May 16, 2015 - David Beisel was not going to let the pouring rain stop him and Lavish from wowing the judges during the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby at the Kentucky Spring Classic.
Beisel and Lavish, the 10-year-old gelding owned by Phyllis Harlow, shot to the top of the leader board during the classic round, taking all four of the high options along Bobby Murphy's course to earn a score of 89.
The pair excelled in the handy round, once again taking all of the high options and topping the charts with a score of 94. Beisel said that this is only the gelding's fifth time showing this year, and he just comes out to play for the derbies.
"He has a great life, he's spoiled and loves peppermints," Beisel said. "I think he did some really nice turns today, and I felt like he did a really nice hand gallop. I thought he balanced up really nicely and stayed soft for the next couple of jumps that followed."
The second-place ribbon was awarded to Kelli Cruciotti and Totem Pole, who coincidentally finished second in last week's derby, too.
When Serenity Farm imported Totem Pole three years ago, the gelding was never completely sound. The veterinarian eventually discovered a bone chip in his ankle, which was quickly removed. However, the next day, the horse's condition had worsened. Totem Pole had EPM, but thankfully recovered due to Cruciotti family's fast response.
Although the horse is coming on 11 years old, Cruciotti said he acts like a 7-year-old due to the three years he spent in and out of training.
"He's finally really maturing," Cruciotti said. "He's an amazing jumper. He just has to learn where to put his legs sometimes."
In the classic round, Totem Pole showcased his newfound mature side. The duo got a break from the rain, taking the course's high options to earn a 90, beating Beisel in the first portion of the division.
"He was great," Cruciotti commented. "The best part about him is that he's so brave. It was a great class, I loved the course, and David's horse went great, too."
The pair returned for the handy, receiving a score of 91, including the added points for all four high options. Cruciotti and Totem Pole ended up settling for second with a two-point differential.
Third-place finishers Steve Heinecke and So Lucky were hot on the leaders' heels, missing second place by only two points.
Heinecke and Jane Olsen Fisher's So Lucky took the high options and were awarded a score of 89.5 in the classic round, also beating Beisel's initial score of 89.
The pair returned for the handy, earning a 90 with the high options to secure the third-place ribbon.
Fourth place was awarded to Emma Kurtz and Scott Stewart's VIP Z, earning scores of 87 and 85. The fifth-place ribbon went to Helen Voss and Cashmere, who earned scores of 85 and 86. Rounding out the top six were Lilly French and Candor, with their scores of 76 and 89.
The Hallways Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby is a five-part series that has become a staple at the spring shows and will continue into the summer series. The leading riders will be presented with the cash prizes at the end of the Bluegrass Festival on August 16, 2015.
After today's win, Beisel commented, "It's very generous of Hallway Feeds to sponsor this, and I appreciate their support. I think I have my eye on that bonus now."
Coverage of the Kentucky Spring Classic will continue tomorrow in the Stonelea with the Junior Hunter divisions, which will wrap up the spring show series at the Kentucky Horse Park.
For more information on Kentucky Horse Shows LLC and the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA Hunter Derby
1 1933 LAVISH DAVID BEISEL 183.000
2 207 TOTEM POLE KELLI CRUCIOTTI 181.000
3 1422 SO LUCKY STEVE HEINECKE 179.500
4 457 VIP Z EMMA KURTZ 172.000
5 999 CASHMERE HELEN VOSS 169.000
6 1366 CANDOR LILLY FRENCH 165.000
7 326 CS ONLINE MISSY LUCZAK-SMITH 158.000
8 823 STOLI STEVE HEINECKE 154.000
9 376 PITCH PERFECT KIMBERLY PRINCE 153.000
10 1024 COLUMBUS KATHRYN HAEFNER 149.000
11 1383 SANS SOUCI HAVENS SCHATT 123.000
12 1316 DIPLOMAT ANNABEL REVERS 68.000