Alex Granato and Carlchen W. Ph. ©Phelps Sports
The final day of the Kentucky Spring Classic did not start exactly as it had been planned. The first class in the Rolex Stadium was the very competitive jump off of the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy CSI3* Grand Prix, after Round 1 was held Saturday, May 20, 2017. American rider, Alex Granato and Carlchen W came out on top with faultless jump off round and a time of 41.73. Aaron Vale and Finou 4 finished just off the lead time in 42.36 and Michael Morrissey and Chance Ste. Hermelle rounded out the top three spots with a clear round and time of 43.45.
The highlight event of the Kentucky Spring Classic, the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix, is held every year in honor of Mary Rena Murphy, who was an important part of American horse show history. Murphy, a show organizer, was an integral part of giving many of today’s top hunter and jumper professionals their start. For Granato, who calls Kentucky home during the summers, jumping in honor of Murphy made the winning the prestigious class even more important.
Carlchen W, a 9-year-old warmblood gelding has been with Granato since he was purchased as a five-year-old by Page Tredennick. Although Carlchen W showed early promise and speed, Granato was careful to bring the youngster along, knowing all the while that he was cultivating true winning potential.
“He has always been aggressive and always a showman in the ring and naturally fast. And that’s why we took the 8-year-old year to back off to really make sure the rideability was there and tone it down so he didn’t get too exuberant in the ring. It was the right thing to do but it was also very hard,” Granato commented.
After spending several years in the Young Jumper divisions, the winter of 2017 saw Carlchen W move up to competing in 1.40m classes during the Winter Equestrian Festival. After winning several of those classes, the pair competed in a 1.50m National Grand Prix with positive results. The Kentucky Spring Classic marks only the second time that Carlchen W and Granato have competed under FEI and with the win in the biggest class of the horse show, Granato is confident that the summer is going to be a great one.
The Kentucky Spring Classic will come to a close at the Kentucky Horse Park on Sunday but not before hosting an $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Hollow Creek Farm and the $40,000 Kentucky Bluegrass Grand Prix, presented by Audi of Lexington.