Twenty-five entries gathered to the CaptiveOne Indoor Arena Friday morning to compete for the blue ribbon in the $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Hunter Derby, but it was Clair Kellner and Caligua that claimed the top spot.
Kellner and Caligua the nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Suzanne Cayatte, performed a stunning first round, taking all three high options to earn the highest first round score of 90. “We have had him [Caligua] since he was four, so I have had a lot of experience on him in these types of classes and he has been nothing but great. Classes like these are just easy for him,” said Kellner.
Kellner really enjoys competing on Caligua, “He has a massive stride and a ton of jump. He can still go really slow and turn, which is very cool because he is a tall horse, but he is extremely athletic.”
Kellner had to change her plan for the handy last second, “Originally, I was talking to Brady [Mitchell], saying I was not going to go and do the inside turn after the fence [fence six] but then he did it, so I had no choice.” Kellner and Caligua returned for the handy taking multiple inside turns, while jump all three high options, to earn a score of 89.5, for a two-round total of 179.5.
Brady Mitchell and his own Pompidou, who won last week’s $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Hunter Derby, earned the second-place finish. Mitchell and the recently imported seven-year-old Westphalian gelding started the class off strong, jumping all three high options in the first round to receive a score of 84. Mitchell and Pompidou (Pilothago x Haya Z) returned for the handy round taking every inside turn that was available, while taking all three high options to earn the classes highest handy score of 90, for a total of 177.
Rounding out the top three was Carlee McCutcheon and Reagan Golsby’s Edinburgh. McCutcheon and Edinburgh the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding produced a smooth first round, jumping all three high options to earn a score of 84. The pair retuned for the handy, rolling through the inside turns and taking all three high options for a score of 89, for an overall score of 173.
$10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Hunter Derby Results:
1. Caligua, Clair Kellner, Suzanne Cayatee – 90 | 89.5 | 179.5
2. Pompidou, Brady Mitchell, Brady Mitchell – 87 | 90 | 177
3. Edinburgh, Carlee McCutcheon, Reagan Golsby – 84 | 89 | 173
4. MTM Chapter Two, Dorothy Douglas, MTM Farm – 87.5 | 85 | 172.5
5. Landmann, Brady Mitchell, Brady Mitchell – 88 | 83 | 171
6. Castle, Alexa Davis, Christopher Gilman – 83 | 81 | 164
7. Virella, Taylor Anna Adams, Christopher Gilman – 85 | 78 | 163
8. Balou De Coeur Joye, Danielle Menker, Rachel Nicholas – 79 | 80 | 159
9. I.M. Gold, Bailey Benner, Bailey Benner – 82 | 72 | 154
10. MTM Plus One, Tracy Fenney, MTM Farm – 81 | 72.5 | 153.5
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.