Jennifer Bliss and Sugarman Claim Top Honors in $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, Presented by Wanderers Club

Jennifer Bliss and Sugarman ©Anne Gittins Photography

On Wednesday afternoon in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring, a group of horse-and-rider combinations competed for the blue ribbon in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Wanderers Club. Robert McGregor created a first-round track that consisted of 10 fences and offered four high options. Jennifer Bliss, of Loxahatchee, FL, and Harris Hill Farm, LLC’s Sugarman led the way and captured victory with the highest score in both the classic and handy rounds.

Jennifer Bliss and Sugarman won the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Wanderers Club. ©Anne Gittins Photography

“In the first round, I tried to just really keep a nice gallop the whole way around,” commented Bliss. “This horse is really light and fun. I can trust him and just gallop around, so I tried to do that the first round. The second round, I had my plan with the inside turns and just tried to stick to it and be as smooth as possible.”

Bliss and Sugarman jumped to the top of the leaderboard in the first round with a score of 84 and four high option bonus points to tout 88 points. As the final pair to jump in the handy phase, the duo continued to show off over an additional course, which included a trot jump and inside turn options. In the end, Bliss and Sugarman held onto the top spot with a handy round score of 84 and four high option bonus points to match their earlier points and win the class with a total score of 176.

“I thought the course was great,” noted Bliss. “It was a little extra challenge being at this hour with the changing light and keeping the horses focused at this time, but this is always a fun ring to ride in and I thought the course was really nice!”

Following Bliss in second place was Krista Goossens of Crossriver, NY, on Aquitaine Equine’s Premium Blend. The pair earned a first-round score of 86 and 83 points in the handy round to finish with 169 points. Third-place honors went to Hayley Iannotti of Boca Raton, FL, aboard Carriage Hill Farm’s Czar Du Mesnil. Iannotti and Czar Du Mesnil received a score of 84 in the first round followed by 80 points in the handy round to conclude with 164 points.

For the full results of the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by the Wanderer’s Club, please click HERE.
The prize list for the six shows that make up the 2020 ESP Holiday Series can be found HERE.

No spectators or outside media are allowed on-site at this time, but friends and family can view all classes via our SGL live stream HERE.

To learn more about the safety protocols and procedures at the horse show, please click HERE.

Photo credit ©Anne Gittins Photography. These photos may only be used once in relation to this press release with proper credit.