Woodside, Calif.– Langer Equestrian Group kicked off the 2019 Woodside Spring Circuit with the Woodside Spring Preview (Apr. 24-28). On Thursday afternoon, Hugh (Bert) Mutch piloted Lerida (Itavera Inc., owner) in her first USHJA National Hunter Derby, clinching the win out of nearly 25 horse and rider pairs.
“This was her first ever hunter derby,” Bert explained. “This mare is about 12-years-old and was purchased as a grand prix horse. She recently returned from being leased out and we decided to try her in the hunter ring. She is a very useful mare who is really sweet and just a lovely horse. I’m looking forward to showing her in more hunter derbies, and the owner’s daughter may show her in the Children’s Hunters.”
In the first round of the derby, Lerida’s style and technique earned a top score of 86, three points ahead of All the Talk (Dana Le, owner) ridden by Joey Pedroni. “The first round was a nice course and it was a good class with a lot of horses in it,” Bert said. “We are trying to build confidence in the hunter ring and I wanted to give her a good ride. She has a lovely technique and jumps beautifully.”
Going into the handy round, Bert took advantage of his three-point lead and decided to ride a more conservative track. “I kept it simple,” he said. “I had a little bit of a lead so instead of trying to make one inside turn, I opted to go around. I also kept in mind that this was her first derby.”
“I couldn’t be happier with her first derby,” he added. “I really enjoy riding in the hunter ring and coming to Langer Equestrian Group horse shows because they run a nice show and always listen to my feedback.”
Bert is looking forward to riding his other mount in the Woodside Spring Preview Grand Prix tonight. Stay tuned this week for more exciting updates from Woodside including results from the grand prix.
Join us next week for the Woodside Spring Classic (May 1-5), which will feature a $25,000 Regional Standard Grand Prix, USHJA International Hunter Derby, and a USHJA National Hunter Derby!