Geoffrey Hesslink Takes First in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at HITS-on-the-Hudson VI

Saugerties, NY – August 7, 2017 – On Saturday, August 5, 2017, Heritage Farm entries dominated the top of the leader board in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at HITS-on-the-Hudson VI.Course Designer Rian Beals created an inviting track of natural obstacles befitting that of an open Hunt Field to test 31 beautifully appointed exhibitors and their elegant mounts.

Geoffrey Hesslink and Cadoretto

Geoffrey Hesslink captured the win atop his stunning chestnut Cadoretto with whom he trains at Heritage Farm with Andre Dignelli. In the Classic Round, Hesslink and Cadoretto, had earned a score of 175, which placed them in third, three points shy of Heritage Farm trainer Patricia Griffith, who earned the high score of 178 atop Fetching. Tracy Fenney split the Heritage Farm stablemates with her score of 177 on MTM Outbid. Last week, Fenney claimed top honors in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at HITS-on-the-Hudson V atop MTM Outbid.

Unique to the two-round Derby format, in addition to the base score, two judging panels awarded an Option Bonus Score consisting of one additional point for every higher-height option fence jumped. When the top 12 highest scoring Horses and Riders returned for the second round, judges awarded a Base Score, Option Bonus Score and a Handy Bonus Score.

In the second-round, Beals placed a single jump out on the peak of the sandy path that winds around the hill at the end of the Outside Course. Hesslink showcased Cadoretto’s handiness every step of the way while opting for each of the higher-height jumps to maximize Option Bonus Points. The lovely pair garnered the high score of 191, which combined with their first-round score of 175 produced the overall highest score of 366.

“My horse is so scopey that the high options are very easy for him, and he jumps all of the natural elements very well,” remarked Hesslink. “So that helps me in both rounds to earn extra bonus points for the height options — in the Handy Round I just try to make it as smooth as possible.”

Griffith, aboard Lexi Maounis’ Fetching, collected a second-round score of 185. When combined with their first-round score of 178, the elegant duo achieved an overall score of 363 to place second. When Fenney’s student Brian Moggre, had quietly entered the second-round, he and Abigail Albrecht’s MTM Noteworthy stood in fifth place with a first-round score of 168. The pair delivered a stylish round over the Handy Course and earned a score of 181.5, which increased their overall score to 349.5 and Third Prize.

Geoffrey Hesslink and Cadoretto

Hesslink and Cadoretto’s partnership is relatively new, “I bought him at the end of February, and this is our biggest win by far,” noted Hesslink. Outside of the ring, Hesslink said Cadoretto is a sweet, kind, gentle giant who really likes to snuggle.


$50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner 

1. CADORETTO / Geoffrey Hesslink / Geoffrey Hesslink
2. Fetching / Patricia Griffith / Lexi Maounis
3. MTM Nameworthy / Brian Moggre / Abigail Albrecht
4. Maitre D’ / Amanda Steege / Wendy Salomon
5. Generous / David Oliynyk / Lori Gaudet
6. Galan / Amber Henter / Maarten Huygens Horse Sales, Inc.
7. Cymplify / Aaron Vale / Hasbrouck Donovan
8. Nino Nacho / Cassandra Kahle / Redfield Farm
9. CAPSTONE / Sarah Tyndall / Ann W. Sharpe
10. CALOU / Taylor St Jacques / Diana J. Firestone
11. MTM Outbid / Tracy Fenney /  MTM Farm
12. Charismo / David Wilbur / Wilbur Show Stables

Press release: HITS, Inc.
Photos: ESI Photography

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