Lexington, Kentucky, USA – August 5, 2021 – Thirty-seven contenders took to the Rolex Stadium Thursday night to vie for the lion’s share of the prize in the $25,000 Kentucky Summer Classic Grand Prix. The first of two big-money classes to be held during the Kentucky Summer Classic, the horse-and-rider duos battled it out during a heated jump-off. The pathfinder during the tiebreaker, it was young rider Daisy Farish (USA) of Versailles, KY, who ran away with the victory aboard RMF Retro. Alexis Sokolov (USA) and Fasole Du Seigneur placed second, followed by Canada’s Jonathon Millar (CAN) in third place aboard Isotropic Shadow.
The 37 athletes navigated Bobby Murphy’s (USA) 16-effort first-round technical track that featured a vertical-vertical-oxer triple combination, an oxer-vertical combination coming off of a bending line, and a liverpool oxer, testing riders until the final fence. Six horse-and-rider combos advanced to the jump-off, which featured two new fences. As opposed to a tight and winding second course, the shortened track utilized the expansive stadium arena prompting a competition based on footspeed and striding.
Farish (USA) was the first to complete the opening round without fault aboard Rushy Marsh Farm’s 12-year-old Anglo European gelding RMF Retro. Returning for the jump-off with five horses behind her, Farish (USA) decided to lay it all on the line, picking up a fast pace to the first fence and never letting off the gas. RMF Retro’s large stride paid off as they galloped through the stadium leaving each rail intact. They tripped the timers in a speedy 45.546 seconds, leaving the other riders to chase her.
Alexis Sokolov (USA) was next in the ring with Fasole Du Seigneur, a 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare owned by Hot Horses LLC. Having competed in the same class last Thursday during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, the young rider was eager to redeem herself piloting the speedy chestnut mare over the first-round track with pace and precision. The duo gave their second-round everything they had, clearing the track in 45.727 seconds, just two-tenths of a second slower than Farish to take over the second-place spot.
Only one other combination was able to complete the jump-off track without error. Canada’s Jonathon Millar (CAN) was aboard the Isotropic Networks Inc.’s 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding Isotropic Shadow for Thursday’s highlight event. They tried to chase Farish’s time, and while they were able to finish without fault, their time of 46.372 would fall just behind the leaders for a third-place finish.
At the end of the night, it was Farish (USA) and RMF Retro who led the lap of honor. Farish only began riding RMF Retro in April and this marks their first major win together, showing how quickly their partnership has come together. From Versailles, KY, Farish recently turned professional and began working for Ashland Farms. She was thrilled to capture a win on “home turf” and will continue to compete with RMF Retro in Kentucky through the end of August before gearing up for Indoors.
Show jumping competition will resume in the Rolex Stadium on Friday morning with the High Junior/Amateur Jumpers. Show jumping will continue at the Kentucky Horse Park throughout Sunday, August 8, with the $50,000 Hagyard Grand Prix on Saturday serving as the week’s feature event.
From the Winner’s Circle
Daisy Farish – $25,000 Kentucky Summer Classic Winner
On RMF Retro:
“I just started riding him after the Winter Equestrian Festival this year. He’s owned by Rushy Marsh Farms. All of us at Ashland Farms are very grateful for the opportunity to market him as a horse – he’s fantastic. He’s been so incredible and I was really able to form a bond with him in a short amount of time. I’m very grateful to Ken and Emily Smith and the entire team at Ashland Farms for the opportunity to ride fantastic horses like I did tonight.”
On her rounds:
“He was so relaxed in the first round that I knew in the jump-off I could take a little bit of a shot. Honestly, there was maybe a place or two I could have gone faster, but I guess going first was enough to hold the lead, so I was a little lucky. I could have pushed him a little more but he was so incredible in there.”
On competing at the Kentucky Summer Classic:
“It’s definitely a funny feeling after growing up showing here since I was 5 years old to be jumping the Grand Prixs now and to be able to find success in my hometown. It’s cool.”
Final Results – $25,000 Kentucky Summer Classic
1) Daisy Farish (USA) & RMF Retro – 0 / 0 – 45.55
2) Alexis Sokolov (USA) & Fasole Du Seigneur – 0 / 0 – 45.73
3) Jonathon Millar (CAN) & Isotropic Shadow – 0 / 0 – 46.37
4) Theo Genn (USA) & Damokles – 0 / 1 – 54.71
5) Kaitlin Campbell (USA) & Doraindo – 0 / 4 – 45.32
6) Daisy Farish (USA) & Magic – 0 / 8 – 49.74
7) Sayre Happy (USA) & House – 1 / 86.99
8) Carlos Quinones (ARG) & Fernando – 2 / 87.47
9) Summer Hill (USA) & La Belle SCF – 2 / 87.91
10) Celso Ariani (BRA) & Ukulman De La Nutria – 4 / 78.97
11) Taylor St Jacques (USA) & Upsilon De La Liniere – 4 / 82.35
12) Jessica Mendoza (GBR) & Casanova 499 – 4 / 83.09
Source: Press Release by Rebecca Walton / Phelps Sports for Kentucky Horse Shows
Photo: © Olivia Airhart / Cassidy Klein