Lexington, Kentucky, USA – May 21, 2021 – The famed Rolex Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park was buzzing with excitement Friday, May 21, as junior and amateur-owner competitors took center stage to vie for top honors in the High Junior/Amateur – Owner 1.40m Jumper. In a one-round competition against the clock, 37 hopeful athletes sought victory aboard their mounts, but it was ultimately junior athlete Dominic Gibbs (USA) who rose to the occasion riding Mount King Ranch LLC’s Delia B to take first place honors.
Ken Krome (USA) challenged the combined class of junior and amateur-owner athletes with an 11-effort track that took advantage of the expansive arena. As the second pair on course and the pathfinders of a clear round, Gibbs (USA) and Delia B set the standard high for the remainder of the class, crossing through the timers in 60.62 seconds and leaving all of the rails intact.
Though 14 other competitors would maneuver fault-free rides, Gibbs and Delia B’s early lead would eventually pay off, as none could match their finesse and speed through the course. Kristen Berian (USA) and her own Nestor Z would come close to claim second place, finishing on a fault-free time of 60.87 seconds.
Coco Fath (USA) and Hillside Farm LLC’s Gaucho would round out the top three on a clear round and time of 61.48 seconds. Gibbs added another top placing to his roster with Plain Bay Sales LLC’s Ferry Van Den Hoogeweg, taking fourth place on a clear ride and time of 61.67 seconds.
Gibbs and the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare have notched several top placings together during their time competing at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), including numerous top-ten finishes throughout the Hermés U25 Grand Prix Series and a win in the $10,000 Show Jumping Hall Of Fame High Junior Jumper 1.45m Classic. Training under Plain Bay Sales, the future is bright for this pair as they look forward to an exciting summer show circuit in Upperville, Virginia and Traverse City, Michigan.
Prior to the High Junior/Amateur-Owner 1.40m Jumper, the $5,000 Open 1.45m Jumper kicked off Friday’s competition, welcoming 47 athletes trying to notch a win under their belt. Claiming top honors was Vani Khosla riding her own Amerigo, a 14-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding. The pair navigated a 27.77-second jump-off to emerge victorious Friday morning. Second place was awarded to Nicholas Dello Joio aboard the 14-year-Old Selle Francia gelding Artillero owned by Amelia Riegel, with Anna Wilks and her own Loeki Van Het Lindehof, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, rounding out the top three.
Show jumping competition at the Kentucky Spring Classic will continue Saturday, May 22, featuring the highly anticipated $137,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3*, sponsored by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.
Dominic Gibbs – High Junior/Amateur-Owner 1.40m Jumper winner
On his round
“My plan with [Delia B] today was just to have a nice confident round. In doing that I was a little bit conservative, but I wanted to do really neat turns and work on the rideability, and I think that I made up the time in my turns.”
On Delia B:
“She’s really quick off the ground and has a quick cadence. She felt great – really relaxed and confident in the schooling area. I worked out of a gallop to get her ready for the quote-on-quote ‘speed’ but she felt great in the ring, rideability felt great and we’re ready for the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic tomorrow!”
On his plans this year:
“We will take two weeks off and my next show will be the [Upperville Colt & Horse Show], then we will stay in Upperville for the Loudoun Benefit [Horse Show]. Then we go to Tryon for two weeks and then off to Traverse City, Michigan.”
On Kentucky Horse Shows:
“It’s great to be here, I love it. I love showing in the Rolex Arena, it’s great especially for the horses with a big stride, they really get to open up. I love everything about it.”
Final Results – High Junior/Amateur-Owner 1.40m Jumper
1) Dominic Gibbs (USA) & Delia B – 0 / 60.625
2) Kristen Berian (USA) & Nestor Z – 0 / 60.870
3) Coco Fath (USA) & Gaucho – 0 / 61.484
Source: Press Release for Kentucky Horse Shows
Photos: © Allyson Lagiovane