Ireland’s Sweetnam wins Kentucky rider title

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Shane Sweetnam was awarded the Leading Rider Award for his high score of 870 points during the 2012 Hagyard Challenge Series.
Shane Sweetnam was awarded the Leading Rider Award for his high score of 870 points during the 2012 Hagyard Challenge Series.

Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam held his lead at the top of the Hagyard Challenge Series standings to take out the $50,000 Leading Rider Award.

Sweetnam and 40 other riders gathered for the $50,000 World Cup Qualifier at the Kentucky National Horse Show at the Rolex Stadium on Friday for their last chance to take the top honors.

Consisting of seven grand prix classes held during the 2012 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park, the Hagyard Challenge Series, sponsored by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, offers a $50,000 Leading Rider Award. Sweetnam stepped forward to receive the award during the World Cup Qualifier at the Kentucky National Horse Show.

During the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, Sweetnam piloted Solerina to the first place finish in the $10,000 Hagyard Welcome Stake, and also picked up the first place award with his other mount, Amaretto D’Arco , during the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on August 24, 2012. Sweetnam captured the lead with 830 points, and added an additional 40 to his cumulative score to win the prize money.

Kaitlin Campbell held second place with 710 points. Reed Kessler finished the series in the third place position, even though her Kentucky Spring Series rankings held steady for three of the Hagyard Lexington Grand Prix events. Beezie Madden was acknowledged for her 390-point finish to take the fourth position, while Ashlee Bond was awarded the fifth place spot in the rankings with 290 points.

Madden won the $50,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic with Simon during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, while Bond and Cadett 7 led the way during the Kentucky Spring Classic’s $32,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic. Rebecca Conway rounded out the top six positions with her powerful finishes throughout the series with her top mounts.

The 2012 Hagyard Challenge Series concluded with the $50,000 World Cup Qualifier during the Kentucky National Horse Show this past week, and riders are now getting prepared for the 129th Edition of the Alltech National Horse Show.

 

 

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