Edited Press Release
Temecula, Calif. – May 27, 2022 – The Grand Hunter Arena was set exquisitely on Friday morning welcoming 14 horse-and-rider combinations to showcase their classic hunter cadence. The $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby sponsored by South Coast Winery set an elegant tone for hunter competition to continue through the weekend. It was a very special morning full of joyful smiles as Karli Schroeder and Get Rowdy captured their first ever International Derby win together.
Jared Erho (USA) set a beautiful track allowing riders to open up a hand-gallop and show off their large canter strides across the ground to the vastly built oxers. With colorful flower boxes, wide barrel fillers, and brush rails, the horses were impressed with the task at hand, jumping in superb form and wowing the judges to earn considerably high scores all throughout the class. The first round of competition utilized each jump in the ring presenting optimal opportunities for riders to showcase their horses’ scope and form. A total of four high options were included in the course giving riders the option to choose the larger jump to receive points added to their base score received by the judges.
Nick Haness and Inkwell were the third to go in the order earning an overall first round score of 164, which sat them in sixth going into the second round. Following them immediately in the line-up, Emma Lindstrom and Coraggio jumped to a 176 score in the first round however they did not hold onto the first place spot for long as Schroeder and Get Rowdy took over the lead for the rest of the class with a score of 177.
The top 12 horse-and-rider pairs were called back in reverse order to contest over the shortened handy track. Featuring the same four high option fences, the hunter riders and their respective mounts switched gears, trading long sweeping turns for tight inside turns in an effort to highlight maneuverability and handiness. In addition to their base score, the judges added bonus points for high options taken as well as a handy score adding up to 10 additional points if the track and ride were smooth and effortless yet efficient and tidy.
Haness and Inkwell took the lead of the class following the conclusion of his second round attempt with breathtakingly high scores from the handy. Haness has earned the nickname “Nick Handy Haness” at Nilforushan Equisport Events as he never fails to take all of the risks and execute them in pure perfection. The 10-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Tami Cabaniss did just that in the second round of competition to move Haness all the way up the leaderboard. The pair held the lead with an overall score of 366 points that included a handy score of 10 and all four high options, until Lindstrom and Coraggio entered the arena to give them a run for their money.
Lindstrom and Coraggio went into the second round with the second highest score from the initial attempt at competition. Looking to challenge Haness and Inkwell, they too made a spectacular handy effort making tidy turns and executing an elegant hand-gallop to the last fence of the track. The 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding was consistent as he manifested his natural athleticism to thrill the judges and secure Lindstrom the red ribbon. Ultimately, they bested Haness with an overall score of 373 points, having taken all four high options and posting their own impressive handy score.
Schroeder and Get Rowdy were the final pair to jump the handy round coming in with the highest score from round one. Eager to take her first ever international derby victory with her long-time partner, “Rowdy,” she cantered into the handy round with her game face on. The 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding knew the task at hand and jumped in perfect form, landing and turning when directed by Schroeder to master her tidy track. The duo’s trusting partnership was evident as they executed each turn and slice in perfect sync.. They saved the best for last, knocking Lindstrom out of the top spot with an overall score of 376 points. (Add here about previously 2nd place finishes) entered the winner’s circle with beaming smiles and an elated team behind them cheering them on every step of the way.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Karli Schroeder – $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby winner
On her ride:
“The course was really exciting. They decorated it really nicely and gave us a lot of options. There were some big fences out there which is good for my horse. The bigger and scarier the better. We’re long-time partners and have been together since 2017. He’s had a couple different riders in between but this means a lot to me. This is my first [USHJA] International Derby win. [Get] Rowdy and I have gotten second a couple of times so it feels really special to finally walk away with a win.”
On Get Rowdy:
“He is very much a sweetheart. He loves to be cuddled and loves treats. He doesn’t like to work too hard and loves his turnout. He’s a very special horse.”
On plan heading into handy:
“My plan was just to be consistent and smooth. I know he can make the turns really easily and is super scopey so just having a nice round was my priority.”
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