Edited Press Release
Saugerties, N.Y. – June 11, 2022 – Hannah Isop continued her domination in the hunter rings at HITS Saugerties on Saturday, closing out HITS-on-the-Hudson III with a second victory in the $10,000 WMC Health USHJA National Hunter Derby. This time the talented Isop was aboard Most Likely, whose beautiful jump and brilliant canter were rewarded with a total score of 177.5 to claim the winning title.
“Most Likely is a bit of a showman,” smiled Isop after her win. “He gives a 10 plus every time at the jump. He really doesn’t let you down that way. He has a really lovely canter across the ground, and he’s a very elegant horse in the ring.”
The inviting classic round at the expansive Outside Course began with a single vertical across the diagonal and continued to the first of four high options. The top 12 were invited to return for the handy round, where they started over a high option oxer, followed by a tight turn to a bending line. There was another inside option before cantering to the in-and-out and a long gallop home over the final high option oxer going towards the gate to test each pair’s handiness.
Isop and Most Likely laid down a smooth and flowing classic round that earned the highest score of 90. During the handy round, Isop carefully navigated each of the inside turns and opened up her mount’s stride to the final oxer, opting to take all of the high options for a score of 87.5 and a total score of 177.5. She narrowly edged out last week’s $100,000 YVEL Grand Prix winner Laura Bowery, who was aboard Escudo, and earned a score of 176.5 for second place. The third-place prize went to Christian Coyle and Let It Be after earning a total score of 175.75.
Most Likely and Isop returned center ring at the end of the day to receive the winning honors from WMC Health for their performance in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. “He has a beautiful canter, so my plan was to go as smooth as possible in the beginning part of the [handy] course with the tighter turns,” explained Isop. “Then for the second half, [my plan was] to really show off his canter and get a good gallop to the last fence.”
Most Likely is a 14-year-old Warmblood gelding who usually competes in the Children’s Hunters with Victoria Hart under the tutelage of Tracy Freels and Harkaway Farm. Isop was excited to have the ride on Saturday with the talented horse and close out the HITS Saugerties Spring Series with another victory.
“It felt good to be back up here,” concluded Isop. “I loved the town and the area. I was really happy with all my horses. We brought a group of young horses up here along with our older, more experienced horses, and we had a great two weeks!”