San Juan Capistrano, CA – June 19, 2017 – Of the eleven ponies in the second USHJA Pony Hunter Derby of the season, presented by Makoto Farm, it was Stella Wasserman aboard her own large pony Benetton who topped the field with a two round total of 170. Wasserman’s stunning Handy Round earned her a high score of 88, for which she took home The Plaid Horse High Score Handy Award. Wasserman also won the Balmoral Winning Owner Award, and Archibald Cox III won the Blue Ribbon Blankets Winning Trainer Award (accepted by Karli Postel). For his high-score round, Benetton was also deemed the highest placing large pony.
Thomas Hern designed two beautiful courses, each including a variety of bending lines and some uniquely decorated fences. Wasserman’s slick inside turn back to the second fence of the Handy course set her apart from her competitors as the star of the round. For her overall win, she took home a pair of Roeckl Sports gloves, an embroidered cooler, and an engraved pewter plate.
“It feels awesome to win the derby,” Wasserman said. “The courses were super fun and so were the jumps. It’s also fun competing with my closest friends.” The derby champion described her winning mount fondly. Though, according to Wasserman, he can be lazy in the warm-up ring, the nine-year-old liver chestnut is a great partner who nickers whenever he sees her. “He is a lot of fun to ride and I look forward to the next derby on him.”
Proud of her daughter and their horses, Laura Wasserman smiled and deemed the show “Wasserman Week” in the derby arena. Her horse Skyhawk won the USHJA International Hunter Derby just a couple of days before her daughter’s pony derby victory.
Katalina Rickard and Micaela Kennedy’s Elite Hollywood Smoke picked up third place overall after leading the first round with a score of 85. They were recognized as the highest placing medium pony for their top honors. The grey pony shimmered in the sun, earning Ramon Guzman the EquiFit Groom’s Award for Best Turned Out Pony.
Galloping Ponies Galore!
It’s Pony Derby season at Blenheim, as this week and next week will feature two additional USHJA Pony Hunter Derbies, with the final one offering $5,000 in prize money, presented by Markel Insurance. At the conclusion of the final pony event during the Red, White & Blue Classic, Makoto Farm will present Circuit Awards to the highest placing small, medium, and large pony hunters, based on their performances throughout the four Pony Hunter Derbies hosted by Blenheim this year.
In addition, the West Coast Pony Hunter Challenge, presented by USHJA Zone 10, as well as the Emerson Burr Horsemanship Quiz, will make this week’s Blenheim June Classic III a pony extravaganza! Fun for all involved, along with top competition there will be tons of camaraderie, including a post-quiz cupcake party this Wednesday, a Derby ice-cream social on Saturday, and next week, a Derby donut party celebrating the upcoming 4th of July holiday. Good luck to every pony and pony rider!
USHJA Pony Hunter Derby, Presented by Makoto Farm
Place – Horse – Rider – Owner – Rd 1 Score/Rd 2 Score/Overall Score
1. Benetton – Stella Wasserman – Stella Wasserman – 82/88/170
2. Ever After – Augusta Iwasaki – Gabrielle Sokolow – 83/85/168
3. Elite Hollywood Smoke – Katalina Rickard – Micaela Kennedy – 85/81/166
4. Kapalua – Madison Sanders – Karen Perlow – 76/80/156
5. Woodland’s Picasso – Hannah Rohrbach – Hannah Rohrbach – 74/78/152
6. Headlines – Ava Peck – Tanna Seltzer – 72/77/149
7. Darling Clementine – Tessa Buchanan – Ally Dickson – 71/75/146
8. Tenor – Alexandra Frohman – Alexandra Frohman – 67/40/107
9. Indian Summer – Siri Batalden – Sarah Dyer – 65/41/106
10. Butterscotch – Augusta Iwasaki – Quartet Farm, LLC – 68/30/98
11. Small Wonder – Elsa Batalden – Elsa Betalden – 30/67/97