Wellington, Fla. – March 2, 2017 – The Classic Champions Inc. 5, 6 and 7-Year-Old Jumpers wrapped up on Thursday, concluding young jumper competition at the inaugural Deeridge Derby Weekend.
World-renowned course designer, France’s Frédéric Cottier, built Thursday’s young jumper courses. The $5,000 Classic Champions 5-Year-old Jumpers saw six exhibitors competing in the Deeridge Jumper Ring. All six combinations jumped clear to advance to the jump-off, but it was Benjamin Meredith and Teddy Rekai-Nuttall’s Willie Scott De L’Etincelle Z, a Warmblood mare, who took home the first blue ribbon of the day with a double-clear effort in 40.760 seconds.
“The course was lovely for a 5-year-old class,” said Meredith. “There were nice distances to the jumps and nice turns. He put the liverpool in between the double, which provided a nice entrance to it. It was very inviting and competitive. This is a great show — it’s awesome.
“[Willie Scott De L’Etincelle Z] knows her job,” continued Meredith. “We don’t show her that much, she just comes out every now and then and I’m glad she could win today.”
William Hickey and Pony Lane Farm’s Karlton finished two seconds behind Meredith in 42.810 seconds for second place, while Brendan Williams and North Star’s Hercules finished in third place in 48.900 seconds.
In the $7,500 Classic Champions 6-Year-Old Jumpers, 12 horses and riders, out of an original starting field of 19, returned for the tie-breaking round in the Deeridge Jumper Ring. Theodore Boris and his own Flip De Hus Z proved to be the fastest of six double-clear finishers for the win in 38.570 seconds. Finishing in second place was Kevin Babington and Drumagoland Chip, owned by Vivian Day, in 39.460 seconds. Wednesday’s winner, Taylor Flury and Aliboo Farm Inc.’s Calano Z took home third place honors in 39.660 seconds.
“The courses have been really nice here all week,” said Boris. “This is a new horse that I have; I’ve only had [Flip De Hus Z] for a couple of months and I have really high hopes for him. He’s very good, has a lot of scope, is careful and I think he has a big future.
“This is my first time riding here; it’s amazing,” continued Boris. “The grass is very nice. The horses jumped well out there yesterday and it was a good change for them. I have mostly young horses that I develop. [Flip De Hus Z] has a lot of potential. He’s really a winner. If he’s clear, he wins. He has very quick, natural ground speed and I’m excited about him.”
The $15,000 Classic Champions 7-Year-Old Jumpers rounded out the week’s young jumper competition at the Deeridge Derby Weekend. Thirty horse-and-rider combinations attempted Cottier’s first round course, but only 12 advanced to the jump-off. Daniel Coyle and Susan and Ariel Grange’s Farona rode fast and faultless in 39.110 seconds to claim the top prize. Laura Kraut and Ardencote Farm’s First Class crossed the finish line in 42.070 seconds for second place, while Taylor Flury and Aliboo Farm Inc.’s Carrasca Z finished in third place in 42.390 seconds.
“It was a little hard for me today because I was running back and forth from here and WEF,” said Coyle. “The jump-off was very competitive but [Farona] is very good at going fast so it just worked in my favor. She is exactly what you want in a show jumper in every way. She’s a little crazy, but sometimes that helps and she just really does not want to knock down fences and obviously that makes my job so much easier. We got her last year at the VDL sales and since we’ve purchased her, she has been fantastic. I’ll jump a little more here in Florida and get her used to the bigger levels and then I’ll take her to Spruce Meadows. She’s another really good one for the future.
“I love this show,” continued Coyle. “For me to get a victory here is all the better. The grass field is fantastic. Especially for young horses — to be able to jump there is brilliant.”
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.
Friday will kick-off hunter derby action at the Deeridge Derby Weekend with the $5,000 International Hunter Derby Welcome Stake, presented by the World Equestrian Center, in the Hollow Brook Wealth Management Grand Prix Field. The 3′ Deeridge Hunter Derby Warm-Up will follow at 2 p.m. and has been split into two sections due to popular demand.
The Deeridge Jumper Ring will also continue to host jumper competition beginning at 10 a.m. with the 1.10m, 1.20m and $2,500 1.30m Jumpers.
Entries are still being accepted for the $2,500 Deeridge Pony Derby to be held in the Hollow Brook Wealth Management Grand Prix Field on Sunday, March 5.
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!