Wellington, Fla. – Mar. 2, 2018 – More than 50 entries commenced the hunter portion of the Palm Beach Masters’ Deeridge Derby week Friday morning, with each pair taking their turn around course designer Steve Stephens’ (USA) track for a chance to win the $5,000 SBS Farms International Hunter Derby Welcome Stake. Operating under the classic format with no handy round, horses and riders only had one shot to impress the judges, and it was Victoria Colvin and Brad Wolf’s Private Practice ultimately proving that one chance was all they needed to claim the top score.
The expansive manicured lawn at Deeridge Farms traded show jumpers for hunters this week, offering contenders plenty of room to show off their skills and finesse, with Stephens’ 10-effort course further offering ample opportunity to strut impressive bascules. Unlike most derbies, no high option fences were available for added points, leveling the playing field.
Seventh in the ring, Jennifer Alfano and Sharon O’Neill’s Miss Lucy set the early standard for the field, riding to marks of 85 and 84 for a cumulative total of 169 to claim the morning lead. Coincidentally, Miss Lucy is trained by Susie Schoelkopf, owner and trainer of class-sponsor SBS Farms. Nearly 20 trips later, decorated rider Kelley Farmer aboard Todd Minikus, Ltd.’s Exceptional gave Alfano a run for her money with marks of 82 and 89 for an equivalent composite score of 169. Though the cumulative points were equal, Farmer just narrowly missed the top spot on the scorecard as the panel one judge serves as the tie-breaker for twin scores, thus Alfano’s 85 bested Farmer’s 82.
A steady string of trips followed, and it appeared that Alfano and the chestnut mare were going to enjoy the lead for nearly the entirety of the class. With little more than ten in the order still to ride, Hannah Isop navigated Tracy Freels’ Red Ryder to tallies of 84 and 88 to jump to the lead with a total score of 172. Their top spot would not hold long though, as only a few trips later young phenom Colvin and Private Practice cracked the 90-point threshold to accrue an aggregate score of 177.5, comprised of individual scores of 92 and 85.5. Sitting more than five points ahead of the next best competitor, Colvin was able to retain the lead, with Isop finishing in the reserve spot and Alfano settling for third position.
The second leg of the Palm Beach Master series will continue throughout the weekend, with the $5,000 USHJA National Junior/Amateur Hunter Derby and the $5,000 USHJA National Open Hunter Derby spearheading the highlight hunter events Saturday, and the $2,500 USHJA Pony Derby serving as a prelude to conclusion of the feature event of the Deeridge Derby week, the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Victoria Colvin – $5,000 International Hunter Derby Welcome Stake Champion
On Private Practice:
“We have only had him about two weeks. Brad Wolf bought him during WEF and he has been wonderful so far. This is only maybe his fourth show as a hunter. He used to be a jumper at Eduardo Menezes‘ farm. This is his debut with derbies, and basically his hunter debut, as well. He is really special. When we tried him I thought that he could win Derby Finals and be a really nice horse. He is getting better and better as we go on. His canter is getting better and he jumps amazing. He is super careful. He’s a really nice horse.”
On the plan for Private Practice:
“I don’t believe Brad is planning on showing him yet, but he is just going to be doing the Second Year’s and I think we will strive towards the Derbies as well because Brad has always wanted a really nice derby horse. That’s something I’d think he is going to be doing.”
On riding only the one round:
“I rode this as a warm-up class. I rode it nicely because I didn’t know how he was going to be in the field because he has never done that before. I wanted to go smoothly, nicely and slowly and see how he was and he was amazing. I couldn’t have asked him to be any better.”
On competing during Deeridge Derby Week:
“I love it. It’s a different venue and it’s so unique here. I love coming here each year to compete.”
Place / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
$5,000 International Hunter Derby Welcome Stake
1. Victoria Colvin / Private Practice / Brad Wolf / 177.5
2. Hannah Isop / Red Ryder / Tracy Freels / 172
3. Jennifer Alfano / Miss Lucy / Susie Schoelkopf / 169
4. Kelley Farmer / Exceptional / Todd Minikus, Ltd. / 169
5. Augusta Iwasaki / Vanderpump / Ashland Farms / 166.25
6. Maria Rasmussen / With Honors / Corporate Way, LLC / 163.5
7. Samantha Schaefer / In The Know / Madeline Schaefer / 161
8. Kelley Farmer / Point Being / Derby Lane, LLC / 161
9. Amanda Steege / Lafitte De Muze / Cheryl Olsten / 160
10. Robert Bielefeld / Jackman / Bailey Mews, LLC / 159