Andy Kocher and Kahlua Capture Back-to-Back Wins at Kentucky Spring Classic With $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*

Andy Kocher and Kahlua
Andy Kocher and Kahlua

Lexington, Ky. – May 17, 2018 – Thursday evening at the Kentucky Horse Park once again welcomed the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*, the second event in the seven-part series, sponsored by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. The audience of the Rolex Stadium watched 61 starters over Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) 16-effort course as an impressive 16 horse-and-rider combinations delivered clear rounds, but once again Andy Kocher and Kahlua could not be caught and the pair captured their second consecutive win of the Kentucky Spring Classic.

Kocher and Top Line Sporthorse International, LLC’s Kahlua are on a roll after just claiming Wednesday’s highlight event, the $35,000 Welcome Speed CSI3*. The dynamic duo was second to enter the ring in the jump-off and they put forth a speedy, clear round in 42.72 seconds that would be closely challenged by the 12 remaining entries, but could never be caught. With the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood in top form, Kocher now aims for Saturday’s $131,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3*.

Darragh Kenny and Balou Du Reventon
Darragh Kenny and Balou Du Reventon

Last week’s Hagyard Classic winner, Darragh Kenny (IRL), claimed the second place finish, this time with Ann Thompson’s Balou Du Reventon. Kenny and the 12-year-old Oldenburg stallion challenged Kocher’s quick time, but just fell short as they completed a clear round in 43.31 seconds.

Jessica Springsteen and Volage Du Val Henry
Jessica Springsteen and Volage Du Val Henry

Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Volage Du Val Henry, the 9-year-old Selle Français mare owned by BTR LLC, finished in a close third with a time of 43.61 seconds and a clear round.

The Hagyard Challenge Series consists of seven show-jumping events held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington throughout the 2018 show season with the following four shows to include the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, the Kentucky Summer Classic, the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and the KHJA Horse Show. The series will culminate during the Kentucky National Horse Show at the end of September, where the rider who accumulates the most points in the series will receive a $50,000 Leading Rider Award, presented upon completion of the seventh event, the $65,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic.

Jumper competition will resume in the Rolex Stadium on Friday morning with the $5,000 Open Jumper 1.45m beginning at 8:00 a.m.


Andy Kocher – $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* winner

On his plan:
“[Kahlua] jumped a really easy clear. I looked and saw that there was a lot in the jump off, so I knew I’d have to run and move. As I was going to the first jump, I was thinking I don’t want to use her too much because I want to jump her in the grand prix on Saturday. The only place I thought maybe I could have been a bit faster was the first jump if you caught that at a total dead run. I let her totally out there [to the last line]. Darragh [Kenny] was close – he almost had it. I was chopping for the seven [strides] to the last fence and the seven was a leave out. She’s just jumping really well. I’ll let her just keep rolling and try to win again. She’s on form so I guess I’ll keep going.”

On Kahlua:
“She’s a mare and she definitely has opinions and a lot of personality. For the first few months I had her, I didn’t even take her to a horse show. She was a little bit difficult in the mouth and cold off my leg – she just did everything her way and that was it. She wasn’t meeting in the middle, but it’s gotten so much better. I think her and I are finally on the same page – it’s taken a while. She’ll jump anything you aim her at and she’s careful and quick. I’m starting to think she’s a little bit of a freak of a horse – she won one [class] at WEF, she was second in one [class] at WEF, I jumped her a couple 5* grand prix classes and she only had one down – I never thought she could do that and now she’s proven herself. She might be a big time horse.”

On his plans:
“I’ll jump her Saturday. My plans keep changing with how good she keeps doing. I might start aiming her for some really big classes.”

On the Hagyard Classic series:
“I might have to come back for the Kentucky National [Horse Show]. The money offered [for the leading rider bonus] is great, so it would definitely be something I would come back for.”


$35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Kahlua / Andrew Kocher / USA / 0 | 77.37 / 0 | 42.72
2. Balou Du Reventon / Darragh Kenny / IRL / 0 | 75.65 / 0 | 43.31
3. Volage Du Val Henry / Jessica Springsteen / USA / 0 | 79.48 / 0 | 43.61
4. Venue D’fees Des Hazalles / Eve Jobs / USA / 0 | 77.64 / 0 | 45.54
5. Diego / Andrew Bourns / IRL / 0 | 76.06 / 0 | 46.83
6. Bugatti / Kady Abrahamson / USA / 0 | 76.95 / 0 | 49.32
7. Tosca De L’esques / Fabio Leivas Da Costa / BRA / 0 | 79.37 / 4 | 43.81
8. Important De Muze / Darragh Kenny / IRL / 0 | 76.70 / 4 | 44.86
9. Carna Z / Gustavo Prato / ARG / 0 | 77.60 / 4 | 46.46
10. Shorapur / Kevin Babington / IRL / 0 | 79.47 / 4 | 47.21
11. MTF Saint Simeon / Sloane Coles / USA / 0 | 79.98 / 4 | 47.28
12. Chance STE Hermelle / Michael Morrissey / USA / 0 | 79.11 / 4 | 50.48

Chris Payne and Truman Take Grand Hunter Champion Title

Day two of hunter competition at the Kentucky Spring Classic continued earlier in the day with the Grand Hunter Champion award being presented to the rider that accumulated the most points throughout Wednesday and Thursday’s professional divisions. The Grand Hunter Champion award is presented by Visse Wedel. It was Chris Payne and Maypine Farm’s Truman that dominated in the High Performance Confirmation Hunters to claim the championship title.

Chris Payne and Truman

Payne and Truman secured their championship award by placing first in all four over fences classes during Wednesday and Thursday. They continued to dominate in the under saddle class as well, placing first once again. The long time partners often found themselves in top placings in the High Confirmation Hunters during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida. The pair will head to the Devon Horse Show.

Chris Payne and Truman

The Grand Hunter Champion award is presented each year by Visse Wedell. Wedell has been a continuous great supporter of the Kentucky Horse Shows by sponsoring grand championship prizes in multiple divisions every year.

Competition in the Stonelea ring will resume on Friday morning at 8 a.m. with the Amatuer Owner divisions with the highlight of the day being the Hamel Foundation National Horse Show Medal 3’3’’, the WIHS Equitation Hunter Phase, and the ASPCA Maclay.


Christopher Payne – Grand Professional Hunter Champion

On Truman:
“Truman just had the best personality. He is really just the sweetest, kindest horse. He always tries to do the best job that he can in every situation. He is so wonderful to ride. Today in our first over fences round he just jumped out of his skin, it was amazing. I just try to stay out of his way so he can do his thing.”

On winning Grand Professional Hunter Champion at the Kentucky Spring Classic:
“It means a lot to me to win this award. They’re obviously a lot of great horses here. This is such a great facility with a lot of great horses and riders to compete against. It means a lot that I could win this award with Truman.”


Subscribe & Join

Phelps Media Group

Founded in 2002 by Olympian Mason Phelps, Jr., PMG specializes in sports branding, public relations, event coverage, media strategy, web design and social media.

All photography may only be used in conjunction with a related press release. We do not sell our email lists or share our lists with other companies or individuals.