Standing at 18 hands with a large stride to match his height, Daniel Bedoya's Quattro has the ability to leave strides out all over the course, and that is exactly what he did on Thursday night at the Kentucky Horse Park. Bedoya and Quattro bested 10 other contenders in the jump-off in Rolex Stadium to win the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic.
A total of 42 horse-and-rider combinations competed over the first round, Alan Wade-designed course, and of them 11 advanced to the short course.
Rebecca Conway and Little Gancho, owned by Moonlite Beach, were the third to return for the jump-off, and they were the first to produce a double clear effort, setting the time to beat at 50.490 seconds. Sydney Shulman with Quidam 13 and Lorcan Gallagher with Casper were the next two to return, and, while they both had the time, they fell victim to one rail apiece.
Colin Syquia and Adventure E, owned by Eurasia Inc., came next and mimicked Conway and Little Gancho's performance with a double clear round. While Syquia rode the same strides as Conway down the lines, he shaved corners and in return also shaved time, finishing in 47.572 seconds.
"My horse is just learning to go fast at this height, so I'm really happy with him," Syquia said. "I've been riding him for about three years now, and he's just stepped up. This is only his third night class. He just really is a great horse."
While Syquia cut his corners, two trips later Bedoya came in and did what none of the riders before him had attempted: leaving out strides down three of the lines.
"From number three to the combination, everybody did nine strides; I did eight," Bedoya said. "And then I was able to go inside, and from nine to the liverpool everybody did nine, and again I did eight. The next line everybody did nine; I did eight. I could have done eight again to the last line, but then I got a little a chicken. I already got lucky enough before that, so I didn't want to push it."
Leaving the stride out at the last proved unnecessary as Bedoya had already made up the time, but it was cutting it close. Bedoya and Quattro tripped the timers less than one-tenth of a second behind Syquia and Adventure E to finish on 47.514 seconds and take the victory.
Blythe Marano would return two trips after Bedoya aboard Quabelle, owned by Riverview Farm, to finish in a time of 48.844 seconds, which would hold up to be good enough for third, with Syquia taking the second-place spot.
Success with Quattro is particularly meaningful for Bedoya who has owned the 9-year-old mount since the gelding was 5.
"It's really special because I took him to his first horse show ever. Now he's winning grand prix," Bedoya said. "He was really difficult at the beginning because he's 18 hands, and he has Quasimodo Z on his bloodlines. They have a little bit of a hard mouth. Being so big, and you can tell, I'm not really big; he was really hard. It took a lot of time to get him fit and to get him responsive, especially to turn and to slow down. He always had the jump, but it was difficult to turn and to slow him down. That was the most difficult part about him. He's getting to the point that he's beating horses that are a lot smaller and quicker, because he's so big that I can do less strides everywhere. I can always leave strides, and he's careful enough that I can do that, and he still leaves them up."
Coming from Texas, Bedoya always enjoys showing at the Kentucky Horse Shows, and he and Quattro return to the Rolex Stadium on Saturday night for the $50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix.
Jumper competition at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show continues on Friday beginning in the Rolex Stadium at 8 a.m. with the A/O Junior High Table II. Saturday night, the horse show welcomes the community to the Kentucky Horse Park's Hats Off Day and the $50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix beginning at 7:30 p.m.
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Results
First Round Jump Off
Pl Nbr Horse Rider Faults Time Faults Time
1 1178QUATTRO DANIEL BEDOYA 80.072 47.514
2 534 ADVENTURE E COLIN SYQUIA 84.087 47.572
3 266 QUABELLE BLYTHE MARANO 83.517 48.844
4 753 LITTLE GANCHO REBECCA CONWAY 82.741 50.490
5 752 TAHITI ISLAND REBECCA CONWAY 84.310 50.881
6 350 QUIDAM 13 SYDNEY SHULMAN 78.008 4 46.601
7 1576CASPER LORCAN GALLAGHER 79.954 4 50.105
8 523 ZERRO LEONE MARTIEN VAN DER HOEVE 82.919 4 52.473