Seaside Steals the Lead in Performance 3’6” Hunter Division at Kentucky Summer Classic

Tuesday brought the return of competition to the Kentucky Horse Park with the first day of the Kentucky Summer Classic. Hunter classes concluded in the Stonelea Ring with the Performance Hunters, where Seaside shined in the 3’6” division to take the lead ahead of Wednesday’s championship crowning. The 12-year-old Warmblood gelding, owned by Eliza Kimball, captured the first place ribbon in the Performance 3’6” Hunter under saddle with Leylan Gleeson, while Michael Murphy piloted the gelding to second place in both over fences classes.

Michael Murphy and Seaside. Photo by Phelps Sports

“We got him this fall and he has been nothing but a joy to work with since we’ve had him,” Gleeson said of Seaside. “He’s great to work with in the barn. He tries to win the classes. He has an outgoing, easy personality. He’s had a few riders that have done him in the Performance 3’6” [Hunters] and he’s been consistently successful. He was second at Devon with Eliza [his owner] her first year. He’ll go to the Hamptons and then our year-end goal is for him to go to all the indoors with Eliza in the Junior Hunters.”

Murphy only recently started showing Seaside last week at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, where the duo captured top ribbons in the same division. “He’s new to our barn [at Ashland Farms] and he’s helping us ride and show a lot of the horses,” shared Gleeson regarding Murphy. “I ride [Seaside] on a daily basis and I help Eliza, so I work with him pretty closely and he’s a super special animal.”

Seaside currently leads the Performance 3’6” Hunter division headed into the classes that will determine the championship, which will be awarded Wednesday after an over fences class and a handy round. He previously claimed the same award in May during the Kentucky Spring Classic with Havens Schatt.

A nice ride for both professionals and amateurs, Seaside also competes with owner Eliza Kimball in the Large Junior 15 and Under Hunter division, and the pair recently claimed the champion ribbon during the first week of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival.