Keri Kampsen and Augusta Iwasaki Reign Supreme in $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at Kentucky Summer

Augusta Iwasaki and Vanderpump

Lexington, Ky. – July 26, 2020 – Serving as the final day of competition at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, hunter competition stole the spotlight Sunday at the Kentucky Horse Park for the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Featuring a strong field of 59 horse-and-rider combinations, the lush greenery surrounding the Stonelea Ring made for a perfect backdrop against the natural fences as each pair contested for a podium finish. Blowing away the competition, however, was Keri Kampsen who rode to victory aboard Ocean Road in the Pro section while Augusta Iwasaki and Vanderpump took the top spot in the Non-Pro section.

With a large number of entries, the class was split into a Pro and Non-Pro section. Throughout the first round, the competition was fierce in each field. Jasen Shelley’s (USA) first round course design featured long bending lines and four high option fences which required riders to show off their horse’s ability and style while maintaining a steady and even pace. As one of the earliest Pro partnerships to show in the first round, Kampsen and Ocean Road laid down a seamless trip to score a 92 from the panel of two judges. However, their section lead would not hold up against Andrea Simpson and Madagascar SCF’s score of 93 later on in the class. In the Non-Pro section, it was Iwasaki aboard one of her three entered mounts, Small Occasion, that took the round one lead on a score of 94.

Twelve horses were invited back in each section for the handy round. In the Pro section, horses with a score of 74 and better returned to contest for the final result, while scores of 85 and higher made the cut-off for the Non-Pro section. Challenging the handiness of each horse with inside options through rollback turns and a trot jump, the athletes laid it all on the line in the final showdown. Entering the arena midway through the second round, Iwasaki executed a top-notch trip with inside turns and a smooth transition to the trot fence aboard Vanderpump, which was rewarded with a score of 92 from the judges, giving her an overall score of 184. Returning to the arena as one of the final combinations, Iwasaki and the first round leader, Elizabeth Reilly’s 11-year-old Holsteiner mare Small Occasion, scored an 89 giving them a final result of 183. Falling just short of Vanderpump’s final score, Iwasaki claimed a one-two finish with Small Occasion taking the runner up spot in the Non-Pro section. 

Augusta Iwasaki riding Small Occasion for ribbons

A longtime partner of Iwasaki’s, Vanderpump is typically the 16-year-old rider’s equitation horse. Owned by Ashland Farms, the 11-year-old Warmblood gelding occasionally crosses over into the hunters when Iwasaki feels she needs some extra practice. Although Vanderpump’s jumping style is not that of a traditional hunter horse, his long standing partnership with Iwasaki left no gaps in their performance, securing them the top spot.

Keri Kampsen and Ocean Road

On the Pro card, Kampsen and Ocean Road put a score of 94 on the scoreboard to bring their total to 186, intensifying the pressure on round one leader Simpson and Madagascar SCF. However, Simpson and Spy Coast Farm’s 8-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding were unable to follow up with a trip that matched Ocean Road’s seamless inside turn from fence five to fence six, bumping them into third place on a total score of 181 following their handy score of 88. Sliding into second place with a score of 182 was Timothy Maddeix with John Yozell’s Spencer, an 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding.

Keri Kampsen and Ocean Road

Ocean Road, a 7-year-old Belgian Warmblood owned by Kampsen and Lexy Reed, is still fairly new to the hunter ring. Imported last year as a jumper, the flashy grey gelding showed no signs of still adjusting to the slower pace of the hunter ring, performing beautifully throughout the two rounds, refraining from the occasional headshakes he sometimes gives Kampsen in the handy round in acknowledgment of his previous career. Ocean Road will go on to compete in the Platinum Performance/USHJA Hunter Derby Championship taking place August 13 to 15 at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Hunter competition has concluded for the Kentucky Summer Horse Show but will resume on Tuesday, July 28th during the Kentucky Summer Classic with a variety of divisions including the Green Confirmation Hunters in the Stonelea Ring.

Keri Kampsen and Ocean Road

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Keri Kampsen –  $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Open Section winner

On Ocean Road:
“Lexy Reed and I own Ocean Road together. He is a 7-year-old First Year 3’6” Green horse that we call Roady. He is the best! We are going to do the USHJA Hunter Derby Finals coming up here in a couple of weeks so this was just a little practice for it. Lexy and I imported him at the end of last year and we did the 3’6” Greens a few times and the High Performance Hunters a few times. He has been great. We did our first derby in Wellington and we got a nice ribbon in that, then I went up to Ocala and I had one mistake on my part but he was perfect. He is such a happy horse!”

On the handy round:
“My plan was to be smooth and consistent. He was a jumper not long ago so he gets a little jumper-y in the turns sometimes and gives me a little extra head shake! I just wanted to be slow, smooth and on all the inside tracks.”

On showing at Kentucky Summer:
“Honestly, I could live here! These are my favorite shows all year and they are doing an amazing job with COVID and keeping us all compliant. Management has been super helpful with everything and I am always sad to leave this show.”

Augusta Iwasaki riding Small Occasion for ribbons

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Augusta Iwasaki –  $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Junior/Amateur Section winner

On Vanderpump:
“Vander is my equitation horse. I have been riding him for three of four years. We just wanted to do this class for fun. He is so much fun and I just wanted to get in a little practice since we haven’t been showing. I think we will do the equitation finals this year and maybe the USHJA Hunter Derby Finals in a few weeks.”

On Small Occasion:
“Cleo also hasn’t shown in a while and I didn’t end up doing her in the Junior Hunters this week so I decided to do her in this class. Both of the horses were amazing!”

On being first and second:
“It is really cool! I just wanted to do this class for fun and to just have a good time while getting my horses some practice, but they were amazing! I am really happy with them.”

On the handy:
“I just focused on galloping and staying on a forward pace because he is an equitation horse, so he doesn’t have a traditional hunter horse. I just tried to gallop between the jumps and be as tidy as I can. I have had [Vanderpump] for a long time so I know that as soon as I look and guide him he will be right there with me. I was just focussed on looking through that inside turn and of course, he was right there.”

On showing at Kentucky Summer:
“I love being here. My friends and I always get so excited to come here and I know this year is a little bit different with everything going on, but we are still so excited to be here. This is one of our favorite places to be for the summer.”

RESULTS

$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Open Section:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Score / R2 Score / Total Score

1.Ocean Road / Keri Kampsen / Lexy Reed / 92 / 94 / 186
2.Spencer /Timothy Maddeix / John Yozell / 89 / 93 / 182
3. Madagascar SCF / Andrea Simpson / Spy Coast Farm, LLC / 93 / 88 / 181
4. Spectrum Z / Brandon Gibson / Select Sport Horses / 86 / 92 / 178
5. Asteri / Abbygale Funk / MMK Equestrian LLC / 91 / 85 / 176
6. Chemistry / Stefanie Portman / Amanda Boggs / 86 / 84 / 170
7. Arabesque / Steven Gregorio / Bill Schaub / 81 / 84 / 165
8. Fondant / Virginia Ingram / Virginia Ingram / 76 / 85 / 161
9. Famous Amos / Stefanie Portman / Jodi Fryar / 74 / 82 / 156
10. Ever So Often / Erica Quinn / Ava Peck / 79 / 68 / 147

$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Open Section:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Score / R2 Score / Total Score

1. Vanderpump / Augusta Iwasaki / Ashland Farms / 92 / 92 / 184
2. Small Ocassion / Augusta Iwasaki / Iwasaki & Reilly / 94 / 89 / 183
3. Resonate / Ashleigh Scully / West Hill / 91 / 87 / 178
4. Charlie / Sterling Malnik / Sterling Malnik / 90 / 87 / 177
5. Barbizon / Jordan Allen / Jordan Allen / 86.5 / 89 / 175.5
6. Crossbow / Rylynn Conway / Redfield Farm / 87 / 88 / 175
7. Alajolie / Augusta Iwasaki / Farber Farms, LLC / 87 / 87 / 174
8. Clever / Blythe Goguen / Belhaven Stables LLC / 85 / 88 / 173
9. Limitless / Jordan Gibbs / Mountain King Ranch LLC / 86 / 78 / 164
10. Trumpet / Emma Blumenkrantz / Gochman Sport Horse LLC / 88 / 71 / 159

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