Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | News | Local News | Contact Us | Home RSS

Babington beats the heat for grand prix win

July 2, 2018
By LOU REUTER - Senior Sports Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Riding on a difficult course on a sweltering day, Irish Olympic veteran Kevin Babington claimed victory in Sunday's grand prix on the final day of the Lake Placid Horse Show.

The Prevost Richard M. Feldman Grand Prix began with a field of 41 entries, the largest number entered in a grand prix in Lake Placid since 2000, and only three of those horse-and-rider combinations made it through the first round penalty free to reach the jump off. Babington and his horse, Mark Q, then went on to win the jump off in 35.693 seconds to claim the $22,500 winner's share of the $75,000 purse.

Christine McCrea and Nektarina B also turned in a fault-free ride in the jump off to place second in 37.019 seconds and McKayla Langmeier and her horse Iliano Van D'Abelendreef finished third. Langmeier, the youngest rider in the grand prix field, actually had the quickest jump-off time of 35.676, but knocked down a rail on the final hurdle of the competition to lose her shot at finishing on top.

Article Photos

Kevin Babington and his horse Mark Q, compete in the first round of Sunday’s grand prix. The team put down two clean rides on the way to topping a field of 41 entries.
(News photo — Lou Reuter)

Competing on a day when temperatures reached into the 90s, the first 26 entries knocked down rails in the opening round. The 18-year-old Langmeier then rode her horse cleanly over the 16-jump course to become the first competitor to move on. Babington and Mark Q then put down a clean effort four spots later to force a jump-off, and McCrea and Nektarina B then got in the mix with a clean ride as the 35th combination to traverse the course.

The layout was designed by Germany's Olaf Petersen Jr., Babington said it was fair but tough.

"I thought the course designer did a good job," Babington said. "The faults were spread out all over the course so there wasn't any one spot tripping people up, although the double caught a lot of horses. Anytime you have an airy vertical to an oxer, it's hard enough but then adding gray to it with a left drift, well there was a lot going on there."

Babington was referring to the 8th jump, which included an opening hurdle followed quickly by two double rail set-ups. At one point during the first round, eight riders in a row toppled a rail heading into that three-effort combination. A host of other riders then knocked down a rail on the second part of the combination after getting through the opening hurdle unscathed.

The win marked the second time in three years Babington won the Lake Placid Horse Show's grand prix after claiming victory in 2016 aboard Shorapur. It was also the third grand prix victory in the past five years at the North Elba Show Grounds for Babington, whose first competition in the United States was at the site.

"Mark Q really likes it here in Lake Placid, which also holds a special place in my heart," Babington said. "This is the first horse show I ever came to when I first came to this country back in 1988, and my family and I love it here. We wouldn't miss it for anything."

Langmeier said she was thrilled with her third-place result, which netted the young rider $9,500 in prize money. The Connecticut rider started off the day with a victory in the $10,000 Mirror Lake Inn Junior Jumper Classic. McCrea's second-place share of the grand prix prize money was $16,500.

Sunday marked the final day of the Lake Placid Horse Show. Action in the I Love New York Horse Show picks up on Tuesday. That event will be highlighted by Saturday's $100,000 Great American Insurance Group Grand Prix.



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web