Edited Press Release
Friday marked the first Derby Day of the World Equestrian Center – Ocala Fall Show Series. More than 35 stunning hunters took to Hunter 1 to contest the $12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby and the $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Hunter Derby. Tucker Williams designed the flowing tracks that featured beautiful natural obstacles and lines for entries to show off their horse’s brilliance and adjustability.
The $12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby saw a driven field of 11 horse-and-rider combinations compete for the blue ribbon with scores soaring into the high 80s, but none could best Clair Kellner and Suzanne Cayatte’s Caligua (Casall x La Corofina).
“We have had Caligua for a while. His mom does the amateurs and I competed him in the [Green Hunter 3’6″ division] last year,” Kellner said. “His mom’s goal is to do the international derby on him, so I get to play.”
Kellner and the 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding delivered a stunning first round, only taking one high option to earn the class’s highest first round score of 89.
“I haven’t done a class this high with him yet,” Kellner explained. “I thought I would maybe try and do the high options in the last line but during schooling he had a hard rub which is very unlike him, so he started jumping out of his skin. I came to the vertical high option in the last line, and he jumped so hard, that I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay on if I did the high option oxer. So, I just decided one high option is enough!”
Kellner and Caligua returned for the handy, “My plan for the handy was to just give him a confidence building ride and do all the low options. I did end up going inside to the last in-and-out and he was perfect. He is super athletic and super capable, so if you tell him he can do it, he will give you his all.”
Kellner and Caligua produced a flawless handy course flowing seamlessly through the turns, to earn a handy score of 84, for a two-round total of 173 for the win.
Second place was captured by Jennifer Miller and Erica Prockow’s MTM Nabilli (Thunder Van De Zuuthoeve x Weurika Van’t Voorhof). Miller and the 8-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding provided a lovely first round, jumping two high options to earn a score of 82. The pair returned for the handy taking multiple inside turns, easily clearing each fence to earn a score of 84, for an overall score of 166.
Third place went to Dorothy Douglas and Davenport Farm’s MTM Kentucky Reign (Arko III x Alverna Leva). Douglas is a familiar face to World Equestrian Center – Ocala. Douglas took home multiple top finishes in both hunter derbies and featured jumper classes during the 2021 Ocala Summer Series.
Douglas and MTM Kentucky Reign produced a smooth first round taking all four high options to capture a score of 74. Douglas and the 7-year-old Zangersheide gelding returned for the handy taking every single inside turn available to earn the class’s highest handy score of 89, for a two-round total of 163.
Megan Young & Comanche Conquer the $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Hunter Derby
Twenty-six horse-and-rider combinations gathered at Hunter 1 Friday morning to vie for the win in the $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Hunter Derby, but it was Megan Young and Lee. D Cesery’s Comanche that finished on top.
Young and Comanche are previous winners of the $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Hunter Derby, earning the blue ribbon during Week VIII of the World Equestrian Center – Ocala Summer Series.
Young and Comanche were the first entry to enter the ring, producing a foot-by-foot perfect first round to earn the class’s highest first round score of 90.
“Comanche makes my job easy. He is such an amazing horse that loves his job,” Young said. “We have had a pretty long partnership. We have had him since he was six years old, and he is now 13. He has been there and done that.”
Young and the 13-year-old warmblood gelding navigated a perfect handy round, while jumping all four high options to earn a high score of 93, for an overall score of 183 for the win.
“Comanche is used to doing the big derbies, so he knows how to turn,” Young said. “Rodney, who helps me on the ground always encourages me to be as handy as possible, so being handy is our second nature. Comanche loves to turn and knows exactly where we are going. He is very in tune and makes it super easy.”
Second place was taken by Tracy Fenney, another name that was seen in the headlines during the Ocala Summer Series. Fenney and MTM Farm’s MTM Raisin (Uriko x Adria) delivered a superb first round, taking all four high options with ease to earn a high score of 89. Fenney and the 6-year-old Holsteiner gelding returned for the handy, completing each inside turn flawlessly while jumping all four high options to earn a second-round score of 92 for a two-round total of 181.
Erin McCabe Clayton and Front Row Sport Horses, LLC’s Cosworth (El Primero x Zaranka) rounded out the top three. Clayton has also taken home multiple hunter derby wins during the Ocala Summer Series aboard different mounts. Clayton and the scopey 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding delivered to impeccable rounds, jumping all four high options during each, to earn a first round score of 86 and a handy score of 90, for an overall score of 176.
$12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby Results:
1.Caligua, Clair Kellner, Suzanne Cayatte: 89 | 84 | 173
2.MTM Nabilli, Jenny Miller, Erica Prockow: 82 | 84 | 166
3.MTM Kentucky Reign, Dorothy Douglas, Davenport Farms: 74 | 89 | 163
4.Comissario, Morgan Ward, Morgan Ward: 85 | 76 | 161
5.Long Game, Ilana Halpern, Peggy Towers: 88 | 72 | 160
6.MTM Last Word, Tracy Fenney, MTM Farm: 81 | 77 | 158
7.Ipanema, Josh Dolan, Belle Rolfe: 84 | 73 | 157
8.MTM Incanto, Dorothy Douglas, MTM Farm: 86 | 47 | 133
9.MTM Plus One, Tracy Fenney, MTM Farm: 50 | 79 | 129
10.Caspari, Jennifer Tate, Barbara Kravetz: 45 | 80 | 125
$10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Hunter Derby Results:
1.Comanche, Megan Young, Lee D. Cesery: 90 | 93 | 183
2.MTM Raisin, Tracy Fenney, MTM Farm: 89 | 92 | 181
3.Cosworth, Erin McCabe Clayton, Front Row Sport Horses, LLC: 86 | 90 | 176
4.Collins, Lauren Schweppe, James York: 84.5 | 91 | 175.5
5.Luminous, Meagan Young, Lee D. Cesery: 86.5 | 85 | 171.5
6.Bye Chance, Erin McCabe Clayton, Linda Vellman: 86.25 | 84 | 170.25
7.Carsten S, Jennifer Tate, Barbara Kravetz: 84 | 86 | 170
8.Playmaker, Morgan Ward, Morlynn Farm: 87 | 82 |169
9.Aladdin, Jenny Miller, Jenny Miller: 83 | 74 | 157
10.Happily Ever After, Morgan Ward, Whisper Hill Farm LLC: 84.75 | 50 | 134.75