BY ANNIE BIRMINGHAM
Ava Lakey captured the coveted Highest Scoring Junior Award and cooler sponsored by The Plaid Horse in the $5,000 National Hunter Derby at the 2018 Blenheim EquiSports Summer Classic. Riding Denize Borges’ “Double Blind” to a 9th place finish, Lakey was the top placing junior rider in a field of 36 combined professional, amatuer, and junior competitors.
“The National Hunter Derby is one of my favorites. Not only do the top 12 horses get to return for a second round, but there are also special awards like this one! It’s fun to have the opportunity to compete in a shadbelly and against seasoned professionals and amateurs that I normally wouldn’t ride with. This class was particularly tricky for me, as I was unable to walk the course due to a class running at the same time as the course walk. I know my horse well, and watching other rounds before mine was helpful. It ended up riding well for me!”
Lakey trains with Denize Borges out of Crystal Image Farm in Sunol, CA, and credit Borges with teaching her the “dos and don’ts of the horse shows”. While Lakey primarily competes in the equitation classes aboard her own Concargo, she has recently ventured into the junior hunter division with Double Blind, as well as the jumper ring with a new mount, Lassano. As the summer season wraps up, Lakey hopes to put in good rides in the upcoming medal finals before beginning to move up the ranks in the jumper ring.
- Iconic- Peter Lombardo
- Holland- Katie Taylor
- Afterglow- Nick Haness
- Captivate- Nick Haness
- Academy Award- Peter Lombardo
- Channing- Eleanor Hellman
- Champion For Volt- Robert Sean Leckie
- Water For Chocolate- Robert Sean Leckie
- Double Blind- Ava Lakey
- Not To Worry- Sarah Hellman
- Verdict- Lindsey Schieffelbein
- Valedictorian- Robert Sean Leckie
About the Author: Annie Birmingham is an 18 year old equestrian from Long Island, New York. A freshman at Long Island University studying equine management, Annie can usually be found spending time at the barn and grooming at horse shows up and down the East Coast.
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