Del Mar, Calif. – Oct. 13, 2018 – On Friday afternoon at Del Mar International Welcome Week, the hunter derby horses took to the ring for the USHJA National Hunter Derby presented by Fleeceworks. All entries completed the first round classic course, and the top 12 scorers came back for the handy round. After both rounds were completed, Mickie Sage emerged with an impressive total score of 186 aboard Esperance.
“She’s brave and I trust her with all of my heart,” said Sage of the 9-year-old bay KWPN mare. “She’s funny because she’s frisky in the schooling area, and it always makes me feel a little nervous….But then she gets in the ring and she’s all business.” Sage has had the ride on Esperance for about two years. Originally purchased to be a jumper, Esperance has been quite successful in the derby ring and the green hunter ring.
Taking the reserve championship was Amy Brubaker aboard her own Frascati, a 12-year-old bay Hanoverian gelding. Champion Mickie Sage also took third place aboard Madison Meek’s Tobolsk, a 10-year-old bay Westphalian gelding.