Ryan Sassmannshausen and Rosalita Reign Supreme in $2500 USHJA National Derby at Lamplight Spring Classic II

Ryan Sassmannshausen and Rosalita. Photo By: Alison Hartwell

Edited Press Release

Wayne, Ill. – May 20, 2022 – Ryan Sassmannshausen proved he was king of the ring during the $2,500 USHJA National Derby at Lamplight Spring Classic II, reigning supreme with Rosalita as they led the highlight event from start to finish. With a flawless classic round and a second hoof-perfect handy round, the duo earned two scores of 92 for a 184 total to lead the lap of honor on Friday.

Twenty-three gathered at Hunter 1 to compete over Matt Brayman’s classic round course during the $2500 USHJA National Derby, with the top 12 returning for the handy round. The second course featured three high options, including an opportunity for an inside turn to the final high option, and a trot jump next to the gate where riders made a sharp right turn and walked out of the ring.

Marcy Tremblay and Silent Partner moved up in the order for the second round, but were ranked second after the classic round having earned a score of 90. They took all three high options and set the bar to beat with a score of 89 in the handy round for a two-round total of 179. Ashley March and MTM Lollipop entered the ring second to last to try and contest their lead with a first-round score of 88. They found each fence in stride and were able to just narrowly edge Tremblay out of the top spot, earning a 91.5 for a total score of 179.5.

The final pair to return was Sassmannshausen and Rosalita, having received a score of 92 during the classic round. Sassmannshausen once again showcased Rosalita’s incredible jump with a smooth and flowing round, impressing the judges enough to earn a second score of 92 for a total score of 184, winning the day’s top prize. March and MTM Lollipop were awarded the second-place ribbon, while Tremblay and Silent Partner rounded out the top three.

“For the handy trip, there were a few options there to take, and one you would go a little inside and put a hard slice on one, and then there was a ridiculously tight turn inside this tree that you’re going parallel to jump two,” noted Sassmannshausen. “[Rosalita] is sensitive, so I decided to opt and go around there, but tidy on the turns, where there’s open room to have a little hand gallop and let go. I tried to always hit those moments, use the turns, be as tidy as I could, but be smooth throughout, and not mess up the trot jump at the end by the in-gate. That was a nice touch that he put that there, because trot jumps are hard enough as it is. So when you add the in-gate factor to it, that can distract a horse, so you have to keep them engaged mentally to navigate that well.”

 Ryan Sassmannshausen and Rosalita

Rosalita is a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Doris Donovan that Sassmannshausen has been riding for four years and has earned multiple derby victories. “I am super grateful because I have a great owner in Doris who bought a young horse that was not developed and a little raw and had some potential,” he said. “She’s been great about sending us to shows, letting us go to Florida, come to Lamplight, go all over the country. Rosalita is just extremely consistent, super game, jumps well, and has a great rhythm. She’s just the perfect horse for a derby and loves her job.”

 Ryan Sassmannshausen and Rosalita

Sassmannshausen lives very close to the Lamplight Equestrian Center and loves having such a beautiful facility for his home show. “Wayne is my backyard, and I love this place with a passion,” he expressed. “It’s always something that I like coming to, it’s great for the horses, great for the people, and it’s a nice facility. Lamplight is one of the prettier facilities you see because it’s very well dressed, the trees are beautiful – it’s just a nice place!”


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