Banner Year for Country Heir I & II in Bluegrass Country

Lexington, Ky. – June 29, 2016 – For more than 20 years, the Country Heir I and II Horse Shows scheduled in June have become a tradition for many at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY and 2016 was another successful and exciting year. Over the course of the two week world class Premier AA event, which featured  almost $400,000 in total prize money, Country Heir was host to some of the finest horses and riders from both the US and abroad. More than 1,000 exhibitors competed.

Margie Engle and Abunola, winners of the $50,000 Country Heir II Grand Prix

The goal of new managers JP Bordeleau and Tucker Ericson was to continue to do the things that have always made Country Heir a unique show at the Kentucky Horse Park while seeking new opportunities to improve the horse show experience for trainers, exhibitors and sponsors.

“(Owner) Frankie Stark has always put money back into her shows”, said Ericson. “This year, she doubled the prize money in the Child/Adult Jumper Classics, added a second International Hunter Derby, giving Derby competitors two $30,000 classes in which to compete. She also Split the Pre-Green Incentive, and spent a considerable amount of money on landscaping and exhibitor parties”, Ericson stated. “Frankie understands the importance of continuing to differentiate ourselves. Equestrians have so many options today and we need to constantly earn their trust and support.”

The additions of a first class VIP and Sponsor Hospitality Pavilion and Local Day Tuesday were well received by both sponsors and exhibitors and will become a mainstay in future years.   In 2017, plans are underway to add an Equitation Day between the two, Premiere AA shows, offering a third opportunity for Medal and Maclay riders to compete. “The feedback we received this year was tremendous”, said Technical Coordinator, Steve Stephens.   “The teamwork amongst management and staff was felt by all the exhibitors and really made the difference.”

The Country Heir Team benefited greatly from the tremendous support of these 2016 sponsors : The World Equestrian Center at Roberts Arena, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Monmouth at the Team, Wrenwood Farms, CWD Sellier, Devoucoux, Boggs Hill Farm, Milestone LLC, Autumn Road Farm, PJP Farm, New Hope LLC, Still Water Farm, Memorial Park Hunters, WillowWay Farm, Four Points Sheraton, Dietrich Insurance, XL Specialty Insurance Company, Uphill Farm, The Ingram Family, McQuay Stables Inc., Visse Wedell, Liftoff Equestrian, SeaChange Farm, The Adell Family and Ashland Farms.

Country Heir thanks all of its exhibitors for their participation in 2016 and congratulates the following  special class winners:

Week I

USHJA Pre-Green Incentive:  Well Played, ridden by Christopher Payne and owned by Melissa Jacobs LLC.

$10,000 Welcome Prix: Rocky W, ridden and owned by Kaitlyn Campbell.

$30,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby: Quinino, ridden by Peter Pletcher, owned by Audry Giles-Gates.

$40,000 Grand Prix: Antares, ridden and owned by Pablo Barrios.

Kelley Farmer and Thoughtful

Week II World Championship Hunter Rider

USHJA Pre-Green Incentive: Thoughtful, ridden by Kelley Farmer, owned by Oceanbound Stable and Influential, ridden and owned by Kelley Farmer.

$7,500 Joey Darby Memorial Pre-Green Challenge: Thoughtful, ridden by Kelley Farmer, owned by Oceanbound Stable.

$10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby: Splendid, ridden by Geoffrey P. Hesslink, owned by Belhaven Stables LLC.

$30,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby:  Bowie, ridden by Courtney Calcagnini, owned by South Haven Farm.

$25,000 Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital Grand Prix: Main Road, ridden by Shane Sweetnam, owned by Seabrook LLC.

$50,000 Country Heir II Grand Prix: Abunda, ridden by Margie Engle, owned by Elm Rock Partners, LLC.

Courtney Calcagnini and Bowie

Photos courtesy of Anne Gittens Photography