Lexington, KY – July 27, 2017 – Pablo Barrios proved once again that he is the “King of the Ring” in the Rolex Stadium on Thursday evening by besting a field of twenty-six competitors to win the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic. David Beisel gave the Venezuelan Olympic veteran a run for his money by piloting two mounts to the jump-off and taking the second and third place ribbons. Lacey Gilbertson and Sharn Wordley rounded out the top five places in the ten horse jump off, placing fourth and fifth respectively.
Athletes in tonight’s class were especially competitive as the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic was the third class in the Hagyard Challenge Series. The series consists of seven grand prix classes held in 2017 at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the final event, a cash prize of $50,000 will be awarded to the rider accumulating the most points throughout the series.
Although Barrios was part of a handful of riders to only compete one horse in the class, he was confident that he and long-time mount Zara Leandra had what it took to win. The 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, who is owned by Barrios, easily navigated the course, designed by Oscar Soberon. The pair have already had a successful summer with a win in the $50,000 Country Heir II Grand Prix and a second-place finish in the $25,000 Rood and Riddle Grand Prix, both at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Barrios, who has previously received the $50,000 purse for winning the Challenge Series in past years, knows the cash prize is up for grabs as three different riders have won the three classes so far this year.
Grand Prix competition will continue in the Rolex Stadium on Saturday evening with the $50,000 Rood and Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix.
For more information on the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, please visit www.hagyard.com.
Several other generous sponsors have helped make this exciting series event happen. These gracious supporters include title sponsor Zoetis, MWI Animal Health, Sallee Horse Vans Inc., as well as Audi of Lexington, Pike & Preston and Hagyard Pharmacy.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
On his strategy in the jump-off:
“It is always a fast jump-off here. I lost a class in June during the Country Heir Show — I thought I was fast enough but here whoever is behind you is gunning for you. Nobody wants to be second. I tried to go as fast as possible and she really responded well. I think the track of the jump- off fit her well.” – Pablo Barrios
On Zara Leandra:
“She has a fabulous temperament for a mare. She is a fighter, like all females, and she really enjoys what she does and fights to win. She isn’t the most scopey horse but she wants to please me and I really appreciate that about her.” – Pablo Barrios
On The Hagyard Challenge Series
“It’s a big incentive for the riders. Most of the riders here have owners, so normally the prize money goes to them but it’s great this series is just for us. This year is going to be one of the most interesting because the people who won the first two challenge classes are not competing here now. I am not sure I will be in contention this year because I only have one horse and unfortunately you really need to have three horses to help accumulate the points. The only way for me to win the 2017 series is to win everything from here to the end and nothing is impossible, so we will see.” – Pablo Barrios
On preparing his two horses for the class:
“I have to prepare differently for each one. Ammeretto, being a stallion, is a little rowdier and I will have to do a gymnastic with him the morning of the class to help him focus. Once Call Me Hannes is in the groove, he is ready to go. They are very different but equally fun!” – David Beisel
“I have been riding him for nine years since he was a three-year-old. In the jump-off, the 6 [stride] got away from me that first line and I pushed his nitrous button and he said ‘No Problem, I got ya Dad!’ It is lovely to have a horse that you know so well. I can think it and he does it and that’s a real gift.” – David Beisel
On The Hagyard Challenge Series
“I am super thankful to Hagyard for doing the leading rider series. A big part of my decision to come back here was for the bonus. I didn’t get any this spring so I am happy to be back on track.” – David Beisel
Class: $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
1. Zara Leandra / Pablo Barrios / Pablo Barrios / 81.37 / 36.245
2. Ammeretto / David Beisel / Equine Holdings LLC / 83.462 / 36.868
3. Call Me Hannes / David Beisel / Harlow Investment / 81.382 / 37.670
4. Cobolt / Lacey Gilbertson / Seabrook LLC / 81.672 / 37.835
5. Caiman De Sequoias / Sharn Wordley / Sharn Wordley & Sky Group / 81.854 / 38.285
6. Shiver / Liza Finsness/ Liza Finsness / 80.746 / 39.560
7. Rye Val De Mai / Sharn Wordley / Sharn Wordley / 81.555 / 4 / 39.665
8. AF Karatino / Natalie Thornell / Sharleen Exler-Garcia / 82.730 / 4 / 41.970
9. Famoso D IVE Z / Sharn Wordley / Sharn Wordley & Sky Group / 80.230 / 12 / 36.322
10. Cassi / Nicole Shahinian-Simpson / Lisa Kerkorian / 80.159 / RT
11. Belize D’IVE Z / Lorcan Gallagher / Sweet Oak Farm / 4 / 79/143
12. Hunters Conlypso II / Lorcan Gallagher / Dacantos Group / 4 / 79/788