Ward Delivers One-Two Punch in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by Eastern Hay at Monmouth at the Team

Morgan Ward with Cypress and her team accept the award. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography

GLADSTONE, N.J. — Aug. 13, 2019 —Monmouth at the Team resumed Tuesday at iconic Hamilton Farm, former home of the United States Equestrian Team (USET) and current headquarters of the USET Foundation, in Gladstone. The show features seven full days of top-notch hunter/ jumper  competition. The morning kicked off with breakfast sponsored by the Muhlhauser family. In the afternoon exhibitors, friends and family gathered in the hospitality tent to enjoy the feature class, the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by Eastern Hay. Chive and Thyme catering served a Cuban themed meal accompanied by cheer from Sourland Mountain Spirits and Flying Fish Brewery.

A starting field of 23 talented pairings lined up to contest Skip Bailey’s first track, and the top 12 highest-scoring entries were asked to return for a handy portion. At the intermission prior to the handy phase, young professional Morgan Ward held both the ultimate and penultimate positions with scores of 89.00 and 88.00 respectively. The 12 combinations  returned in ascending order from lowest to highest first round score which left Ward as the last to cross the track.

Morgan Ward and Cypress. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography

Bailey’s handy course offered four high options and presented riders with several areas to flaunt handiness. The designer offered multiple tight rollbacks, a trot fence, and gave competitors the option to choose which way they would like to finish their round by offering a long approach to an oxer on either side of the ring.

With two horses to display, Ward was allowed to return several trips early with her second place mount, Carpedi. The team bested their first round score of 88.00 with an 89.00 to total on 177.00 overall points and maintained the lead. New Jersey native Katarina Muhlhauser and her own Adele were hot on Ward’s heels as they paired her first round score of 85.00 with an impressive 88.00 for a final total of 173.00.

Morgan Ward and Carpedi. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography

“She’s never really let me down,” said Muhlhauser, a 19-year-old amateur from Califon, New Jersey who trains with the Desiderios at Tranquillity Farm. “She’s always on her game. The course was really nice because it was all singles and off your eye except for the two-stride. I really liked the options because you could make it your own and do what suits your horse best.”

Ward returned as the final ride of the evening with her lead mount, Cypress, and with an impressively smooth and handy track that paired a 91.00 with her previous 89.00 for the leading 180.00.

Katarina Muhlhauser and Adele. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography

“I’ve been showing Cypress for a little over two years now, and he has had great success since the very beginning,” Ward explained. “He won this same derby here at Monmouth at the Team last year, and he won quite a lot in Ocala this past winter as well.”

“It’s an interesting relationship because he isn’t stabled with me, so I only ride him when I show him,” she continued about Bruce Green’s 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Quidam De Revel SF x Kassini). “His trainer is actually Sandra Lobel so he stays in her farm and then I just meet up with them at the show and compete him in the derbies.”

Ward’s reserve winner, Carpedi, however, is a recent import of her sister, amateur rider Lindsey Ward. With both horses, Ward said she was happy with Bailey’s course questions as well as the venue.

“I love showing here, it is such a great venue and the footing and jumps are just unbeatable,” she said. “This course asked questions and gave the riders a chance to make their own track and decisions so I think that maybe some of their approaches or rollbacks could’ve caused them some difficulty, but I really enjoyed what it offered.”

Final Results of the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, Presented by Eastern Hay:

Horse/Rider/Owner/ R1 score/ R2 score | Total

Cypress / Morgan Ward / Bruce Green / 89.00 / 91.00 | 180.00

Carpedi / Morgan Ward / Lindsay Ward / 88.00 / 89.00 | 177.00

Adele / Katarina Muhlhauser / Katarina Muhlhauser / 85.00 / 88.00 | 173.00

Jeremiah 29:11 / B.J. Ehrhardt / Leigh Creamer / 83.00 / 87.00 | 170.00

Carissima W/ Kianna Luscher/ Northeast Equi-Wave Therapy, LLC. / 81.00 / 83.00 | 164.00

Cobriana / Kate Egan / Kate Egan / 75.50 / 84.00 | 159.50

Cordino / Logan Thomas / Devon Thomas / 75.00 / 79.00 | 154.00

James G / Cheyenne Sickle / Khazar Investments LLC  / 72.00 / 78.00 | 150.00

Fancouver / Lindsay Mohr / Amy Miller / 76.00 / 73.00 | 149.00

Anton / Emma Lynch / Emma Lynch / 80.00 / 44.50 | 124.50

Cassini’s Home Run / Angela Jager / Angela Jager / 78.50 / 44.00 | 122.50

Katarina Muhlhauser and Adele. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography

Earlier in the day, the Muhlhauser family presented the Calvaron Memorial Trophy awarded to the high-point horse-and-rider combination of the Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions. Karen Arrigoni and her own Lyrical, trained by Santos Lamarca, earned the honor. The pair were also champions of the Amateur-Owner 3’3” division. The award was named in honor of Katarina Muhlauser’s beloved hunter Calvaron.

“He was a horse of a lifetime,” Muhlhauser said.  “We did him in the High Performance Hunters and he went to USHJA International Derby Finals and got all scores in the 80s. He loved the derbies here (at Hamilton Farm). He was just really one of a kind.”

Awards were also given for sportsmanship and the best trip of the day. Elite equestrian stirrup manufacturer Lineage Equine presented Ella Witt with the sportsmanship award as well as a brand-new pair of stirrup irons. Meanwhile, Stal De Eyckenhoeve owners Niels Haesen and Maxime Tyteca awarded Lindsey Ward and Carpedi with the Top Trip of the Day from their performance in the handy round of the Amateur-Owner 3’6” division.

Stal De Eyckenhoeve owners Niels Haesen and Maxime Tyteca awarded Lindsey Ward with the Top Trip of the Day. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography

Special thanks to Monmouth at the Team’s valued sponsors. The winner of the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by Eastern Hay, was presented a new tack trunk from Sea Horse Tack Trunks and all ribbon winners received a Sea Horse Tack Trunk prize. All division champions received popular Ruspari belts. Autumn Elizabeth Apparel provided custom hats to all the Adult Amateur division champions, Mac in the Sac presented their signature raincoats to all classic winners and Gus & Bucky’s Car Wash, provided gift certificates to all winners,

Monmouth at the Team resumes Wednesday at Hamilton Farm for more hunter competition and the feature class, the $5,000 Bit O’ Straw Derby, sponsored by Running ‘S’ Equine Veterinary Services. For complete results, please visit www.horseshowing.com.