Lexington, KY– Oct. 14, 2016 –Freddie Vazquez and the Messenger Hill Farm team competed with top results at the Split Rock Jumping Tour, Bourbon International Oct. 5-9 in Kentucky. Going head to head with some of the best in the sport, Vazquez and his Messenger Hill Farm mounts produced top results.
To kick off the week, Vazquez and Bachelor 4 warmed up with a clear round in the $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm Speed Cup. Then with Esprit De Vie, he nabbed a spot on the podium with a third place finish in the $5,000 LV Harkness 1.40m Speed Class (see left). Vazquez followed up with a fourth place finish in the $40,000 Amalaya Investments Grand Prix with Bachelor 4. Vazquez and Bachelor 4 topped off a winning week with an exciting, nail-biter feature event; the $130,000 Grand Prix, presented by Split Rock.
Late to go in the order, Vazquez and Bachelor 4 were the last of the seven horse and rider combinations to complete the Oscar Soberon-designed track fault free. In the jump off round Colombian cousins, Daniel Bluman and his Bacara D’Archonfosse and Ilan Bluman and Blue Star Investment’s Ladriano Z, were the only two pairs with clear rounds in the jump off.
Last to go, all eyes were on Vazquez and Bachelor 4. They knocked a rail of the third effort, a tall panel vertical, placing them in fifth spot after Irish rider Richie Maloney and Equinimity LLC’s Slieveanorra, the fastest of the four-faulters, and Ali Wolf and Casall, owned by Blacklick Bend Farm.
“It was a great week and I am very happy with my horses,” Vazquez said. “Usually, I compete Sperry (Esprit De Vie) in the Tier I classes and Bachelor in the Tier II. I was trying out a new bridle on Sperry and Bachelor jumped really well at Angelstone. I thought I’d step him up. It worked out well. My relationship with Bachelor has really developed. He knows his job and is pretty serious about it. Sperry was great, too.”
Irish rider Andrew Bourns joined international announcer Steven Wilde for the commentary at Split Rock. “Freddie is a great ambassador of the sport,” Bourns noted.
Vazquez, who represented Puerto Rico at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, has had some great results recently. With his Pan Am partner, the Belgian Warmblood mare Esprit De Vie, they won the 2016 Showplace Productions
Spring Spectacular Week II Welcome Stake and the 2015 Fall Classic $30,000 Grand Prix and were fourth in the 2016 $30,000 Marshall and Sterling Grand Prix at Spring Spectacular and have had top ten finishes at WEF, Tryon and in Chicago.
Vazquez and Bachelor 4, a Rheinlander gelding by Baloubet Du Rouet, have been in rolling in the ribbons with second place finishes in the Equifest $25,000 Grand Prix and the $75,000 Grand Prix de Lamplight, a fourth in the Showplace $30,000 Marshall & Sterling Grand Prix, a fifth at in a 1.45m Speed class at Tryon Summer and top 10 placings at the $75,000 Evergreen Invitational and at Tryon and WEF.
Meg Gehron and her Irish Warmblood gelding, Gastone, also enjoyed a fun and productive week at the Split Rock Jumping Tour and had a top 10 finish in the $7,500 Visit Lex Junior/Amateur-Owner 1.30m. Earlier this year the pair won a 1.10m Open class at Tryon Spring and had two third-place prizes in the Junior/Amateur-Owner 1.20m and a top 10 finish in the Junior/Amateur-Owner 1.20m at the Kentucky Horse Shows. This summer Gehron and Gastone successfully moved up to the medium jumpers.
“Split Rock was a great experience,” Vazquez said. “The staff has thought of everything from the barns to the arena – everything is first class. Congratulations to Derek Braun and his team for producing a wonderful event.”
Next on the Messenger Hill Farm competition calendar is two weeks at Tryon International Equestrian Center.
Photos courtesy of Messenger Hill Farm and EQ Media.