Andrew Ramsay & California 62 Claim Fastest Round to Win $35K Welcome Speed 1.45m CSI3* at Kentucky Spring Horse Show

The first day of competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show kicked off on Wednesday, with competition in the Rolex Stadium highlighted by the $36,000 Welcome Speed 1.45m CSI3*. At the end of a class filled with top FEI competitors from around the world, it was Andrew Ramsay and California 62, owned by the California Group who would walk away with the win.

Andrew Ramsay and California 62. Photo by Phelps Sports

Fifty horse-and-rider combinations set off over Anderson Lima’s (BRA) technical course, which utilized the spacious Rolex Stadium. The class, operating under a one-round speed based format, challenged athletes to a 14-effort course including multiple varying double combinations (vertical-vertical to oxer-vertical). An impressive 21 competitors would put in a clear round, but speed was the number one factor at play in Wednesday’s round.

Andy Kocher (USA), took an early lead in the class aboard Eye Candy Jumpers’ Fashion V. The pair sped around fault-free with a time of 64.670 seconds, which would hold onto first place for ten trips. Next to take the lead would be Ramsay, whose time of 62.820 seconds held strong for the remainder of the class. Ramsay and California 62, a 15-year-old grey Holsteiner mare, have been partnered together for three years and most recently were campaigning throughout Europe. The mare’s naturally quick stride led them to hold their competitive time, despite the 29 athletes who would try their hand afterwards.

“It’s [California 62]’s first show back in the states,” Ramsay commented. “We were in Europe for almost a year and we just finished up quarantine in Florida. The horses came up here and had a week or two to get settled before we started showing so she’s fresh and eager. She hasn’t shown in about five weeks, so we knew that we had a lot of horse. She’s naturally a fast horse, so we are aiming for the grand prix, but we thought today was a good opening class and we wanted to take advantage of her being fresh.”

Shane Sweetnam (IRL), as 28th to go in the order, would come close to beating Ramsay’s time, stopping the clock at 63.950 seconds. Sweetnam and Sweet Oak Farm’s Palina De L’Escaut could not quite catch the leaders time despite his quick round and would settle in second place for the time being. Sweetnam and the 10-year-old Hanoverian mare are a competitive pair to watch, having dominated the $35,000 Dover Saddlery Holiday & Horses Opener CSI4* in Wellington, Florida in 2018 after only being partnered together for only a few months.

Shane Sweetnam and Palina De L’escaut. Photo by Phelps Sports

With Kocher still holding on to third place and Sweetnam resting in second place at the halfway point in the class, Sharn Wordley (NZL) entered the ring after the drag break prepared to change the leaderboard. Wordley, with a time of 62.990 seconds, pushed the two accomplished athletes down to ultimately finish in second place with his own Gatsby. The pair have seen recent success together in Tryon, North Carolina, winning multiple ranking classes in the previous week.

Andrew Ramsay and California 62. Photo by Phelps Sports


$36,000 Welcome Speed CSI3*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Faults | Time
1. California 62 / Andrew Ramsay / USA / 0 | 62.82
2. Gatsby / Sharn Wordley / NZL / 0 | 62.99
3. Palina De L’escaut / Shane Sweetnam / IRL / 0 | 63.95
4. Fashion V / Andy Kocher / USA / 0 | 64.67
5. Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / 0 | 64.75
6. Royce / Margie Engle / USA / 0 | 64.96
7. Romeo 88 / Darragh Kenny / IRL / 0 | 65.03
8. MTM Flutterby / Brian Moggre / USA / 0 | 65.69
9. MTM Los Angeles / Brian Moggre / USA / 0 | 66.19
10. Casino / Nicole Bellissimo / USA / 0 | 66.39
11. Zambia Mystic Rose / Diego Vivero / ECU / 0 | 66.47
12. Super Chilled / Kevin Babington / IRL / 0 | 67.14