Paige Johnson best in Kentucky
28 07 2012
Thunderstorms plagued the Kentucky Horse Parkas riders gathered beneath the lights of the Rolex Stadium to compete in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Paige Johnson proved to be the best of the best, controlling the jump-off with one of only seven double-clear efforts aboard Chiron S to lead the victory gallop. Shane Sweetnam and Danielle Goldstein also tackled the short course, but their times could not catch Johnson's speed, each placed third and fourth, respectively.
Danielle Goldstein was the first to go clear during the first round, and entered the jump-off with an obvious confidence. She left all rails intact with Waliba VDL, owned by Starwyn Farms of Wellington, FL, and stopped the clock in 30.885 seconds, an astounding pace.
Paige Johnson was only the second rider to successfully post a clear round during the first course, and managed to post the single fastest time of 29.663 seconds during the short track, taking the lead with a differential of 1.22 seconds-a time that proved untouchable. Johnson rode veteran mount Chiron S, owned by Salamander Farm of The Plains, VA, with a firm plan in mind. They jumped easily over each obstacle, and raced across the finish line to go straight to the top of the leader board.
Shane Sweetnam threw caution to the wind as he guided not one, but three mounts over the jump-off track, making remarkable times as he battled against Johnson's time for the blue. Sweetnam guided Siri, owned by Spy Coast Farm of East Setauket, NY, to a double-clear effort in 31.313 seconds, eventually securing the fifth place position. Aboard Esquina Van Klapscheut, owned by Spy Coast Farm, he was on pace to match and possibly better Johnson's time, but an unfortunate rail at the standalone vertical cost him, earning him the ninth place position just behind Andres Rodriguez and Caballito, owned by Arao Enterprises of Wellington, FL.
It was Sweenam's final effort that had the crowd on edge. He seemingly blasted out of the in gate aboard Diktator Van De Boslandhoeve, owned by Spy Coast Farm, launching over the obstacles with ease. As he landed from the final oxer, there was nothing but silence and then an eruption of applause. He left all rails in their cups, but his speedy time of 30.645 seconds was one second shy of the prize.
$25,000 HAGYARD LEXINGTON CLASSIC
Order Entry # Horse Name Rider Name AF2 Time 2 Preview Purchase
1 319 CHIRON S PAIGE JOHNSON 83.735 29.663
2 629 DIKTATOR VAN DE BOSLANDHOEVE SHANE SWEETNAM 84.268 30.645
3 1020 WALIBA VDL DANIELLE GOLDSTEIN 85.828 30.885
4 1210 FIEONA JACK H. TOWELL 86.701 31.199
5 636 SIRI SHANE SWEETNAM 86.197 31.313
Source: Press release Phelps Media Inc.