Jennifer Bliss and Flight Win Again in $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby at ESP Spring 5

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Jennifer Bliss and Flight ©Anne Gittins Photography

Edited Press Release

Wellington, FL – May 14, 2022 – Jennifer Bliss and Flight captured their second consecutive win in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Equiline, after jumping to a two-round score of 179. The fifth and final week of the ESP Spring Series held its featured class for hunter competitors on the grass Derby Annex at Equestrian Village on Friday.

“This is very exciting! She won both classes in the 3’3 Greens this morning, so she was champion in that division again,” Bliss commented. “It’s only our fourth show with her, and she has such little ring mileage, but she’s so brave to the jumps. She’s so capable, scopey, and has a great stride, and we’re just trying to give her a great experience and more show mileage, while stepping it up a bit each week,” Bliss shared of her mount, who goes by Juliette at home. “She will have the next two weeks off to have some time to relax at home, and then we’ll do one more show here during the first week of June, and then after that, we start traveling a bit.”

Twelve entries tested the two courses, designed by Andy Christiansen. “The first course was quite long, but it’s always such a treat to be able to use the field, I really love it. For Juliette, it’s great because she gets to work on her fitness and her focus when doing those longer rounds like the classic round. I think she’ll become great at handy rounds, it’s all-new for her which is why these classes are so helpful,” Bliss of Wellington, FL, explained.

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Jennifer Bliss and Flight, pictured with Consula Strickland of Equiline as well as Deywi Rodriguez, in their presentation ceremony. ©Anne Gittins Photography

Deywi Rodriguez was the recipient of the Schneiders Groom Award following the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Equiline, as the groom of the winning derby horse. As part of the recognition, Rodriguez was presented with a bag of high-quality grooming supplies courtesy of Schneiders Tack.

For the full results of the $2,500 National Hunter Derby presented by Equiline, please click HERE.

Derby action continued on Saturday with the $1,000 2’6”- 2’9” Hunter Derby presented by Score At The Top, which offered less-experienced horses a chance to test derby-styled courses. Topping a field of 12 competitors, Katie Giddings of Boca Raton, FL, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, owned by Shea Fennelly, captured the win after posting scores of 78 and 77 for a combined two-round score of 155. Just one point behind the leading pair, Jennifer Prior of Wellington, FL, secured reserve honors with her own Having Said That. Rounding out the podium with a combined score of 148 was Juana Sapetnitzky of Key Biscayne, FL, riding Avery Eichel’s Rondo.

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Katie Giddings and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang won the $1,000 2’6″-2’9″ Hunter Derby, presented by Score At The Top. ©Anne Gittins Photography

In the USHJA Hunter 2’/2’6″ division, presented by 100X Equine, Ki-Juan Minors of Wellington, FL, received top honors with Wiser Now, owned by Laura Ojemann. The pair championed the division after placing consistent performances in all five of the division’s classes, earning a first and a second-place ribbon, two third-place ribbons, and a fourth-place ribbon. Kristen Collins of Wellington, FL, and Scorez, owned by Pinecone Farm, LLC, only competed in four of the division’s classes but still collected reserve honors thanks to winning two of the division’s classes.

Keri Kampsen captured the tricolor ribbon in the 3’ Green Hunter division with Randee Cherner’s Eliot Du Banney. The partnership was awarded three first-place ribbons which included two over-fences classes and the under saddle, to accrue the most points towards the overall championship honors. Franki, ridden by Jennifer Bliss of Wellington, FL, and owned by Lexi Ferder Stables, captured the reserve championship thanks to consistent performances which earned two first-place results and two second-place results.


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