David O’Brien & La Belle SCF Capture Win in $40K Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix

The final day of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park concluded with the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington. Despite high temperatures, 28 horse-and-rider pairs contested Ken Krome’s course attempting to walk away with the lion’s share of the prize money. At the end of a competitive jump-off, it was David O’Brien and La Belle SCF who walked away with the day’s top honors, in addition to winning the Envisian Leading Rider of the Week award thanks to accumulating the most points in the jumper divisions throughout the week.

David O’Brien and La Belle SCF. Photo by Phelps Sports

Krome’s 16-effort course, originally set with a time allowed of 84 seconds, saw a total of eight athletes advancing to the jump-off after completing the course with no jumping faults and under the newly-adjusted time allowed of 87 seconds. O’Brien, aboard Spy Coast Farm LLC’s 8-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, was the first clear round of the day during the first round of competition as third in the order-of-go. Eight more athletes would follow suit, including Samuel Parot Jr., Scott Keach, Jimmy Torano, Brian Moggre aboard two mounts, and Hardin Towell.

As the jump-off competition began, O’Brien was first to try his hand at the shortened track. Up against a clear time of 43.258 seconds, the rest of his competitors knew that they not only had to leave the fences up, but also produce a swifter time. Following the Irish native’s round, Parot, Keach, Torano, and Moggre would all produce clear rounds with no jumping faults, but fell just short of catching O’Brien’s tight time, solidifying O’Brien and La Belle SCF as the victors.

O’Brien and La Belle SCF have had a successful campaign together throughout the summer, showing at Tryon International Equestrian Center and the Kentucky Horse Park with consistent placings in the top ranks. Up next, the pair will aim to compete in the “The Betsy” Grand Prix at the Kentucky National Horse Show in September.

“We’ve been hitting on the door a few times this summer so it’s really nice to get this result,” O’Brien reflected. “She is super brave and has all the scope. It’s easy to ride a horse with that much quality, so she makes my job a lot easier. I showed her in Tryon this summer and she had a couple of FEI results, and she was fifth in a grand prix there. We were fourth here a few weeks ago and second in Friday’s class. The last few grand prix she’s jumped she has jumped double-clear. She’s pretty cool for an 8-year-old. With her, because she’s young, I try not to overdo it. She has a lot of blood so I take my time with her and let her settle in.”

Photo by Phelps Sports

Finishing in second place was 18-year-old Moggre aboard his second mount in the jump-off, MTM Los Angeles. As third to go in the jump-off order, the pair finished on a time of 44.479 seconds. Moggre and the 7-year-old gelding, owned by Major Wager LLC, have had immense success during the week at the Bluegrass Festival, winning the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix on Friday night. Moggre is also the current leader in the Hagyard Challenge Series standings with 750 points to his name based on his consistent placings throughout the summer series.

Ultimately finishing in third place for the day was Torano aboard Isalou Inc.’s Glasgow De Muze. Crossing the timers at 45.151 seconds, the pair narrowly missed Moggre’s second place time. Torano and the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood have been partnered together for just over a year and are regular faces in the Rolex Stadium, having won the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Grand Prix during the 2018 edition of the Bluegrass Festival.

$40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix
Place / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1. La Belle Scf / David O’Brien / Spy Coast Farm, LLC / 0 | 85.450 / 0 / 43.258
2. MTM Los Angeles / Brian Moggre / Major Wager LLC / 0 | 82.572 / 0 | 44.479
3. Glasgow De Muze / Jimmy Torano / Isalou Inc. / 0 | 84.328 / 0 | 45.141
4. Born To Be Picobello Z / Scott Keach / Southern Cross Equestrian, LLC / 0 | 86.089 / 0 | 45.610
5. Harley David / Samuel Parot Jr. / Samuel Parot Jr. / 0 | 84.693 / 0 | 47.462
6. Carlo / Hardin Towell / Ann Thompson / 0 | 83.761 / 4 | 44.021
7. MTM Vivre Le Reve / Brian Moggre / Major Wager LLC / 0 | 86.961 / 4 | 44.098
8. Any / Sharn Wordley / Arnoud Dobber / 4 | 81.206
9. Shiver / Liza Finsness / Liza Finsness / 4 | 83.392
10. River Dance Semilly / Juan Pablo Gaspar / Felipe Gaspar Echegaray / 4 | 84.632
11. HH Zipper / Kirsten Ostling / Kirsten Ostling / 4 | 86.029
12. Beezie / Emma Sargent / Emma Sargent / 4 | 86.464