Jennifer Bliss and Poker Face Prove Unbeatable in $12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6″-3’9″ Hunter Derby

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Jennifer Bliss & Poker Face in the $12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6″-3’9″ Hunter Derby. Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.

Another Derby Friday has commenced at World Equestrian Center – Ocala in the CaptiveOne Advisors Indoor Arena as 31 stunning hunters vied for the win in the $12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby. Tucker Williams designed the winding track that featured an abundance of natural obstacles with four inviting high options.

Bliss & Poker Face slicing their way to first place. Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.

Jennifer Bliss and Harris Hill Farm, LLC’s Poker Face (Tangelo Van De Zuutheve x Nicolette V) performed a beautiful first round, taking all four high options to earn the class’s highest first round score of 93. Bliss was gearing up for Derby Finals in Kentucky.

“My goal was to have a nice forward smooth round and I felt like we accomplished that. It was a nice course that flowed well,” she said. “It was a little challenging in the beginning with a very forward bending line right off the bat away from the gate from fence two to three, but it was great practice.”

Bliss & Poker Face receiving their first place award. Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.

Bliss and the 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding returned for the handy course delivering a smooth round, taking a few inside turns while jumping all three high options to earn a score of 85, for an overall score of 178.

“We were able to eek it out over Dorrie [Douglas], who is always a really amazing handy rider,” Bliss said. “It is always nerve racking when she goes before you, because you know she is going to bring out all the stops. So I tried to just stick with my plan and not go crazy. I just wanted to have a nice smooth round to put him in a confident place for Derby Finals.”

Dorothy Douglas & MTM Lolah LOL soaring to second place. Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.

Just behind Bliss and Poker Face were Dorothy Douglas and Abigail Davenport’s MTM Lolah LOL (Los Angeles x Palma). Douglas earned top honors earlier today in the $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Hunter Derby aboard MTM Milagros. Douglas and MTM Lolah LOL delivered a stunning first round to receive a high score of 90. Douglas and the eight-year-old Westphalian mare were the second to last pair to return to the handy, taking every single inside turn available to earn a score of 86.5 for a two-round total of 176.5. Douglas also received fourth place in the $12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby aboard Steel Away.

Hanna Toering & Condor rounding out the top three. Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.

Hanna Toering and Condor rounded out the top three in the $12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby. Toering and Wyette Felton’s Condor also received third place in last week’s derby. Toering and the nine-year-old Warmblood gelding delivered two impeccable rounds, earning a first round score of 89, and a handy score of 87 for a total score of 176.

$12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby Results:

1. Poker Face, Jennifer Bliss, Harris Hill Farm, LLC: 93 | 85 | 178
2. MTM Lolah Lol, Dorothy Douglas, Abigail Davenport: 90 | 86.5 | 176.50
3. Condor, Hanna Toering, Wyette Felton: 89 | 87 | 176
4. RSH Vibrato Semilly, Christina Schweir Royal Sport Horses: 87 | 82.5 | 169.5
5. Steel Away, Dorothy Douglas, Meredith Lipke: 85 | 84 | 169
6. Big Time, Tom Foley, Tom Foley: 83 | 84 | 167
7. Menelik, Catalina Peralta, Signe Ostby: 78 | 82 | 160
8. Conella I, Suzanna Treske, Suzanna Treske: 79 | 79 | 158
9. Face The Music, Jennifer Bliss, Harris Hill Farm, LLC: 67 | 90 | 157
10. MTM Last Word, Tracy Fenney, Mtm Farm 69 | 86 | 155