Jennifer Waxman and Dominic Gibbs Dominate $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at Kentucky Summer Classic

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 3, 2019 – TThe $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by World Equestrian Center/Kentucky Horse Shows LLC was the feature class in the Stonelea Ring Saturday at the Kentucky Summer Classic. Sixty-nine hunters took center stage to compete for the title that were broken down into two sections, Pro and Non-Pro. In the Pro section, Jennifer Waxman rode Elm Rock LLC’s Codex 22 to the win followed by Jeff Gogul and Robert Stables LLC’s Snowbird in second, while Dominic Gibbs rode Erin Gibbs’ Perseus YC to first place in the Non-Pro section with Savannah Sugar on her own Boccaccio coming in second.

Jennifer Waxman and Codex 22
Jennifer Waxman and Codex 22

Due to the large number of entries, the class was split into two sections — Pro and Non-Pro. The top 12 riders of each section returned for the handy round. In the Pro division, scores ranged from 71 to 94 to make the cut, with Jennifer Waxman and Codex 22 leading the way. In the Non-Pro division, scores went from 66 all the way up to a 90, earned by Perseus YC and Dominic Gibbs.

The handy round included four high options and a trot fence and offered a wide variety of inside turns to riders to show off their horses’ handiness. Returning in reverse order on an open card, both Waxman and Gibbs did not crumble under pressure and held their leads. Waxman, aboard Codex 22, earned scores of 92 plus the four high options to clinch the win with 190 total points thanks to their smooth and effortless round. Codex 22 is a 12-year-old Westphalian gelding who is new to the hunter ring. This marks just his second show as hunter. The duo was second last week in the same class, winning the handy round as well.

Jeff Gogul and Snowbird
Jeff Gogul and Snowbird

In the Non-Pro section of the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, Dominic Gibbs and Perseus YC were also able to hold the top spot after their handy round effort. The pair matched their first round score of 90 after receiving an 87 from the judges plus three points for taking three high options for a total score of 180. Perseus YC is owned by Dominic’s mother Erin and is also ridden by his younger sister, Jordan, in the Junior Hunter division. The family has had the horse since he was a yearling and broke him themselves. Although based out of Colorado, Dominic receives coaching from Stacia Madden at horse shows.

Dominic Gibbs and Perseus YC
Dominic Gibbs and Perseus YC

The National Hunter Derby Program was launched in 2010 to provide both horses and riders a place to gain experience in Derby competition at a lower height and difficulty level than the International Hunter Derbies. The program has enjoyed continued success and growth throughout the years and is rising in popularity. Sunday’s feature class is part of a 17-event USHJA National Hunter Derby series collaboration sponsored by the World Equestrian Center and Kentucky Horse Shows that includes $20,000 in rider bonuses to be awarded at the World Equestrian Invitational in October.

Savannah Sugar and Boccaccio. Photo: Shawn McMillen Photography

The Kentucky Summer Classic will conclude Sunday with the presentation of the Grand Amateur Owner Hunter Championship presented by Visse Widell in the Stonelea Ring, as well as the Pony Hunter Derby in the Rolex Stadium.


Jennifer Waxman – $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby pro section winner

On Codex 22:
“This is his second show as a hunter. He’s amazing. I’m riding him for the DeMartinis and a while ago I asked if I could make him a hunter because I thought he might like it, and he seems to really like it. He’s really clever, easy, and so fun to ride. You just pick up a canter and he just goes. Because he’s so smart, he just gets it and of course the handys are really fun. Last week, he was really good. We were second and we got a big score in the handy, but I was a little slow in the first round. It’s really mine to mess up. I just sit there and he takes care of the rest.”

On her strategy for the handy round:
“My strategy was just to be smooth and nice. He [Codex 22] is so good, so my strategy was pretty much just to not mess it up for him. I just try not to overthink it. When you’re riding a good horse, it makes your life a lot easier.”

On what’s next for Codex 22:
“He’ll off next week off during Pony Finals and then I’ll keep showing him as a hunter. I’ll talk to the owners and see what they want to do. I just want him to go to a good home and I’m happy that he has a career he really likes. He’s going to make someone a very happy person. I’m just glad I get to be a little part of it. I’m so thankful to the DiMartinis for this opportunity and to everyone that helps me.”

On Saturday’s course:
“The courses were good! They’re a lot longer than normal hunter courses, so I just try to make sure I stay focused and don’t go off course. I thought they were fun and challenging enough. I did an inside turn in the handy round on my first horse that I didn’t do on Codex 22. It was just a little awkward.”

On showing at the Kentucky Summer Classic:
“It’s so nice! I live at Spy Coast Farm and we can literally ride over here so it’s very convenient. It’s such a nice facility and the management does a great job. I’ve been coming here since I was little so it’s fun. Of course, the cross country course is so nice! That’s what I do to prepare for these horses. I like to take them for a stroll out there. It just keeps their brain fresh.”

Jennifer Waxman and Codex 22
Jennifer Waxman and Codex 22

Dominic Gibbs – $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby non-pro section winner

On winning:
“It feels quite amazing to win against this many competitors. We’ve had this horse since he was a yearling and both my mom, my sister and I have ridden him. I’ve had a lot of mistakes in derbies before with him, so it’s really great that it’s finally all coming together.”

On Perseus YC:
“We’ve had him since he was a yearling, we gelded him and brought him along since he was a baby. We broke him and he was quite the problem child when he was young and just within this last year, we’re starting to get out head on straight. He’s been doing very well this past year. Jordan, my sister, has ridden him and she’s done excellent in the Junior Hunters with him and I did him in the Junior Hunters as well. He’s magnificent – he’s just like riding a cloud. He’s so smooth and you can see the distance from so far away. He’s so handy it’s amazing.”

On his strategy for the handy round:
“I had a six point lead on the second place rider and I was looking at an inside turn to the trot fence and I deciding whether or not to do it. My coach, Stacia Madden, advised me to go around and since I had a nice lead, she said not to risk and try not to beat yourself. Just go around and play it safe.”

On what’s next for Perseus YC:
“I am going to the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival in Michigan next week and Perseus is going to go home to Colorado and maybe do some fall shows with my sister.”

On Saturday’s course:
“I really liked both courses actually. It gave us a lot of options, so it kept the riders on their toes and really had us focus through the course.”

On showing at the Kentucky Summer Classic:
“It’ such an amazing show. The rings always run on time and everything is so well managed. I love the courses and I love the competition!”

Dominic Gibbs and Perseus YC
Dominic Gibbs and Perseus YC


$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Open Section
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Score / R2 Score / Total Score
1. Codex 22 / Jennifer Waxman / Elm Rock LLC / 94 / 96 / 190
2. Snowbird / Jeff Gogul / Robert Stables LLC / 91 / 89 / 180
3. Conor / Jennifer Waxman / Jennifer Waxman LLC / 89 / 87 / 176
4. Niko / Steven Gregorio / Cynthia Chaconas / 87 / 86.5 / 173.5
5. Dallas / Brandon Gibson / Select Sport Horses / 83 / 88 / 171
6. Neuwirth SCF / Mary Mielenz / Wendy Meyers / 84 / 86 / 170
7. SWS All In / Emily Williams / Steve Weder / 82.5 / 80 / 162.5
8. Quarterletto / Callie Schott / Riverview Farm LLC / 78 / 82 / 160

$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Non-Pro Section
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Score / R2 Score / Total Score
1. Perseus YC / Dominic Gibbs / Erin Gibbs / 90 / 90 / 180
2. Boccaccio / Savannah Sugar / Savannah Sugar / 84 / 83 / 167
3. App For That / Madison Winebrenner / Madison Winebrenner / 82 / 79 / 161
4. Eres Tu / Anna Robson / Ana Robson / 76 / 80 / 156
5. Limitless / Jordan Gibbs / Dominic Gibbs / 81 / 70 / 151
6. Quaboom / Emma Blumenkrantz / Frances Moppett / 70 / 80 / 150
7. Carluca / Savannah Metheny / Savannah Metheny / 79 / 68 / 147
8. Welcome / Mary Elizabeth Cordia / Mary Elizabeth Cordia / 73 / 69 / 142

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