Edited Press Release
Wayne, Ill. – June 17, 2022 – The $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby at HITS Chicago once again highlighted Friday’s competition roster in Hunter 1. During the Lamplight Spring Spectacular II, it was Molly McAdow and Ademaro Van Encanta who emerged victorious after earning a pair of 88 scores from the judges during the two-phase event to lead the lap of honor.
McAdow only began riding Ademaro Van Encanta, owned by Karin Martin, in February, but has believed in the 6-year-old Holsteiner gelding’s potential from the start. “He’s absolutely an international derby horse,” she commented. “He just needs to do all of these things to get a little more mechanical about it and understand what is going on. The handy round is easy, it’s the first part, saying focused and such, but the handy round is always great.”
The first round of the derby welcomed 28 competitors, who showcased their mounts over natural fences featuring four high options and as well as an in-an-out at the end of the course with a bending line to the final vertical going towards the gate. The top 12 returned for the handy round, where they had three options and two bending lines before finishing with the in-and-out.
It was a wire-to-wire victory for McAdow and Ademaro Van Encanta, who led the classic round with an impressive score of 88 after executing a smooth and flowing round. When they returned for the handy round, McAdow trusted her mount’s turning ability, taking a tight inside option after one of the higher fences. Their brilliance both in the turns and over the jumps earned the duo another score of 88 for a two-round total of 176.
Meagan Murray-Tenuta and Nantucket were hot on McAdow’s heels after the first round, leaving no room for error after scoring an 87.5. Taking two high options, they earned an 87 in the handy round for a score of 174.5 and the second-place prize. Last week’s winner, Tina Judge-Boyle, rounded out the top three, this time aboard Afelix Dell A after earning a score of 171.5.
After her win, McAdow noted, “My plan for the first round was just to be smooth because he’s a 6-year-old. I wanted to build his confidence, so just be smooth and nice. I didn’t see too many others go [in the handy], but he’s one of the only ones who jumped the high option and turned inside. It was a very hard turn, and he’s a very large school bus, but he’s very handy for a 6–year-old!”