LAKE VIEW TERRACE, Calif.— Jamie Sailor celebrated her third USHJA International Hunter Derby victory this year at the LEG Memorial Day Classic (May 23-26) at Hansen Dam Horse Park. Jamie piloted Eve Aron’s Destin De Folie (Joe Thorpe, trainer) to an impressive win in his first USHJA International Hunter Derby, successfully navigating a course by FEI Level III Course Designer Peter Grant of Calgary, Alberta.
Peter, who designs for Spruce Meadows, put together challenging courses that tested the horses’ styles and abilities. “The main hunter ring at Hansen Dam Horse Park is big with lots of room to gallop,” Peter said. “The size of the ring is fantastic, and the footing is great. There’s a garden-like setting outside the ring, which makes for a great atmosphere for hunter competitions.”
In the first round, Peter wanted to give riders the optimal opportunity to show off their horses’ talents. “Peter is an incredible course designer,” noted John McQueen, one of four judges on the panel. “His attention to detail is world class. The fences were specifically placed to encourage an excellent performance from horse and rider.”
Jamie was the first to tackle the course, setting an example for the rest of the riders and earning the first-round top score of 168 with Destin De Folie. “I liked the course a lot,” Jamie commented. “The higher options were challenging, and I liked that the bending lines weren’t constricted to a certain number of strides. The footing was nice, and the ring was big enough to be able to allow your horse to really gallop and hunt.”
Riding for owner Eve Aron and trainer Joe Thorpe, Jamie had only shown Destin De Folie once before. “This was our second show together,” Jamie said. “He’s an amazing horse, but he’s a new ride for me so I rode the best I could and tried to be consistent. I was thrilled with him, especially since he’s only seven-years-old.”
Jamie was hopeful about her ride on Hopeful (Astrid Van Leeuwen, owner) who recently captured the Blenheim USHJA International Hunter Derby. Though the pair topped the handy round with a high score of 191, an unfortunate rail in the first round relegated the pair to a fifth-place finish overall.
It was 14-year-old Skylar Wireman who captivated the attention of spectators and judges alike aboard her 11-year-old Westphalian gelding, Captivated. “Skylar had some excellent trips and I am very impressed with how well she rides,” said John McQueen. “She’s a talent to be followed.”
The junior rider, trained by her mother Shayne Wireman, put together two consistent rounds with scores of 150 and 176, respectively. “I do it all—mother, trainer, and groom,” Shayne explained. “We imported Skylar’s horse from Germany as a coming five-year-old and I’m so proud of how far he has come with Skylar.” Skylar and Captivated earned an overall score of 326, sealing a second-place finish for the high-point junior rider behind first place pair Jamie and Destin De Folie with a score of 345.
LEG was proud to host the inaugural Memorial Day Classic USHJA International Hunter Derby at Hansen Dam Horse Park. “The Memorial Day Classic has always been a fun show and I thoroughly like this facility,” Jamie added. “Hansen Dam Horse Park has a lot of character and I enjoy coming here. I was ecstatic to win the USHJA International Hunter Derby and I look forward to coming back for more horse showing here.”
Stay tuned for additional highlights from the 42nd annual Memorial Day Classic Horse Show. Be sure to follow Langer Equestrian Group on Facebook and Instagram to stay on top of the most current news and happenings!