May 18, 2007


Impulsive and Scott Lenkart, winners of the 1.40m Jumpers at the Kentucky Spring Classic Horse Show.
Photo: © 2007 Jennifer Wood
The second of two weeks in the Kentucky Spring Horse Show Series began on Wednesday, and the open jumpers were treated to an opening class in the Sheila C. Johnson Arena.

The 1.40m Jumpers had 49 entries, and the fastest in the class was Impulsive, ridden by Scott Lenkart and owned by Bennett Sporthorses. They beat out Parlay and Ken Berkley as well as Cara Raether with Pedro for the win.

This week's courses in the Johnson Arena are designed by Jose Gamarra of Bolivia. The 1.40m Jumpers were scored under a Table II, Sec. 1 format. Competitors were asked to be fast over a course of 12 obstacles that included an option jump with an open water. Twenty-one entries were clear over the course, but only the fastest 12 were awarded prize money.

The early leader in the class was Pourquoi and Alison Robitaille, who cleared the course in 68.044 seconds. Their time was trumped by Victor III, ridden by Shane Sweetnam and owned by Spycoast Farm. Victor III was second in last week's $15,000 Bluegrass Derby and showed his speediness once again this morning. Victor III crossed the timers in 67.100 seconds.

The lead changed hands once again when Cara Raether entered the ring with Trelawny Farm's Pedro. The pair were able to make the inside options on the course and came home in 66.260 seconds.

The lead finally settled with Impulsive and Scott Lenkart. The 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding sped around the course. Even without making the inside turn from fence six to the liverpool at seven, they were able to bring the winning time down to 65.535 seconds.

"I saw a few horses go in between the in and out there. As their horses were being careful, they were almost hitting the standard. I saw a couple horses come within a few inches of that right standard. I went around and that also set it up for a better turn to the water," Lenkart said of his plan. "If you jumped it inside the in and out, it took you too far out to the left. My plan was to go around. He covers the ground better than any horse. It doesn't look like he's going fast."

Eliza Shuford and Cantate 26 were also fast around the course; however, they could not beat the leading time and finished in 66.752 seconds. A late bid came from Parlay and Ken Berkley. The quick, grey mare, who is owned by Rivers Edge and Karen Long Dwight, flitted around the course. She just missed Lenkart's time in 66.243 seconds, which would put them in second place.

Impulsive has been a consistent performer in speed classes for the past two seasons, and Lenkart has ridden the speedy mount for four years. "I can't say anything bad about the horse at all. When he's not winning those classes, he's right up there if I'm going for the win. Today he was game, so I just went out with it," he said. "The faster you go, the braver he gets."

Lenkart has a history with the horse shows at the Kentucky Horse Park. "I've been coming here since I was a kid. I grew up in the Chicago area, so the first horse show here, I was here. I do seven or eight weeks here a year," he commented. "There aren't many rings in the country better than the Johnson Arena."

Of his victory today, he noted, "It felt great to win. I didn't show him at all last week. That was my first time in the ring. It was a lot of fun. It was good preparation for Sunday. He's got a lot of confidence and is ready to go."