Shane Sweetnam Takes the Lead in the 2012 Hagyard Challenge Series

LEXINGTON, (Phelps) - It was a thrilling Welcome Stake for the final week of the Kentucky Summer Series, during the KHJA Horse Show. It was Shane Sweetnam who rode to the top of the standings for the 2012 Hagyard Challenge Series. Sweetnam’s first place finish knocked Kaitlin Campbell into the second place position, with Reed Kessler holding strong in the third place position.

Consisting of seven grand prix classes to be held during the 2012 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park, the Hagyard Challenge Series, sponsored by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, offers a $50,000 Leading Rider Award. The rider accumulating the most points throughout the series will be presented with the bonus during the $50,000 World Cup Qualifier at the Kentucky National Horse Show in September 2012.

On Friday, August 24, 2012, Sweetnam piloted Solerina to the first place finish in the $10,000 Hagyard Welcome Stake, and also picked up the first place award with his other mount Amaretto D’Arco during the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at the Bluegrass Festival. After Friday night’s win, Sweetnam now holds the lead with 830 points.

Campbell holds the second place position with 590 points. Kessler has fallen into the third place position, her Kentucky Spring Series rankings holding resilient for three of the Hagyard Lexington Grand Prix events. Beezie Madden and Ashlee Bond are currently tied for the fourth place spot in the rankings, each with 290 points.

Madden won the $50,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic with Simon during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, while Bond and Cadett 7 led the way during the Kentucky Spring Classic’s $32,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic. Rebecca Conway has now moved into the sixth place position after her most recent second place finish aboard Twister.

Friday night was one of two remaining Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix events, which are held during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, the Kentucky Summer Classic, the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and the KHJA Horse Show. The Series concludes with the $50,000 World Cup Qualifier during the Kentucky National Horse Show. Following that exciting competition, the winner for the $50,000 Leading Rider will be announced and presented with the prize by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. The 2012 Hagyard Challenge Series will also feature a high point Thoroughbred Award. Following the final event, a $10,000 prize will be presented to the high point Thoroughbred participating in the Series.

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute is one of the oldest and largest equine veterinary practices in the world. Founded in 1876, the institute offers a staff with qualifications unparalleled by any single non-university veterinary group in the equine industry, and Hagyard veterinarians have dedicated themselves to the health and well being of the horse for more than 130 years.

The facility at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute offers 13 Digital Radiology systems, 1.5 Tesla Siemens Open MRI, Nuclear Scintigraphy, an on-site laboratory, an on-site pharmacy, full surgical services, 24-hour ambulance and emergency services, and Hyperbaric Medicine. The institute has practiced veterinary medicine for more than 133 years and is currently composed of over 60 experienced veterinarians, with 12 board certifications in specialty areas of Medicine, Surgery, Critical Care, and Theriogenology.