Hunter competition in the Claiborne Ring began Friday with the Ariat National Adult Medal taking place at the Kentucky Horse Park. A total of seven horse-and-rider combinations put their skills to the test on a cool Kentucky morning, but it was Larissa Hufnagel and Devout who put in the best effort to take home the top prize.
A Lexington native, Hufnagel often frequents the Kentucky Horse Park with her veteran partner, 16-year-old Devout. The pair earned their blue ribbon in the class by putting in the highest first round score of 83.
“He is so much fun,” Hufnagel shared of her mount, Devout. “He is truly the most fun horse that I’ve ever ridden. He is extremely broke. He is 16 years old so I’m very lucky to have had him for the last two and a half years. He just really does anything that I ask, he is so good.”
Course designer Philip Devita (USA) challenged the amateur athletes to a course of seven fences, which utilized a number of roll back turns throughout the track. After all seven horse-and-rider combinations completed the track, the top four athletes with the highest scores returned to be tested in a flat phase of competition, as requested by the judge.
Second place was captured by Jennifer Speisman and Big Star with a score of 82. The pair dominated during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show the previous week, taking home first place in the Ariat National Adult Medal. Lily Walton and her own Callahan placed third with 79 points.
Hunter competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show will continue on Saturday morning in the Stonelea Ring at 8 a.m. with the Large Junior Hunters, and in the Claiborne Ring with the Adult Amatuer-Owner 50 and Over Hunters.