Hillary Johnson and Moonwalk earn the blue ribbon in the $15,000 WEC Derby 3′ Open

Hillary Johnson and Moonwalk. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

The $15,000 WEC Derby 3′ Open saw a field of 31 entries vying for the win over a course designed by Joseph Carnicom that featured four high options and several inside turn opportunities in the handy round. Several entries scored into the mid-90s, but it was Hillary Johnson and Copper Fox, LLC’s Moonwalk (Quasimodo Z x Olavsca-F) that nabbed the win.

Hillary Johnson and Copper Fox, LLC’s Moonwalk (Quasimodo Z x Olavsca-F) laid down two stellar courses in this morning’s derby. She and the 13-year-old KWPN gelding took 2nd place in the $15,000 WEC Derby 3′ Open during Week 4, and returned today in hopes of another top placing. Johnson and Moonwalk wowed the judges in the first round, earning the highest first round score of 94. The duo returned for the handy round taking effortless inside turns to fences 2, 5, 7 and 9 along with all four high options. They were rewarded for their second elegant round with a score of 92, totaling 186 to win the class.

Jeff Gogul and Abby Wagner’s No Doubt (Nerrado x Abba II) were just behind Johnson and Moonwalk. Gogul and the 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding earned 1st place in Week 3’s $15,000 WEC Derby 3′ Open and were impressive again today. The pair earned scores of 89 and 96 for an overall total of 185 and second place.

Belynda Bond and Gesture, LLC’s Norderney also found two fantastic rounds this morning. Bond and the 16-year-old Hanoverian mare took 3rd place in last week’s class and were on form again today. The pair earned scores of 85 and 91, totaling 176 for 3rd place.

Johnson said about her win, “I had three horses in the class and Moonwalk was the third of my rides. He was just doing the class as a warm up class for the Amateur Owner classes this weekend, but he’s always a blast to do these fun classes on and I felt like he went great. It was kind of a tough course today and he rode really well.”

Hillary Johnson and Moonwalk earn the blue ribbon in the $15,000 WEC Derby 3′ Open.

When asked about her plan in the handy round, Johnson replied, “My plan was to be handy, but not too handy. He was just doing it for a warm up, so we didn’t want to go too crazy, but we made the appropriate turns for him and I thought he went really well.”

“We’ve had him for about six years, now,” Johnson said of Moonwalk. “We got him as a first year horse and I’ve gotten to show him along the way. He’s a very special horse to us. I don’t show him very often anymore, so once in a while I get to pull him out for a fun class to get ready for his weekend and it’s always a pleasure to ride him.”

She also spoke about her business, “I work for our family business, Meadow View Farm, based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. My parents started the farm 35 years ago and my husband and I recently purchased the farm from them.”

Johnson added, “We absolutely love it here at WEC and we are very happy to be showing here. We’re enjoying our time here.”

$15,000 WEC Derby 3′ Open Results

  1. Moonwalk, Hillary Johnson – 94 | 92 | 186
  2. No Doubt, Jeff Gogul – 89 | 96 | 185
  3. Norderney, Belynda Bond – 85 | 91 | 176
  4. Cypress, Timothy Maddrix – 90 | 85 | 175
  5. Play Maker, Timothy Maddrix – 86 | 84 | 170
  6. FRF Stroke Of Midnight, Lynn Reed – 80 | 85 | 165
  7. Mateo, David Beisel – 84 | 80.5 | 164.5
  8. In Favor, Hannah Matts – 77 | 86 | 163
  9. Stellar, David Beisel – 81 | 79 | 160
  10. Legolas, Jessica Borton – 79 | 76 | 155

Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.