LAKE VIEW TERRACE, Calif.— Jacilyn Felton (Elvenstar, trainer) made an unforgettable debut in the USHJA National Hunter Derby at Verdugo Hills May (May 16-19), sealing the win with top scores of 90 in each round. Jacilyn had many reasons to celebrate over the weekend— she won her first hunter derby and graduated from college.
“This was my first time riding in a hunter derby,” Jacilyn said. “My plan was just to have fun without having any expectations. I’ve had with my horse for about a year and he’s a perfect partner. He has a background as a jumper, and I grew up doing the hunters. We’ve mainly been doing equitation, so it was fun to try a hunter derby.”
Jacilyn was determined to use her equitation skills to be as handy as possible. “Going into the handy round, I planned to take most of the inside turns,” she explained. “I also took all four higher options. I tried not to rush the trot jump. It worked out well and our practice paid off.”
Consistency has been the key for Jacilyn who has been training at Elvenstar, under Kay Altheuser and Jim Hagman, for over two decades. “Kay has been my trainer ever since I was six-years-old,” she explained. “I ride five days a week and I love it. My family at Elvenstar has pushed me to become a better rider since the days of my first pony. I’m grateful for their support.”
Several of Jacilyn’s barn mates also earned ribbons in the USHJA National Hunter Derby: Olivia Gray was the top-placing junior rider and fifth overall with her Dresden Z, Nicole McMillion and Alley-Oop (Tess Leibowitz, owner) were sixth, and Angel Wang and Columbus (Hannah Gansert, owner) were eleventh.
Jacilyn is now in contention for a LEGIS Hunter Rider Bonus if she wins another USHJA National Hunter Derby during the 2019 Verdugo Hills Series aboard For Eternity. Stay tuned to see if Jacilyn clinches a LEGIS Rider Bonus!
Join us this week for the LEG Memorial Day Classic Horse Show at Hansen Dam Horse Park, featuring a USHJA International Hunter Derby on Friday afternoon, a USHJA National Hunter Derby on Saturday morning, and the 42nd Annual Memorial Day Classic Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon.
Stay tuned for changes as the weather develops. Any schedule updates will be on the LEG website. Jumper riders please note that the jumper ring will be sealed by 3:00 p.m. Wednesday.
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