Edited Press Release
Ocala, FL – One hundred stunning hunters came out for Hunter Derby Friday to contest the $20,000 WEC Ocala 3’6” Hunter Derby, $15,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Open Hunter Derby and $15,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby during Week 8 of the 2022 Winter Spectacular. Canadian course designer Peter Grant created the flowing tracks that featured a hay bale combination and a stunning hedge wall option. Competition was fierce with scores soaring into the 90’s in all three derbies.
The $20,000 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby saw a viable field of 26 horse-and-rider combinations compete for the top prize over Peter Grant’s winding tracks. Samantha Schaefer and Madeline Schaefer’s In The Know (Arkansas x Cavelle) stole the show, earning the highest overall score from the judges.
Schaefer and the talented 12-year-old Warmblood gelding were the 19th pair to try their hand at Grant’s first round course, producing an effortless trip for a score of 89.
“I wasn’t able to walk the first course because I was riding at the time, but once I saw it, I had to go over it about 500 times because it was so long,” laughed Schaefer. “It ended up riding really well and flowed nicely.”
Schaefer and In The Know were the third to last pair to return to the handy, “When I first looked at the handy, I was wondering how it was going to flow, but it actually rode really well. There were a few places that made you think about your track, timing and rhythm. One jump would set up the next.”
The pair jumped fence one with ease and rolled to fence two to take a tidy inside turn to the high option hedge wall, “I got lucky. I think the course suited a left leaded horse and Spyder [In The Know] is very left leaded. I jumped the second fence a little bit the wrong direction so I could give myself a stride or two back to the hedge. He jumped it perfect,” said Schaefer.
Schaefer and In The Know soared over the last fence in perfect from to earn the class’s highest handy score of 93 for a two round total of 182 for the win.
Thirty-one entries took to Hunter 1 early Friday morning to compete for the blue ribbon the $15,000 WEC Ocala Open 3’ Hunter Derby, but it was Catherine Rinehart and Luke Rinehart’s Hero (Brainpower x Corini W) that emerged victorious.
Rinehart and the 10-year-old KWPN stallion navigated a stunning first round, jumping all four high options with ease to earn a score of 87.5. In the handy, the pair laid down a lovely round to earn a score of 88 from the judges, for a two round total of 175.
“Hero is my son’s horse. We just got him last fall and he’s been great. Luke couldn’t ride this week, so he loaned him to me,” said Rinehart. “The courses were so much fun today. I don’t ride very much and I have probably done four or five shows total since 2018, so coming out today was really nice. Now, I will go back into retirement until there’s another gorgeous day where I want to have some fun!”
Forty-three horse-and-rider combinations hunted for the top prize in the $15,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby, but it was Molly Braswell and her own Balou Label that secured an exceptional two round, total 12 points higher than second place.
Braswell and the nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding out of Balou delivered a foot-by-foot perfect first round, jumping all four high options with total ease for a high score of 94.
“I enjoyed today’s courses because there weren’t many numbers. Tito [Balou Label] likes to jump high, so this was easy for him. I normally show him in the 3’6” A/Os but this is a long circuit,” stated Braswell.
Braswell and Balou Label were the last pair to return for the handy producing a lovely round, opting to take three high options for a score of 83 from the judges, for a total of 177.
“Tito is amazing. He always jumps in perfect form and has such a positive expression. I am so proud of him today,” said Braswell.
Before the start of the handy round in the $15,000 WEC Ocala 3′ Jr/Am Hunter Derby, Bill Rube presented the prestigious Style of Riding Award to Brendan Weiss, for his classic style and his sportsmanship. The recipient serves as a role model for preserving the integrity and tradition of equestrian sport. “This award is very special to me because the recipient of this award pays it forward both in and out of the show ring,” says Rube. Weiss received an elegant duffel bag and wore a pink rose corsage on his lapel throughout the handy round to signify his achievement.
$20,000 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby Results:
1.In The Know, Samantha Schaefer, Madeline Schaefer: 89 | 93 | 182
2. Cartel, Jeff Ayers, Jeff Ayers: 86 | 92 | 178
3. Shutterbug, Timothy Maddrix, Sarah Campbell: 93 | 84 | 177
4. TBS Rolls The Dice, Kim Mulligan, Kim Milligan: 84 | 90 | 174
5. UGO Z, Robert Stucky, William Stucky: 83 | 89 | 172
6. ES Stylin, Candice King, Michele Noel: 82.5 | 88 | 170.5
7. MTM Coco, Brian Feigus, MTM Farm: 85.5 | 84 | 169.5
8. Popstar, Molly White Ashe, Louisburg Farm: 87 | 78 | 165
9. Comissario, Morgan Ward, Morgan Ward: 83.5 | 76 | 159.5
10. Camelot BF, Paige Jadick, Hammer-Jadick Hunters LLC: 85 | 71 | 156
$15,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Open Hunter Derby Results:
1.Hero, Catherine Rinehart, Luke Rinehart: 87.5 | 88 | 175.5
2. Sampson, Morgan Ward, Amy Nolan: 87 | 85 | 172
3. Cataumet, Lauren Schweppe, Cynthia Boudreau: 88 | 83.5 | 171.5
4. Inspiration, Clair Kellner, Mindy Carreja: 84 | 86 | 170
5. Soundcheck, Jennifer Jones, Lacy Jernigan: 83.5 | 83 | 166.5
6. Caspari, Jennifer Tate, Barbara Kravetz: 81 | 82 | 163
7. Justified, Kathleen M Caya, Susan Winchester: 89 | 72 | 161
8. Lone Star, Hillary Rheinheimer, Tracy Leahy: 86 | 71 | 157
9. Chatham, Jack Parker Wymard, Ashcombe Sporthorses, LLC: 82.5 | 68 | 150.5
10. Quentino, Brianna Davis, Heather Chenault: 80.5 | 63 | 143.5
$15,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby Results:
1.Balou Label, Molly Braswell, Molly Braswell: 94 | 83 | 177
2. Darko C, Emma C Albertini, Emma C Albertini: 83 | 82 | 165
3. Suits You, Madison Beavers, Madison Beavers: 81.5 | 81 | 162.5
4. Times Square, Brendan Weiss, Park Avenue Stables: 80.5 | 81 | 162.5
5. Tinsel, Grace Blum, Grace Blum: 85 | 68 | 153
6. St. Elmo’s Fire, Anna Klee, Anna Klee: 79 | 58 | 137
7. Contentin Des Roques, Autumn Bradbury, Autumn View Farm: 83.5 | 50 | 133.5
8. Buckingham, Cawthra Burns, Cawthra Burns: 81.75 | 49 | 130.75
9. Indira, Mary McGee, Mary McGee: 94 | 46 | 130
10. Nykaenen, Averey-May Pritchard, Averey-May Pritchard: 80 | 48 | 128