Wayne, Il. – Aug. 11, 2017 – The $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby sponsored by CWD kicked-off in the WEC Hunter Arena at the Lamplight Equestrian Center early Friday morning. Horse-and-rider combinations brought their A-game to the ring in hopes of taking home the first place prize during the final week of Equifest.
Spectators were not disappointed by the competition, which turned out to be close between the riders who took first and second place. The course for the derby, designed by Paul Jewell, allowed riders to showcase their horses’ skill at smoothly navigating a challenging course and let them choose between higher or lower fence options for added points at several different locations on the course.
Catherine Rinehart and Andrea Stout’s Arendelle held the lead in the first round, earning a score of 94. Holly Shepherd aboard Mary Antonini’s MTM Making Waves positioned themselves in second going into the second round with a score of 92. Caroline Weeden and In Time, owned by Glory Days Farms LLC, held the third position after the first round, earning a score of 90.
After several high-scoring first rounds that promised a close competition, the top twelve riders returned for the handy round with a focus on cleanliness and accuracy around the course that included twists, turns and a trot-fence.
Weeden explained she was confident going into the handy round, as In Time was well adept at navigating a tight course and turning efficiently. Her confidence was well-placed, as the judges awarded the pair a score of 92 in the handy round. Weeden and In Time’s combined score of 182 pushed them up into first place and into the winner’s circle.
Shepherd and MTM Making Waves earned a score of 89 in the handy round, giving them a combined score of 181 after both rounds. Just one point under Weeden, the pair took home the second place prize in the derby.
Rinehart and Arendelle rounded out the top three in the class after earning a score of 83 in the handy round and finishing with a combined score of 177.
Competition for Equifest III continues Saturday, Aug. 12 with the $25,000 Grand Prix at 4 p.m.
$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / First Round Score / Second Round Score / Total Score
1. In Time / Caroline Weeden / Glory Days Farms LLC / 90 / 92 / 182
2. MTM Making Waves / Holly Shepherd / Mary Antonini / 92 / 89 / 181
3. Ardendelle / Catherine Rinehart / Andrea Stout / 94 / 83 / 177
4. Just Because / Caroline Weeden / Glory Days Farms LLC / 88 / 87 / 175
5. Umar Du Breche / Kate Wichmann / Stella Holding Place LLC / 86.5 / 85 / 171.5
6. Let’s Talk / Andrea Stout / Andrea Stout / 82 / 86.5 / 168.5
7. Gin Fizz 67 / Isabella Bleu Baxter / Lakeview Inc / 81 / 86 / 167
8. Major / Michael Tokaruk / Sleepy P Ranch LLC / 87 / 79 / 166
9. Big Biz / Kate Wichmann / Stella Holding Place LLC / 84 / 81 / 165
10. All In / Jacquelynn Christenson / Brenda Christenson / 85 / 78 / 163
11. Zidane / Serah Vogus / Betsy Levin / 78 / 84 / 162
12. My BFF / Erin Cummins / Erin Cummins / 80 / 76 / 156
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Caroline Weeden – $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Winner
On In Time:
“In Time is a pre-green horse and he’s owned by Ila Lemonis and Glory Days Farm. I actually brought these two horses up to do this and get them ready for the Pre-Green Incentive next week. I thought this would be a good way to get them ready for the pressure of next week. I made a few adjustments, I showed them in the 3’3″ Performance yesterday, then I made a few tweaks on equipment and they were both very good today. I’m excited going into next week.”
On her winning rounds:
“He felt great. It’s nice because we had a beautiful course. Alan does such a nice job up here and the footing is great. We’re just so happy to be here and In Time just felt great. He’s ready to go so that’s a good feeling.”
On the handy round:
“[In Time] loved it. The handy is kind of his thing. When he gets to the handy, that’s what he really likes. He likes the pressure of the turns and a little more difficult track. He excels at that, so we are hoping down the road he’ll be a derby horse.”
“It’s been a little while since I’ve been here and I’m so excited. I think they’ve done a beautiful job. The footing is great, the jumps are beautiful and it’s nice that it’s close to home. We’re so lucky to have this in our area.”