Lexington, Kentucky, USA — April 28, 2023 — At night when the eventers are at rest, the show jumpers come out to play at the Kentucky Horse Park. On Friday, they enjoyed a speed class to set the stage for the $226,000 Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute on Saturday night. Under the lights in the Rolex Stadium, Lebanon’s Jad Dana (LBN) and After Eight took home the top spot in the $38,700 Welcome Speed Cup Ranking Class, roaring through the timers with no jumping faults in 60.03 seconds.
The $226,000 Kentucky Invitational Grand Prix CSI 3*presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute takes place as part of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian™ (LRK3DE). Organized by Equestrian Events Inc. (EEI) and known as “The Best Weekend All Year,” the LRK3DE features one of only seven annual Five Star three-day events in the world. It annually attracts more than 80,000 spectators who also enjoy extensive shopping, a variety of hospitality experiences and a wide array of demonstrations.
Thirty-nine horses and riders tested course designer Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) track of 12 jumps and 14 jumping efforts set at 1.45 meters. Fifteen pairs finished fault-free, but speed was the name of the game.
With Dana in the irons, the 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare, owned by Spring Hill Farm flew easily around the course, taking tight lines to secure the win. “It’s been amazing; I’m very lucky to get the ride on After Eight,” Dana said. “My plan today wasn’t to go that fast, but she is naturally extremely fast, and if I go at her speed and a little more, I can go really fast.”
Alex Matz (USA), son of Show Jumping Hall of Famer and three-time U.S. Olympian Michael Matz and Pan American Games team Bronze Medalist, Alexander Matz (USA), finished second with Cashew CR (0/63.03).
Fellow American Charlotte Jacobs (USA) finished third with Rincoola Milsean (0/64.56).
In order to compete for the big money on Saturday, all the horse-and-rider combinations had to do was complete the speed class. They will now move forward to the Grand Prix on Saturday night, which takes place at 6 p.m.
The USA’s Daisy Farish also brought home an award Friday night, earning the show jumpers’ Best Dressed Award presented by Hound&Hare at her first time competing in this event.
Final Results — $38,700 Welcome Speed Cup Ranking Class
1) Jad Dana (LBN) & After Eight – 0 – 60.03
2) Alex Matz (USA) & Cashew CR – 0 – 63.03
3) Charlotte Jacobs (USA) & Rincoola Milsean – 0 / 0 – 64.56
Source: Press Release by Marty Bauman / Classic Communications for Kentucky Invitational
Photos: © Michelle Dunn
Categories: CSI 3*