Upperville, Va. – June 10, 2017 – Samantha Schaefer has been a consistent competitor in the USHJA hunter derby series since their inception when she was showing in the young junior hunters. The talented young rider has continuously been among the top ribbons all week, but on Saturday evening at the 2017 Upperville Colt and Horse Show, the new professional captured her first victory at the prestigious event with In The Know.
Schaefer showed the 8-year-old Warmblood gelding in his first derby at the same event in 2016. Returning with a year of experience under their belts, Schaefer and In The Know dominated the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby from start to finish. The pair won the first round with a 182.5, and returned as the final duo on course for the handy round, which featured hay bales, logs and a stonewall fence.
Schaefer and In The Know took all four high options and showcased their handiness by leaving out one stride in the first line and making tight turns. The judges awarded their efforts with scores of 85 and 86, plus an additional five and eight points for handiness, bringing their two-round total to 374.5.
Evan Coluccio and High Society were ranked seventh after the first round, but moved up to second place after executing a flawless handy round that earned scores of 88 and 89 with three high options for a total score of 367. Amada Steege and Maitre D’ rounded out the top three with a two-round total of 362, and also took home the Russell Frey Style of Riding Award.
Saturday’s victory for Schaefer marked her first derby win, but also her first major victory since turning professional just two weeks ago prior to the Devon Horse Show. The Baylor University graduate will now be aiming towards the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship in August with In The Know, who will also be preparing for equitation finals with Schaefer’s sister Madeline.
From The Winner’s Circle
About In The Know:
“I did the High Performance this week to prepare for this because he is my sister’s equitation horse. I used this whole week to get him really relaxed and in the hunter mood, and I think it really paid off today. He came in and was really relaxed right from the start and I think he jumped really great in the first round. [The judges] rewarded his jumping style and that’s always important. I couldn’t have asked him to be any better. I think my horse is very different from a lot of the horses here. He’s so athletic and careful and brave.”
About showing in 2017:
“Last year at this show we realized how good he is at this. It was only his second show in the states and we realized how scopey he is and how great he is in these types of venues.”
$25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby:
- In The Know/Samantha Schaefer
- High Society/Evan Coluccio
- Maitre D’/Amanda Steege
- Celtic Fire/Erica Quinn
- RF Remarkable/Evan Coluccio
- Loxley/Amanda Steege
- Anthem/Evan Coluccio
- Galan/Amber Henter
- MTM Outbid/Tracy Fenney
- Comissario/Laura Sexton
- Sting/Sara McCloskey
- Thor’s Hammer/Catherine Ellis