Farm International Open Jumper
Rider | Horse | Round 1 faults | Round 2 Faults | Round 2 time
- Lauren Hough | Quick Study | 0 | 0 | 40.51
- Richie Moloney | Slieveanorra | 0 | 0 | 40.66
- Kent Farrington | Venus | 0 | 0 | 41.39
- Hillary Simpson | Nopus Du Gue Joubert | 0 | 0 | 41.69
- Aaron Vale | Palm Sunday | 0 | 0 | 42.83
- Tim Gredley | Unex Timo IV | 0 | 0 | 42.88
- Olivier Philippaerts | Denver Van T Goemanshot | 0 | 0 | 44.41
- Matt Williams | Watch Me VD Mangelaar | 0 | 0 | 45.66
- Margie Engle | Royce | 0 | 0 | 48.19
- Rocky W | Kaitlin Campbell | 0 | 4 | 39.99