Temecula, Calif. – April 18, 2019 – The third day of the Temecula Valley National Premier, designated as a World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week, made way for hunter competitors to take center stage in the Audi Grand Prix Arena, presented by Evergate Stables. Out of a field of 22 horse-and-rider combinations, Jamie Sailor and Quarter Note took home top honors in the $15,000 Great American Insurance Group USHJA International Hunter Derby. Ilana Halpern rode Shameless to second place honors and Nick Haness rounded out the top three aboard Verdict.
Skip Bailey’s 10-effort first round course asked riders to navigate over natural fences through bending and combination lines. Early in the lineup, Halpern set the standard for the remainder of the class earning a total first round score of 175 aboard Shameless, a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Alexandria Baker. At the halfway point, Sailor took over Halpern’s lead with a score of 177.50 on Quarter Note, a 9-year-old Brandenburg mare owned by Sheila Ryan.
Sailor’s first-round lead was short lived after Haness entered the arena aboard Verdict, an 8-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Lindsey Schiefelbein. The pair rode to a total score of 181.50 and held the lead for the remainder of the first round.
The top 12 competitors were invited back in reverse order to the arena to compete over the eight-effort handy round. Each course was different from the last as riders were given the option to customize the first three fences of the track, having the option to jump each from either direction. The option fences provided riders the opportunity to showcase their horses’ strengths and earn handy bonus points toward their score.
Sailor first entered the second round riding her other mount Hopeful, owned by Astrid Van Leeuwen. Though the pair had a rail down on course, it allowed Sailor to see the difficult track and make a plan for when she entered the ring with Quarter Note. As the second-to-last competitors on course, Sailor and Quarter Note navigated the first three fences with ease, swiftly rolling back to a high option fence, wowing the crowd. Her efforts paid off as she was awarded a total of 16 handy bonus points and received a second round score of 191, totaling a score of 368.5 for her two rounds.
The final competitor to enter the ring, Haness attempted to hold his lead, navigating a tidy inside turn through the first three fences. However, Haness’ efforts were not quite enough to maintain his lead, earning a handy score 171.50 that included 15 handy bonus points, receiving an overall score of 363.50. Haness would ultimately be awarded third place, and Halpern jumped from third to second with Shameless with their total handy score of 188.5 and an overall score of 363.5.
Sailor was ultimately awarded top honors for her efforts, making Thursday evening’s win her second consecutive International Derby win. The up-and-coming young professional arrived at the Temecula Valley National Premier coming off of an international derby win at The Oaks at Rancho Mission Viejo already under her belt with her other partner, Hopeful. Sailor looks ahead with Quarter Note with the goal of competing at the USHJA Hunter Derby Finals in Kentucky later this year.
Rounding out the awards for the class, Alex Garcia, groom for Haness, received the Professional’s Choice Groom’s Award for the best turned out horse in the International Derby. Kate the Braider supported this year’s groom’s award with an additional $250.
Competition at the Temecula Valley National Horse Show continues Friday, April 19 beginning at 8:00 a.m. Highlight classes include the R.W. Mutch Equitation Championship and the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, both in the afternoon.
$15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Score / R2 Score | Total
1. Quarter Note / Jamie Sailor / Sheila Ryan / 177.50 / 191.00 | 368.50
2. Shameless / Ilana Halpern / Alexandria Baker / 175.00 / 188.50 | 363.50
3. Verdict / Nick Haness / Lindsey Schiefelbein / 181.50 / 171.50 | 353.00
4. Evermore / Rebecca Bruce / Camille Cheng / 165.00 / 187.50 | 352.50
5. Vanderpump / Augusta Iwasaki / Ashland Farms / 177.00 / 175.50 | 352.50
6. Cocon 4 / Avery Glynn / Ned Glynn / 159.00 / 191.00 | 350.00
7. Ask Anyone / Kylee Arbuckle / Arianna Snowden / 165.25 / 176.50 | 341.75
8. Davinci / Kylee Arbuckle / Furth Bonomi Farm LLC / 79 / 163.50 / 178.00 | 341.50
9. Worthy / John Bragg / Strasburg Morin Inc / 161.00 / 176.00 | 337.00
10. Rimpoche / Claire Archer / Claire Archer / 160
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Jamie Sailor – $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Winner
On Quarter Note:
“Quarter Note jumped her heart out — she was so good for me. This is my second derby win in a row. I’ve had the ride for almost two years. Mike Hebert used to ride her and now I have her. I did her through the 3’9” Green as well as the HIgh Performance. I started last year later in the year to do the derbies and she had never done one. We are still pretty green at it so I was a little concerned in the handy round doing that crazy bend in the first line. She is actually a pretty handy horse so I really enjoy riding her. I’m starting to get to know her at this height and she is starting to understand the oxers and turns. It’s a lot bigger and I do all the high options. She is really excelling. I’m excited.”
On her first round:
“I came in and really enjoyed the course. There were no set lines other than the two strides so I really liked the fact that you could hunt a little bit. She has a beautiful stride across the ground so I knew I could be a little open and I thought she jumped quite well. I was trying to be really calm and positive where I was leading her because it was a little windy in the beginning, but she followed my hand and was right there with me. The high options, tight turns and the trot fence, she just stayed right there with me. She got a little excited at the end because the crowd went a little crazy, but I was happy with her.”
On the Temecula Valley National Premier:
“I’ve never been here and I’m loving it. I think the show has a lot of character and charisma. I really like the way Ali [Nilforushan] built the tents around the main ring so you get somewhat of an indoor feel. I love the view, the track out here, the grass hunter ring, and there are a lot of good qualities about his show. He’s done a really good job and there were a lot of people watching the hunter derby for a night class.”
For more information about the TVNHS, visit www.jump-nee.com