Lexington, Kentucky – August 22, 2021 – The $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, presented by Audi of Lexington, was the marquee event in the Rolex Stadium on Sunday afternoon, capping off an exciting week of hunter and jumper competition at the Kentucky Horse Park. The class had a list of 36 equestrian athletes ready to take on a challenging track designed by Canadian course designer Peter Grant. After a competitive class, Tiffany Hammack (USA) and Crack Elle Chavannaise took home the winner’s spoils. Theo Genn (USA) and Damokles captured the runner’s up spot, while Lexington native Daisy Farish (USA) and Gerko rounded out the top three.
The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show ends a summer of competition for the Kentucky Horse Show’s LLC management team. The week-long event featured regularly scheduled hunter, jumper, and equitation classes and was the host event for the 2021 Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship that brought the best hunter riders out for a chance to compete for more than $300,000 in prize money. The summer competition seems like a unique triumph for equestrian sports in Kentucky, considering the cancellations that most events experienced last year due to the COVID- 19 pandemic.
The course for the afternoon class featured 16-jumping efforts that once again spanned the entirety of the stadium. Grant, who has been building expansive courses all week, once again asked the riders to move their horses at a forward pace through questions like three double combinations, a tricky bending “S” line across the middle of the ring and another line that consisted of a combination to an oxer to a steady vertical, which was the cause of much heartbreak throughout the class.
The first horse and rider combination, Victoria Colvin (USA) and Geminio, were the first to tackle the course and prove that it could be done fault-free. This challenge would not again be met until Theo Genn (USA) came in to complete his first round. After Genn (USA), the course saw either other clear rounds until a 10-horse jump-off was ultimately established. The riders returned in their original order, with Colvin again walking into the short course first. Colvin wasted no time using Gemino’s natural speed to her advantage and made it three-quarters of the way fault-free before Gemino stumbled slightly and had the next jump, a tall vertical down. When Genn returned next to jump off, he was more conservative with Damokles’ pace but managed to produce a double clear jumping effort. Tiffany Hammack (USA) had the advantage of returning to the ring in the middle of the pack and set about to have a strong pace while also ensuring that her mare did not have any faults. Hammack (USA) was, in fact, double clear and although she was followed by faster trips by Daisy Farish (USA), Grace Debney (GBR), and Kelly Arani (USA), all other athletes left to compete had four faults or more.
Hammack, originally from Chicago, currently operates as a professional out of Foxwood Farm in Rockton, Illinois. The $40,000 Bluegrass Grand Prix was only the fourth Grand Prix that Hammack and Crack Elle Chavannaise, a Belgian Sporthorse, have tackled together after the mare was purchased from Mattias Trump two and a half years ago. This year alone, the pair have had solid results in Kentucky and venues like the Lamplight Equestrian Center, where the pair recently won the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix during the Lamplight Summertime III week. Hammock has her eyes on eventually competing the 13-year-old mare at the 4* level.
Next week, the Kentucky Horse Park will host hunter and jumper competition again with the KHJA Horse Show, scheduled to be held from August 25-29, 2021. The KHJA Horse Show’s highlight jumper class will be the $30,000 KHJA Grand Prix, held on Saturday afternoon.
To learn more about the remaining summer competitions at the Kentucky Horse Park, or to make your plans for the 2022 summer horse show season, visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com
From The Winners Circle
Tiffany Hammack – $40,000 Bluegrass Grand Prix
On Crack Elle Chavannaise:
“She is 13-years-old. I have had her for about two and a half years now. She is wonderful. She has competed up to the 4* level and this is my first true Grand Prix horse. I have done up to the 2* successfully with her so far. This is my third Grand Prix win on her. She is perfect in every way.”
On Plan for Round One and Jump Off:
“In round one my plan was to have control because she ran away with me essentially Friday night. We made some bridle changes and had a lot more control. I just tried to go for it in the jump off. I added up the first line and panicked. Then I went very very fast the rest of the way. Maybe too fast!”
“I really liked them. I liked how there were three in and outs. With the vertical, vertical and the double oxers. It was a good course for my horse. I did not think I was going to be able to do a lot of options, but I was able to. I really enjoyed the courses all week.”
On Tiffany Hammack’s Background:
“I have been riding since I was six years old and I am 33 now. I am originally from Chicago and have been doing the jumpers all my life. I work for Roger Schramm from Foxwood Farm and I have worked there for about three years now. We have had a lot of success together and he is a wonderful owner.”
On Upcoming Plans:
“We go home for two weeks and then head to Traverse City for the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament and the American Gold Cup. We then head for two weeks in Tryon and then back to Ocala.”
Final Results – $40,000 Bluegrass Grand Prix
1) Tiffany Hammack (USA) & Crack Elle Chavannaise – 0 / 0 – 47.713
2) Theo Genn (USA) & Damokles – 0 / 0 – 55.151
3) Daisy Farish (USA) & Gerko – 0 / 4 – 46.364
4) Grace Debney (GBR) & Zarina De Vidau – 0 / 4 – 47.331
5) Victoria Colvin (USA) & Gemino – 0 / 4 – 47.887
6) Kelly Arani (USA) & Valmont De Vizy – 0 / 4 – 48.257
7) Conor O’Regan (IRL) & Mendini DR – 0 / 4 – 51.265
8) Grace Debney (GBR) & Faro – 0 / 4 – 51.697
9) Jennifer Waxman (USA) & Scato Van De Molenbrug Z – 0 / 12 – 53.378
10) Rachel Lindsey (USA) & Comander 16 – 0 / 12 – 54.420
11) Nicholas Dello Joio (USA) & Centuria 7 – 4 / 77.878
Source: Press Release by Lenore Phillips / Phelps Sports for Kentucky Horse Shows
Photo: © Lenore Phillips