Edited Press Release
July 22, 2022 – San Juan Capistrano, CA – Katrina Pattinson and Emily Williams each rode away with a $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby win during the Blenheim Summer Festival at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, CA.
Pattinson was the first to enter the winner’s circle, earning her victory in the $10,000 USHJA Pro National Hunter Derby aboard Brightstar on Wednesday, July 20. A day later, it was Williams’ turn for a win aboard Beach Boy in the $10,000 USHJA Junior/Amateur National Hunter Derby.
“It felt really special because this is only our third derby together,” said Pattinson of her first-place finish aboard the 9-year-old Czech Warmblood owned by Patti Kreiss. “We’ve won two out of the three derbies that we’ve done. He’s just such an easy, smooth ride; In the past three months, our partnership has really become much closer, and we really understand each other, so we’ve really gotten our best rounds recently.”
In Wednesday’s derby, those best rounds earned them scores of 94 and 90 – including four high option bonus points – for a total, winning score of 184. Second place with an overall score of 181, and the second-round high score of 92, went to Lisa Wall and Cortana.
“I was really happy with my first round and how rhythmic everything was,” said Pattinson, who has had the ride on Brightstar since the end of 2020. “Over the single oxer, he actually jumped me out of the tack because he jumped so good; I wasn’t expecting him to jump those hay bales so well! He jumped so high and hard that I got a little lose, which I think ultimately that made me laugh and brought lightness to the middle of the round.”
For the win, Pattinson received an embroidered tack room pillow, sponsored by Nick Byassee – Equestrian Design LLC, and an $80 Riderzon gift certificateas the winning trainer and rider. As the winning owner, Kreiss was awarded a leather halter, courtesy of Riviera EquiSports; an embroidered EquiTex scrim sheet; a Topline Design Ribbon Wreath gift certificate, and a Blenheim picture frame.
Following his win, Brightstar will now return to what Pattinson calls “his main job,” serving as Kreiss’ 3’3” amateur-owner hunter mount, including for this weekend’s Blenheim West Coast Amateur Owner Challenge.
In the $10,000 USHJA Junior/Amateur National Hunter Derby, Williams also earned her own $80 Riderzon gift certificate and a Topline Design Ribbon Wreath gift certificate, as well as an advertising gift certificate for The Plaid Horse magazine as the Best Amateur Rider.
On their way to the win, Williams and Beach Boy earned scores of 90 and 97 – including four high option bonus points – for an overall total score of 187. Finishing in a close second place with scores of 92 and 93 for a 185 total were Skylar Wireman and Bonne Starlight, owned by MZ Farms LLC.
“It feels amazing to have won; it was actually my first derby win,” said Williams, who has had Beach Boy for seven years. “I was just excited to make the second round. I really had no expectations going into the derby in general. I was just excited to be doing it. I really liked the handy course. The turns were perfect for my horse. It just flowed super, super nicely. He followed me everywhere perfectly. It was a lot of fun.”
Williams, who trains with Archie Cox and Meghan Harris, has competed successfully in the jumpers, hunters, and equitation with Beach Boy, and she now calls on the 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding largely for special classes like Thursday’s derby.
“He’s the best in the hunters, but with his personality, he’ll do anything I ask,” said Williams. “He’s just always game. He loves to do it. It’s all about the relationship for him, and he’ll do anything for me. At this point, because we’ve done so much over the years, we try to save him for the right moments and the special, bigger classes.”
The final derby win of the week went to Charli Prager and Farmore Good as Gold in the USHJA Pony Hunter Derby, held on Friday, July 22. Prager and the 16-year-old Welsh Pony owned by Linmar LLC earned scores of 85 in both rounds for a total score of 170. Second place with a score of 162 went to Taylor Morrow and Picante.