Edited Press Release
Saugerties, N.Y. – May 28, 2022 – A background in jumpers proved to be the key to success in Saturday’s $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at HITS-on-the-Hudson I. Held on the Outside Course, riders had the opportunity to exhibit their mounts during the classic and handy rounds to try and earn the coveted winning prize. Cabadbaran S only recently made the transition from the jumper ring to the hunters, but his background paid off with Izabel Fugman as they made smooth turns and showcased their brilliant jump over the high options to earn the winning honors during the day’s highlight event.
The classic round offered a flowing course with four high options that utilized the expanse of the ring. Twelve combinations were invited to return for the handy round, which included only three high options, but featured two rollbacks and a long gallop to the final option oxer to gain valuable points.
Fugman and Cabadbaran S earned the top score in the first round of an 88, but they had their work cut out for them after Morgan Ward and Comissario laid it down in the handy round to earn a score of 89 for a two-round total of 172. Having competed in the equitation finals, Fugman did not let the pressure to perform ruffle her. She used Cabadbaran S’ experience as a jumper to easily execute the inside turns and hand gallop the final oxer. Their effort paid off, and they were awarded a total score of 174, claiming a narrow victory over Ward. David Wilbur and Inferno HX rounded out the top three with a score of 167 after performing two rhythmic rounds.
The switch to the hunter ring was not always easy for Cabadbaran S, but once he accepted the new type of jumps, he was able to excel in the new arena. “In the beginning, it was a little bit hard, but once he got used to it and got comfortable doing the hunter jumps he was perfect,” explained Fugman. “He’s a pretty easy ride and you just go with the flow.”
Fugman also shows him in the equitation, having qualified for the Medal and Maclay Finals in 2021 with Cabadbaran S, and her mother/trainer Rachel Sagalyn attributed that background to some of their success. “I thought the course was great,” noted Sagalyn. “I think what stood out was he was able to do those inside turns really nicely and smoothly. He jumped all the high options really well. The equitation background really helped to navigate the course nicely and smoothly.”
Sagalyn continued, “He just goes around really quietly, has a nice quiet demeanor a really good brain. He has really learned to trust my daughter and it has relaxed him. I don’t think he really loved going fast and jumping the bigger jumps in the jumper ring, so he was really happy to step down to the 3’/3’6” divisions. He’s an amazing horse!”
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