Wellington, Fla. – March 1, 2017 – The inaugural Deeridge Derby Weekend commenced on Wednesday with the 5, 6 and 7-year-old young jumpers showcasing their promising talents on the Hollow Brook Wealth Management Grand Prix Field at Deeridge Farms. Taylor Flury of Aliboo Farm, Inc., a family owned and operated equine facility based in Minooka, Illinois, kicked things off with back-to-back wins in the $2,500 Classic Champions 5-Year-Old Jumpers and the $3,500 Classic Champions 6-Year-Old Jumpers, while Giovanni Principi took home the blue in the $6,500 Classic Champions 7-Year-Old Jumpers.
“It’s a good way to start Wellington,” said Flury. “It’s beautiful here, my horses haven’t shown on grass much so it’s such a great experience for them to be able to go out on such a big field with the tents and everything.”
France’s Frédéric Cottier designed Wednesday’s young jumper courses and Flury claimed the first-ever win of the Deeridge Derby Weekend aboard her own Hero, a KWPN stallion, in a time of 75.900 seconds. The pair secured the fastest time of the class by five seconds to best six other 5-year-old competitors. William Hickey and Karlton, owned by Pony Lane Farm, finished in second place in 80.311 seconds, while Brendan Williams and North Star’s Hi-Jack won third place in 80.991 seconds.
“I loved the course,” said Flury. “Sometimes the age-appropriate divisions aren’t built to standard so I thought that today was a big enough course but it was inviting and flowing. I think it helped today to have the horses carry a rhythm and there were no tricks to it, but it still made them think and made them pay attention. I’ve never ridden a course by Frédéric — it was a nice course I thought.
“I’m the only one who’s ever jumped [Hero],” continued Flury. “I started him myself. Cynthia Hampton [of Classic Champions Inc.] and our Aliboo Farm actually purchased him when he was a 3-year-old unbroken and unstarted so we have been bringing him along and developing him. The plan is to keep developing him and bringing him up through the ranks then either sell him or keep bringing him along. He’s super well-bred so I hope he has the talent to go all the way to the top.”
Returning to the grand prix field for the $3,500 Classic Champions 6-Year-Old Jumpers was Flury once again who, this time, outpaced 19 horse-and-rider combinations for the top prize, piloting her own Calano Z, a Zangersheide stallion, to the win in 25.677 seconds.
“[Calano Z’s] nickname is Polar Bear,” said Flury. “We bought him when he was 3 months old and have had him ever since. I also started him myself. He won the East Coast 5-Year-Old Championships last year. He’s just a really special horse. He’s so low maintenance and he just goes in his snaffle; he’s like a large pony. He hasn’t been on grass since last year. We’ll just keep developing him. I really want to try and qualify for the world championships for young horses in Belgium in September so I want to keep developing him and bringing him along.”
Daniel Coyle and Susan and Ariel Grange’s Nikita took second place honors in 27.589 seconds and Gustavo Prato and Nelson Pessoa’s Carioca ZE rounded out the top three in 28.869 seconds.
Concluding day one of the Deeridge Derby Weekend was the $6,500 Classic Champions 7-Year-Old Jumpers, which went to Giovanni Principi and Bow Brickhill Stables Corporation’s Rosalita BBH, a Warmblood mare. The pair demonstrated impressive power and speed to win the class in 34.447 seconds.
“The course was very nice and the facility is fantastic,” said Principi. “The course designer built a nice, smooth course. It was wonderful to go around with a young horse in this scenario because [Deeridge Farms] is a top-notch facility so we gained a lot of experience here.
“My horse was born in Czech Republic, and we just came over [to the U.S.],” continued Principi. “This is our first season here in Florida. [Rosalita BBH] a very nice horse, she’s won a lot of classes already and she is very fast. She’s always at the top. I’m lucky to have the chance to ride her.”
Todd Minikus and Melissa Bilodeau’s Lord Calador crossed the finish line in 35.203 seconds for second place, while Taylor Land and Falco V, owned by Pinetree Farms Inc., took home third place in 35.221 seconds.
Classic Champions Inc. is the sponsor of Wednesday and Thursday’s young jumper classes at the Deeridge Derby Weekend. Classic Champions Inc.’s mission is to present a functional structure for point rated young jumper shows on grass in North America. They focus on the detection and development of quality athletes for future distinction and reproduction in the sport of show jumping.
Due to inclement weather, Thursday’s classes are in the Deeridge Jumper Ring. Start time is still 11 a.m.
In addition, JustWorld International and the Deeridge Derby Weekend have teamed up to bring exciting family entertainment to Wellington at the JustWorld Kid Zone. The JustWorld Kid Zone is free and will be held during the Deeridge Derby Weekend on Saturday, March 4, and Sunday, March 5. There will be many fun activities for the whole family to get involved in including a pony kissing booth, horseless horse show, egg hunt and more!