Hunter Derby Friday took over the CaptiveOne Advisors Indoor Arena as more than 40 stunning hunters vied for the win in the $12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby and the $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Hunter Derby. Tucker Williams designed the winding track that contained beautifully decorated obstacles allowing riders to demonstrate their horse’s brilliance. Each class saw fierce competition with scores soaring into the 90s.
$12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby
This afternoon’s $12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby saw 11 entries fighting for the win, but none could best World Cup rider, Rowan Willis, and Page H. Flournoy’s Lord Don. Australia’s Willis and the 10-year-old stallion earned third place in last week’s $12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby. “This is only our third week competing in the hunters. He was doing the jumpers, but he is very laid back, so the hunters suit him well. I’ve also always wanted to win a hunter derby,” said Willis.
This afternoon Willis and Lord Don (Don VHP Z x Lady Hamilton) brought their A-game, delivering a gorgeous first round taking all three high options with ease to earn a score of 86. Willis finds the hunter ring a bit trickier, “It isn’t easy for me to go into the ring and stay still. I am so used to doing so much in the jumpers, I find it tricky to sit there and stay super relaxed. Luckily, Lord Don makes is much easier for me. We are both getting more confident each time we step into the hunter ring.”
Willis has had great success during the World Equestrian Center – Ocala Summer Series earning multiple top placings in the Saturday night grands prix. Just last week Willis earned second and third place in the $75,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Grand Prix and he earned second place in the previous week’s grand prix.
Willis took off his jumper hat and put on his hunter cap. Willis and Lord Don returned for the handy, “I wanted to be a bit more positive in the handy than I have the past two weeks. We took every inside turn and got a nice gallop to the last fence.” The pair delivered a flawless course taking all three high options to earn the class’s highest handy score of 91, for a two-round total of 177.
Carlee McCutcheon and KT Hedwich also found two impressive rounds in this afternoon’s class. McCutcheon and the nine-year-old KWPN gelding executed a lovely first round taking the three high options to earn a score of 81. McCutcheon and KT Hedwich earned second place in Week I and fourth in Week IV’s $12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby. McCutcheon and KT Hedwich returned for the handy, delivering a flawless round taking every single inside turn along with the three high options to earn a second-round score of 90, for a total score of 171, to earn second place.
Third place was conquered by Dorothy Douglas and MTM Exceptional (Casall Ask x Rheinsberg). Douglas and the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding delivered an impeccable first round, completing all three high options to earn a high score of 88. The pair returned for the handy taking numerous inside turns while jumping all three high options to receive a handy score of 76, for a total score of 164.
Timothy Maddrix & Cypress Earn Second $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Hunter Derby Win
Thirty horse-and-rider combinations gathered to the CaptiveOne Advisors Indoor Arena late this morning to contest the $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Hunter Derby but it was Timothy Maddrix and Missy Roebuck Nolen’s Cypress that claimed the top spot.
Maddrix and Cypress are familiar faces in the WEC Ocala 3’ Hunter Derby, earning first place in Week II’s hunter derby. Maddrix and the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding delivered a beautiful first round, earning a high first round score of 88.5. Maddrix enjoyed the first course, “I thought the first course rode great. I really liked that the lines flowed and were more forward.”
Maddrix and Cypress returned for the handy taking a tidy turn to the double combination. “We landed pretty shallow from the trot jump, which led me to an angle to bend into the double combination, which I think helped me get to the high option. The inside turn after the [first] high option led for a nice slice to the [second] high option, which made the last turn easy,” said Maddrix.
Maddrix and Cypress hunted to the last fence, delivering another perfect course to receive the highest handy score of 93, for a two-round total of 181.5.
Just behind Maddrix and Cypress, was Carlee McCutcheon and Edinburgh. McCutcheon and Edinburgh earned third place honors in Week IV’s $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Hunter Derby. McCutcheon and the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding produced a foot-by-foot perfect first round taking all three high options to earn the class’s highest first round score of 91. The pair returned for the handy taking tidy inside turns to secure a handy score of 90, for a total score of 181, earning McCutcheon another second-place finish today.
Rounding out the top three in the $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Hunter Derby was Kim Barone and Dialicious. Barone and Dialicious have had previous success in the class earning first place during Week I’s hunter derby. The pair delivered two faultless rounds taking all three high options in both courses, which earned a first-round score of 88 and a handy score of 91, for a two-round total of 179.
$12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6” – 3’9” Hunter Derby Results:
1. Lord Don, Rowan Willis, Page H. Flournoy: 86 | 91 | 177
2. KT Hedwich, Carlee McCutcheon, Carlee McCutcheon: 81 | 90 | 171
3. MTM Exceptional, Dorothy Douglas, Abigail Davenport: 88 | 76 | 164
4. Aiden, Holly Shepherd, Jacob Brupbacher: 92 | 71 | 163
5. Consanto, Lily Toensing, Lily Toensing: 73 | 89 | 162
6. Larrico, Patrick Miller, Morgan Goodman: 71 | 88 | 159
7. Play Maker, Timothy Maddrix, Missy Roebuck Nolen: 90 | 50 | 140
8. Naughty Boy II, Julianna DAlto, Julianna DAlto: 68 | 63 | 131
9. MTM Last Word, Tracy Fenney, MTM Farm: 78 | 48| 126
10. High Renaissance, Elizabeth D Blaisdell, Della Equestrian: 40 | 66 | 106
$10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Hunter Derby Results:
1. Cypress, Timothy Maddrix, Missy Roebuck Nolen: 88.5 | 93 | 181.5
2. Edinburgh, Carlee McCutcheon, Reagan Golsby: 91 | 90 | 181
3. Dialicious, Kim Barone, Cynthia Bulwicz: 88 | 91 | 179
4. G Star Du Coin, Lilly French, Katherine Dewar: 87.5 | 88 | 175.5
5. Sunday Best, Robert Stucky, Brenda Peurifoy: 86 | 89 | 175
6. MTM Nabilli, Dorothy Douglas, MTM Farm: 87 | 87 | 174
7. MTM Plus One, Tracy Fenney, MTM Farm: 89 | 78 | 167
8. Casero, Aidan Dubin, Streett E Moore: 81 | 82.5 | 163.5
9. Varina, Dorian Cieslak, Dorian Cieslak: 80 | 83 | 163
10. Federal Express, Georgia Schmidt, Streett E Moore: 80.5 | 79 | 159.5
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.