The Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic, Chagrin Valley Farms and Brave Horse launch the Ohio Derby Cup Series Presented by Footing First

(Johnstown, Ohio – June 13, 2018) Three leading hunter/jumper horse show venues based in Ohio have partnered to develop the new Ohio Derby Cup Series that launched earlier this year and runs through August. The Series offers derby-style competition for exhibitors in divisions at 2’, 2’6” and 3’-3’5” hunter/jumper levels. The top 25 riders at each fence height are eligible for the finals to be held at Brave Horse VI, August 30 – September 2, 2018, where prizes and prize money will be awarded by fence height.

The Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic (CHJC), Chagrin Valley Farms (CVF) and Brave Horse recognized a demand for more special classes that include multiple fence heights, especially within the hunter divisions that are incredibly popular with riders of all ages. Brave Horse will hold Ohio Derby Cup classes at every show while the CHJC will host Ohio Derby Cup at its July 5-15 show and CVF will host classes at its August 3-5 show.

The premier leader in the development of synthetic equestrian footing, Footing First, is the presenting sponsor of the Ohio Derby Cup. Footing First surfaces were used in all rings of the Brave Horse Show Park when it debuted in 2017 and Chagrin Valley Farms also utilized Footing First product when it underwent a major renovation of its indoor arenas in 2017.

“At Footing First we know that sport growth depends on high quality showing opportunities at venues that offer a great experience for both the horse and rider,” said Karen Leeming of Footing First. “We are so proud that our products contribute to the positive experience at so many venues. We wish all of the riders the best in their pursuit of the first ever Ohio Derby Cup.”

Spectators and exhibitors love derby competition because it is as fun to watch as it is to ride. Hunter derbies are run with two rounds – the first round is a typical hunter classic course judged on performance, hunter pace, jumping style and movement. The top riders return for a second round “handy” type course that simulates riding over hunt country with options such as tight turns, clever jump approaches, galloping and trotting a fence. Obstacles are reminiscent of the hunt field such as natural post and rail, stone wall, white board fence or gate, brush, logs and natural foliage.

“The Ohio Derby Cup Series is a terrific way for our show to collaborate with the legendary Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic and the Chagrin Valley Farms shows near Cleveland to create more high quality opportunities for riders to compete for special awards,” said Michale Belisle, Brave Horse Show Park operations director. “We think offering this series for all hunter levels will produce a very exciting finals with a lot of spectators turning out to see who claims the first Ohio Derby Cup.”

Brave Horse Week I Ohio Derby Cup 3-3’5” Winner Fernando VDL with Lindsay Dunlap aboard, photo by Winslow Photograph

“The Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic has attracted top riders from around the country and outside the U.S., and not just in the jumper ring. Over the years it has been a World Champion Hunter Rider site, and hosts USHJA National and International Hunter Derbies,” said CHJC Chairman Lori Proch. The Board has never lost sight of the importance of promoting the sport to up-and-coming riders offering hunter and jumper classes for the novice levels on its opening weekend. “That is why we were so happy to team up with other top Ohio horse shows to offer the Ohio Derby Cup Series, which is a super incentive for those riding from 2’ in height and up. Those riders are the future of our sport.”

Brave Horse Week II Ohio Derby Cup 3’-3’5” Winner Starsky ridden by Grace DeFoe, photo by Winslow Photography

About The Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic

The popular Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic returns to the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field in Moreland Hills July 5-15. The Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic attracts more than 600 horses from 30 states and multiple countries as well as thousands of spectators to Northern Ohio during the 10 days of competition. Started nearly 70 years ago as a charity fundraiser, the horse show grew to one of the largest outdoor hunter jumper horse shows in the country by the 1960s. In 1965 it hosted the first show jumping grand prix in North America, the Cleveland Grand Prix which continues today with the 53rd Cleveland Grand Prix offering a $50,000 purse on July 15.

The Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic is run by an all-volunteer board and continues its charitable mission while hosting hundreds of classes for all levels of riders and AA-rated competition for the nation’s top horses and riders. Other highlights include the Horse and Hound exhibition that pairs a jumper and dog agility team; Gambler’s Choice, National and International Derby classes and more. Tickets are available at the gate or online at chagrinhunterjumperclassic.com.

About Chagrin Valley Farms

Chagrin Valley Farms is an 85-acre equestrian center in Bainbridge, Ohio that is undergoing major renovation and rebirth since it was purchased by the Schneider Family in September 2017. The facility offers a full range of horse shows year-round from schooling and academy level shows, to A-rated hunter jumper shows, to dressage shows. They also offer lessons, weekly summer day camp, leasing as well as hosting events and shows for outside organizations.

The new owners have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in indoor and outdoor improvements at CVF including new indoor and outdoor show arena footing by Footing First, warm up arena renovations, heating the indoor arenas, new lighting, and many other improvements. Outdoor improvements also include renovations to horse show and lesson rings; fencing, roadways/paths around the rings; a comprehensive drainage plan, and paddock work. For details and show schedules visit chagrinvalleyfarms.com and sign up for the newsletter for latest developments.

About Brave Horse


Owner Twin Stables LLC first acquired property for the new facility in 2015 with a goal of expanding high quality showing options in the Hunter Jumper disciplines in central Ohio. They convened renowned experts in equestrian facility development, including architect John Blackburn, AIA of Washington, D.C, land planner Mark Kline of MKSK in Columbus, Ohio, and Karen Leeming and Lawton Adams of Footing First, to partner in the design of this spectacular destination for equestrian sport. Located at 1029 S. County Line Road in Johnstown, Ohio. Brave Horse features seven state-of-the-art arenas dressed with the highest quality competition footing. A Grand Prix arena, built to specifications to accommodate internationally sanctioned competitions, features a subterranean watering system and a proprietary blend of footing used by Olympic and World Cup level equestrian facilities.

The facility also offers 250 permanent 12-by-12-foot horse stalls in five stable buildings with wide and well-lit aisles and natural ventilation. Other additions to the grounds include a large show office, several dedicated vendor areas for equipment, apparel and catering services, hospitality area, judge and ingate boxes, landscaping and water features, green spaces, lighting enhancements, dedicated photo opportunity area and more. For more information on Brave Horse, please visit: brave-horse.com.