BY EMILY RANDOLPH/RANDOLPHPR
Katy, Texas – March 26, 2021 – Friday was double derby day at the 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, where Jordan Gilchrist won the $30,000 United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby and Jennifer Alfano topped the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.
For Gilchrist, the derby victory came aboard Carige, her own 17-year-old grey Holsteiner.
The pair sat in third place following the first round of the USHJA International Derby, but high scores from the two judging panels of 82 and 83 in the handy round would shoot them straight to the top of the leaderboard. Coupled with high option and handy bonus points, Gilchrist and Carige earned a total handy round score of 183 and an overall winning score of 361.
Second place went to Ilana Halpern and Prosecco, owned by Devin Lanzone. After leading the first round with a round total score of 176, Halpern and Prosecco earned handy round scores of 76 and 79. With handy and high option bonus points included, the duo ultimately finished on an overall total score of 343.
Finishing in third behind Halpern with an overall score of 335 was again Gilchrist, this time aboard Charismatic, owned by Galen Hoaglund. Gilchrist rounded out her successful evening by also finishing ninth with Shy Boy, owned by Laura Hightower.
“I’m really excited; it was a fun night, and the horses were fabulous!” said Gilchrist, of Flower Mound, TX. “Carige actually belongs to my husband, [David Gilchrist]. He’s just been a hunter for not even quite a year. I adore him.”
While Carige was previously competing in the jumper ring, the Gilchrists felt that the horse may be better suited for the hunter ring, and thus far, they continue to be proved correct.
“He was super in the jumpers, but we were going as fast as we could double clear, and we kept being fourth!” said Jordan Gilchrist of the decision to transition Carige to the hunters. “He’s awesome, and he seems to really love his job now. He still gets a little jump-off minded in the handy. So, I was a little bit more conservative, but it paid off and he jumped in really good form.”
Jordan Gilchrist is a frequent top contender at Pin Oak and the show’s venue at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX, and she and her Summer Hill Farms team will contest all three weeks of this year’s Pin Oak Charity Horse Show.
“I love the tradition of Pin Oak,” concluded Jordan Gilchrist. “They put a lot of thought into how everything’s done, and I really appreciate that as an exhibitor, trainer and rider.”
In the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, Alfano took the top call with Enzo W, a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Vandervail, Ltd.
While a field of 32 entries contested the class, none would come closer to catching Alfano and Enzo W than Alfano herself. She also finished second aboard Early Times, owned by Marigot Bay Farm, LLC. Third place went to Natalee Haggan and Rhett, owned by Steve Weder.
Running March 24 – April 11, the 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show features three weeks of top hunter, jumper and American Saddlebred competition while benefitting the Texas Children’s Hospital.
Remaining highlight events of Week 1 include Saturday evening’s $30,000 Pin Oak Charity Grand Prix, beginning at 7 p.m.