Claudia Villamil and Lacey Gilbertson Speed to Wins in High Amateur/Owner and High Junior Jumpers

Claudia Villamil and Quite Close VD SMIS
Claudia Villamil and Quite Close VD SMIS

Run concurrently, the High Amateur/Owner Jumper and the High Junior Jumper classes attracted numerous amateur and junior athletes and their horses to the Walnut Ring to vie for the top prize in their respective events. During the speed class, entries had to make their only turn around the track count, keeping all the rails up and crossing the timers quickly. Fourteen-year-old Claudia Villamil stole the show on the Junior card, riding her own Quite Close VD SMIS and Infinity to the one-two finish ahead of the rest of the field. Lacey Gilbertson and Echo D, owned by Seabrook, LLC, bested their competitors with a quick clean round in the Amateur-Owner class.

As two of the first to go in the class, sisters Mimi Gochman and Sophie Gochman laid down back-to-back clean rides. Mimi Gochman and Caleno 3, owned by Gotham Enterprizes, navigated their way to a time of 67.477 seconds to take the lead in the class, but was immediately surpassed by her sister Sophie in the irons aboard Carola BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horse, with their quicker time of 66.983 seconds. Villamil had the good fortune of watching both sisters ride the track, which helped her with her subsequent rides aboard her two mares. During her first trip, the young rider blazed through the course at a blistering 58.767 seconds with the ride on her grey mare Quite Close VD SMIS, taking the lead more than eight seconds ahead of Sophie Gochman. Not to be outdone, Villamil returned to the Walnut Ring with Infinity, and though they were nothat quick enough to nab the first position, they still separated themselves far ahead of their competitors by turning in a time of 60.002 seconds to claim second place, effectively sweeping the top two spots for Villamil.

Sophie Gochman and Carola BH were not overtaken by any quicker pairs, and held on to third position just ahead of her sister Mimi and Caleno 3, who finished the class in fourth place. The fastest 4-fault team of Briley Koerner and Bente, owned by BKS Horse Farms, LLC, rounded out the top five with their time of 59.611 seconds, the second-fastest trip of the class.

Lacey Gilbertson and Echo D
Lacey Gilbertson and Echo D

Similar to the juniors, only four amateurs riders and their mounts rode to fault-free rounds, with the competition much closer in terms of time. The first to ride clear, Olivia Herbert and Chakato VL, owned by Mimi Herbert, laid down a quick trip at 61.035 seconds over the same course that the High Juniors had ridden. Unfortunately for Herbert, her time didn’t stand long, as Gilbertson piloted Echo D to an even speedier trip in 60.161 seconds to take over the lead. Owner-rider Caroline Donnally and Winter, as well as Lindsay Strafuss and Castle Point Farm, LLC’s Binja, each put forth strong efforts in an attempt to contend with Gilbertson, but were unable to surpass her time. Donnally and Winter rode clean in 62.913 seconds to claim third, followed by Strafuss and Binja in fourth position with a clean time of 70.706 seconds.

Jumper competition at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show will continue through Sunday, with the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix sponsored by Audi of Lexington bringing elite showjumping competitors to the Rolex Stadium once again for their shot at the top prize.


Claudia Villamil – High Junior Jumpers, 1st Place

On her two horses:
“Quite Close, I bought her at the end of last year. We get along really well. She’s naturally fast and she’s just great I love her. She loves jumping and she loves her job. This was actually my first time in the Highs with Infinity – she was really great, too. She’s just so easy and she enjoys jumping, as well.”

On how she cut time on course:
“I think we maybe cut some of our time in the turns from [fence] 8 to [fence] 9. They’re both naturally fast so I just kind of let them go at their pace. I watched both Sophie and Mimi and I saw that they were both pretty fast so I tried to do their same course but a little faster. You just needed a nice rhythm and you were able to get around it pretty nicely.”

On coming to Kentucky Horse Shows:
“We’ve been coming to Kentucky for the past three years and I really like the show. The horses like it here and they’re always relaxed.”

Claudia Villamil and Quite Close VD SMIS
Claudia Villamil and Quite Close VD SMIS


Place / Rider / Horse / Owner / Faults / Time

High Junior Jumpers
1. Claudia Villamil / Quite Close VD SMIS / Claudia Villamil / 0 / 58.767
2. Claudia Villamil / Infinity / Claudia Villamil / 0 / 60.002
3. Sophie Gochman / Carola BH / Gochman Sport Horse LLC / 0 / 66.983
4. Mimi Gochman / Caleno 3 / Gotham Enterprizes / 0 / 67.477
5. Briley Koerner / Bente / BKS Horse Farms, LLC / 4 / 59.611
6. Mimi Gochman / Lilly BH / Gochman Sport Horse LLC / 4 / 62.845
7. Briley Koerner / Lisanto 2 / BKS Horse Farms, LLC / 4 / 63.811
8 Isabella Bleu Baxter / Jahil / Isabella Bleu Baxter / 4 / 69.671

High Amateur/Owner Jumpers
1. Lacey Gilbertson / Echo D / Seabrook LLC / 0 / 60.161
2. Olivia Herbert / Chakato Vl / Mimi Herbert / 0 / 61.035
3. Caroline Donnally / Winter / Caroline Donnally / 0 / 62.913
4. Lindsey Strafuss / Binja / Castle Point Farm, LLC / 0 / 70.706
5. Kaely Tomeu / Pippi / Siboney Ranch / 4 / 57.260
6. Claire McKean / Elektro / Claire McKean / 4 / 57.607
7. Olivia Herbert / Quicksilver / Mimi Herbert / 4 / 61.392
8. Rileigh Tibbott / Kahlua 7 / Rileigh Tibbott / 4 / 64.750
9. Meghan Shader / Anabelle 28 / Shader Sporthorses LLC / 4 / 65.127
10. Kaely Tomeu / Elizabeth / Siboney Ranch / 8/ 61.843

For more information on the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, please click here.