Edited Press Release
Twenty-nine stunning hunters took to Hunter 1 early Friday morning to vie for the win in the $15,000 WEC Ocala 3′ Open Hunter Derby over a winding track designed by Doug Russell. Scores soared into the 90s, but it was Dorothy Douglas and Abigail Davenport’s MTM Exceptional (Casall Ask x Rheinsberg) that caught the judges’ eyes.
Douglas and MTM Expectional earned second place during the first three weeks of the Ocala Winter Spectacular Show Series in the 3’ Open Hunter Derby. On this occasion, Douglas and the 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding navigated a gorgeous first round, jumping each fence in perfect form for a score of 90.
“He is the longest partnership that I have ever had,” Douglas said of MTM Exceptional. “His owners purchased him when he was still a stallion in Europe. I am so thankful that we took the win today because for the past few weeks I’ve been the bridesmaid.”
Douglas and MTM Exceptional returned for the handy, delivering a seamless round, while jumping all three high options to earn the class’s highest handy score of 91 for a two round total of 181.
“Moose [MTM Exceptional] was amazing during the handy,” Douglas said. “The best part was the trot fence. He landed after the high option and saw his mom at the gate with cookies and came right down to a trot, jumped the log perfectly and streamlined right to her.”
Amanda Steege and Taylor Mitchell’s Carero (Cabardino x Rio’s Lavita W) captured second place honors with a two-round total score of 177. Hillary Johnson and Copper Fox LLC’s Moonwalk (Quasimodo Z x Olavsca-F) rounded out the top three on a total score of 169.
The $15,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby saw 23 horse-and-rider combinations compete for the top prize, but it was Molly Braswell and her own Jalisco that earned the highest overall score of 176 for the hunter derby win.
Braswell and the eight-year-old gelding by El Savador produced a gorgeous first round jumping all three high options to earn a score of 87.
“We just got him back in November from Belgium. He is so easy, doesn’t jump too hard and he never spooks,” Braswell said.
Braswell and Jalisco returned to contest the handy course, flowing seamless through the turns jumping all three high options to earn a score of 89, for an overall score of 176.
“My plan was to just have a nice round. This was his first handy ever, so I wanted to give him a good ride,” Braswell said.
Katalina Prusso and Judy Kerr’s Camelot captured the second place finish (171). Sara Setian and her own PS Copy That (Colman x Lavinja) rounded out the top three (166).
$15,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Open Hunter Derby Results:
1.MTM Exceptional, Dorothy Douglas, Abigail Davenport: 90 | 91 | 181
2. Carero, Amanda Steege, Taylor Mitchell: 87 | 90 | 177
3. Moonwalk, Hillary Johnson, Cooper Fox LLC: 83 | 88 | 169
4. Blue Monday, Hillary Johnson, Stephanie Battershall: 85 | 83.5 | 168.5
5. MTM Walk It Out, Brian Feigus, Melissa Lee: 79.5 | 88 | 167.5
6. Balou Velvet, Amanda Steege, Feclicity Farms LLC: 84 | 83 | 167
7. Clovio DI Lachrifresco Z, Abi Russo, Cindy Bohn: 81 | 85 | 166
8. Aladdin, Jenny Miller, Jenny Miller: 80 | 81 | 161
9. Lucero, Allison Postier, Gretchen Vida: 79 | 78 | 157
10.Brego, Raffi Kechejian, Caroline Hart: 77.5| 79 | 156.5
$15,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby Results:
- Jalisco, Molly Braswell, Molly Braswell: 87 | 89 | 176
2. Camelot, Katalina Prusso, Judy Kerr: 85 | 86 | 171
3. PS Copy That, Sara Setian, Sara Setian: 81 | 85 | 166
4. Fitz, Isabel Harbour, IMH Equine, LLC: 76 | 88 | 164
5. Folklore, Amberlea Tribble, Amberlea Tribble: 77 | 83 | 160
6. Balou Label, Molly Braswell, Molly Braswell 73 | 86 | 159
7. Lost Art, Isabel Harbour, IMH Equine, LLC: 78 | 81 | 159
8. Miss Ellie Z, Tamara Linde, Isabel Hall: 79 | 77 | 156
9. Dreamland, Addison Reed, Bridget Phillips: 76.5 | 71 | 147.5
10. Nykaenen, Averey-May Pritchard, Averey-May Pritchard: 80 | 67 | 147