Vivian Golden and D’Artagnan Stay On Top to Win the $5,000 USHJA Pony Derby

Vivian Golden and D’Artagnan took top honors in the $5,000 USHJA Pony Derby. Photo by SportFot

By Kate Pettersen, Sabrina Brashares, and Summer Grace for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Pony hunter riders had their chance to show off on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village on Friday in the $5,000 USHJA Pony Derby. After a classic round and handy round, Vivian Golden and Emma Dyson’s D’Artagnan finished at the top of the class with scores of 89 and 88 for a total high score of 177.

Fifty-seven riders competed over the first round track consisting of 10 fences designed by Tom Carlson. The class was set at three separate heights for 13 larges, 27 mediums, and 17 smalls. Once the classic round was complete, the top 12 combinations were called back to navigate the handy round.

Third in the order, Golden, of Reading, PA, and D’Artagnan took the lead with a score of 89 and held their top spot for the remainder of the classic round. This class was only Golden’s second time showing D’Artagnan.

“I rode D’Artagnan last weekend for the first time, and he’s very nice,” commented Golden. “He is quiet, he has such a nice rhythm, and his canter is very comfortable. I got reserve last week when I showed him and then we just kept improving.”

“My first round was really good and felt super nice,” continued Golden. “I was nervous going in because I’ve only shown him once, so it felt really good to go and get the highest score.”

The duo was one of the last pairs to come back for the handy round, and they once again showed off to earn the highest score of 88.

“I got to watch a couple go so I could make a plan of how I wanted to ride it,” she continued. “I wasn’t too nervous to come back because he is such a good boy.”

Although D’Artagnan’s owner will take over the reins on the large pony again in Week 12, Golden is looking forward to the rest of the show season with her other mounts. The rider, who loves showing on the big open field, also took two more spots in the top 12, earning fourth with Goldhills As You Like It and fifth with Dressed To Go.

“I love to be able to gallop and just feel the rhythm,” said Golden of riding on the Derby Field. “It is so fun and great out there. I really love to just go gallop those jumps.”

Vivian Golden and D’Artagnan in their awards presentation. © Sportfot

Not far behind in points were Olivia Sweetnam, of Wellington, FL, and Emma Brody’s Rolex, who took home second place. The pair received a classic round score of 87 and a handy round score of 86 for a total score of 173. Third place honors also went to Sweetnam aboard Jill Shulman’s Secret Crush. Sweetnam rode Secret Crush to scores of 84 and 87 with an overall score of 171.

Competition will continue on Saturday with the $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI2* in the International Arena. The $401,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix CSI5* will also take place in the International Arena under the lights at 7 p.m. Hunter competition will continue on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village with the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.

Final Results: $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby
Horse, Rider, Owner
Round 1 Score, Round 2 Score | Total

1.  D’Artagnan, Vivian Golden, Emma Dyson
89.00, 88.00 | 177.00

2. Rolex, Olivia Sweetnam, Emma Brody
87.00, 86.00 | 173.00

3. Secret Crush, Olivia Sweetnam, Jill Shulman
84.00, 87.00 | 171.00

4. Goldhills As You Like It, Vivian Golden, Vivian Golden
86.00, 83.00 | 169.00

5. Dressed To Go, Vivian Golden, Vivian Golden
85.50, 82.00 | 167.50

6. Pepsi, Lily Epstein, Lily Epstein
84.50, 81.00 | 165.50

7. Brownland’s Last Call, Olivia Sweetnam, Castlewood Farm Inc.
79.00, 85.00 | 164.00

8. Rico Suave, Ava Barnes, Ponies & Palms Show Stables LLC
88.00, 75.00 | 163.00

9. Farmore State of the Art, Eva Mackenzie, Eva Mackenzie
86.50, 74.00 | 160.50

10. Eastside, Clara Propp, Aquitaine Equine
85.00, 74.50 | 159.5.00

11. Daventry’s Davinci, Ellie Sadrian, Ellie Sadrian
80.00, 76.00 | 156.00

12. On Your Mark, Olivia Sweetnam, Sweet Oak Farm
82.00, 40.00 | 122.00