Lexington, Ky.—Aug. 18
Jersey Boy, owned by SBS Farms, topped the money-won standings the first three years of the series inception and has been a consistent winner at qualifying competitions. But this prize always eluded him.
“I’m so happy to win because I’ve done it all four times,” said Alfano, Buffalo, N.Y. “Jersey Boy really deserves to win this class. Right from the beginning he just felt perfect. He was really loose and galloping.”
Watch Jersey Boy's round:
Alfano earned the top prize in the handy round on marks of 92, 91.5 and 88.5, with handy bonus points of 9, 9 and 8, to move up to overall first. Brunello came heartbreakingly close, finishing just half a point behind Alfano in the handy to take overall second by a quarter point for owners Boyd and Janet Peterson.
Watch Brunello's round:
Garfield, owned by Alex Crown, and Scott Stewart earned a perfect handy mark of 10 to move up from fifth to third, and his student, Tori Colvin, was right on his heels with Inclusive. Kelley Farmer was the only rider to finish with two horses inside the top 10, riding Bases Loaded to fifth and Taken to seventh.
Watch Garfield's round:
Watch Inclusive's round:
Steve Stephens built the handy round, which incorporated plenty of opportunities for riders to show off. You can see the track here.
Yesterday’s decorative fenceline was now a jump. Riders could choose between two narrow logs to trot, and two hay carts set at different heights to jump. There was no hand gallop marked on the course, but the best rounds saw riders hitting a lick from the start and keeping up the pace.
Lillie Keenan impressed the judges when she nailed a seemingly-impossible turn on Monterray, turning inside a decorative carriage to help earn three marks of 10 for handy bonuses. Watch her round here:
Attempt at a similar turn backfired for Farmer, as two of her mounts—Clearly and Red Sky—dug in their heels after a bold approach to the first fence. Farmer cleared the fence on reapproach (Red Sky took two tries) then tipped her hat and sent them back to the barn.
She wasn’t the only surprise retirement. Stewart finished on top after the Classic Round aboard Dedication, but he pulled up in the middle of an in-and-out early on course.