Friday’s $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Equiline, put the spotlight on the hunter competitors in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter ring during the ESP Holiday II CSI4*. The highlight hunter class of the week saw 35 pairs test the classic round designed by Danny Moore. Sitting in second place going into the handy round, Keri Kampsen of Wellington, FL, navigated Ocean Road to a high-scoring performance in the handy round that moved them to the top of the scorecard to mark their second derby win during the 2020 ESP Holiday Series.
Following the classic phase of the class, the riders in the top three positions all held scores above the 90-point threshold. Patricia Griffith of Wellington, FL, and Eliza Kimball’s Vistano were the frontrunners after receiving a first-round score of 89 plus 4 bonus points for taking the high option fences to tout 93 points. Kampsen was right behind with a score of 92 on Ocean Road, while Kristy Herrera of Wellington, FL, and Valhalla, owned by Kate Ellis, walked out of the classic phase with a score of 91. The cut-off score for the top 12 sat at 84 headed into the handy round.
With the top 12 riders returning in reverse order of the standings for the handy phase of competition, Laena Romond “set the tone going first,” remarked Kampsen. “She forced everyone’s hand to do those turns. She did a beautiful job, and I copied her track basically. I love handy rounds, and it was so much fun to get to do some of those tight inside rollbacks. My horse is such a trier that it paid off for me today,” Kampsen shared of the horse she co-owns with Lexy Reed. “He jumped so high it was amazing. What a feeling!”
Sitting in second place going into the handy round, Kampsen once again piloted Ocean Road to a high-scoring performance that moved them to the top of the scorecard with a handy score of 93 and a total tally of 185. That score would hold as the highest and secure first prize for the partnership. The duo also won the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Score At The Top, during the ESP Pre-Charity Show on November 13.
Griffith and Vistano put in a valiant effort but missed the top spot by one point after receiving a handy score of 91 to finish with 184 points, while Herrera and Valhalla retained their position in third with a cumulative two-round score of 178. Although Laena Romond of Brookfield, CT, went into the handy round in the 12th position, her performance in the handy phase earned her a base score of 85 plus 4 bonus points, moving her and Someday, owned by Rachel Suna Britchkow, to fourth place with a total score of 173.
Thanks to a victory over fences in the Performance 3’6” Hunters, Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, was selected by Noltrex®Vet as the award winner of a leather lead rope on Thursday. Colvin rode Private Practice, owned by John & Stephanie Ingram LLC, to a score of 88 to capture the top prize in one of the division’s classes.
|For the full results of the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Equiline, please click HERE.|