Wellington, Fla. – March 3, 2018 – Saturday’s $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, hosted by Deeridge Farms, saw a total of 44 horse-and-rider combinations compete for top honors. After numerous competitive rounds put in by seasoned professionals such as Victoria Colvin and Jennifer Hannan, only 12 horse-and-riders returned for the handy round. The cut off score after the first round of competition was a high 81. Ultimately, it was Liza Boyd and Clemens, an 8-year-old Oldenburg gelding, who put in the best ride with a cumulative score of 185 to take home the top prize.
The long course, designed by Steve Stephens, consisted of 12 obstacles, with four high option fences that offered each athlete the opportunity to add points to their final score. The first round course utilized both tight combinations and turns in addition to long gallops to test each athletes’ skill level. The handy round, which saw the return of the top 12 athletes, consisted of a direct canter to the first fence right out of the ingate and also included a trot fence mid-course.
Finishing in second was Maria Rasmussen and Hobbs Lane, a talented 6-year-old gelding owned by Sunset View Farm LLC. The pair set the bar high for the day as the first to go, earning a first round score of 88 and then a second round score of 94. Rasmussen also placed eighth with her second mount, Cariatide.
Third place was captured by Robert Weeden and In Time with a cumulative score of 172.5. Weeden, another rider with multiple mounts, also placed 10th with Glory Days Farm LLC’s Just Because.
Competition at the 2018 Deeridge Derby, part of the new Palm Beach Masters series at Deeridge Farms, will continue on Sunday, March 4, with the USHJA Pony Derby and will culminate with the highly anticipated final round of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Liza Boyd – $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby winner
On her handy round:
“The handy was great. It started with a left lead canter directly to the first jump, straight from the ingate to the chicken coop fence. I love that jump! I want to take it home. Then it was a rollback to the oxer right by the gate followed by a bending line going away from home. Steve [Stephens] always gives us a lot of bending lines, which is great for galloping and riding forward. The in-and-out was good. After the in-and-out, there were seven strides to get a little quiet and that was where there was an option to do a roll back and get pretty tight inside of the flowers. Clemens was lovely. It was a little bit like something you would see while fox hunting in the country. Then there was a nice gallop to a big, solid last jump, where they could really curl around and showcase their jumping style. It was an excellent course.”
On Deeridge Farms:
“It’s a fabulous venue. I was really excited to have a one-ring show here, where I can really spend a lot of time with my horses and not be in a hurry.”
“Clemens is an 8-year-old up-and-coming derby prospect. He did do derby finals last year. He isn’t super seasoned on the grass so I wanted to take advantage of the national derby and aim to build him up for the international derby next year here. I think he is a really special horse, maybe even my next Brunello. He is super fun to ride, he is very scopey and careful in a nice way. He studies the jump so he jumps really stylish like a hunter. He has a great personality and is a real puppy dog around the barn. He’s definitely going to be a superstar.”
Horse / Rider / Score
$5,000 National Hunter Derby
1. Clemens / Liza Boyd / 185
2. Hobbs Lane / Maria Rasmussen / 182
3. In Time / Robert Weeden / 172.5
4. Sugarman / Jennifer Bliss / 171
5. Cornando / Jennifer Hannan / 169
6. Timberline / Rachel Kennedy / 168
7. Gabanos / Ed Copeland / 167
8. Cariatide / Maria Rasmussen / 166.5
9. Golden Glock WS / Schuyler Riley / 165
10. Just Because / Robert Weeden / 159.5
11. Argyle / Santos Lamarca / 145.5
12. Persuasion / Sara Taylor / 132