Molly McAdow Makes Mark in $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby at Equifest III

Molly McAdow and Ademaro Van Encanta. Photo by: Alison Hartwell

Edited Press Release

Wayne, Ill. – August 12, 2022 – Molly McAdow is making the most of the final week of HITS Chicago during Equifest III. The talented rider garnered both of the top spots in Friday’s $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, earning the highest score of the day aboard Ademaro Van Encanta and riding Lomanske to the second-place honors. McAdow and Ademaro Van Encanta held the lead from start to finish during McAdow’s first Hunt and Go style derby.

“I’ve seen them, but I haven’t personally don’t one before,” commented McAdow. “It was fun. The horses were a little confused about why they were cantering between the rings, but they were both really good. It’s nice not to have to warm up again and waste energy. You get to go with the flow and go right into the handy round.”

In the Hunt & Go style derby, every horse and rider combination completes their first-round classic round and immediately goes on to the handy round, which begins by cantering directly into the connected ring. This week, riders started their classic round in Hunter Ring I and then entered the neighboring Hunter Ring II – cantering on a bending line to their first jump of the handy round. Horse and rider combinations showed their handiness as they navigated tight turns and rollbacks. The handy course featured two additional high options before finishing with a trot jump that rolled back to the final oxer towards the gate.

Competing in the Hunt & Go style derby meant riders only had one chance to impress the judges, and that is precisely what McAdow did when she entered the ring first with Ademaro Van Encanta. The duo’s brilliant jump, handy turns and smooth pace earned scores of 87 and 86 for 173, which would prove unbeatable.

 Molly McAdow and Ademaro Van Encanta. Photo by: Alison Hartwell

“My plan is usually pretty much the same – just be smooth and make sure the horses are getting confidence out of it,” she noted. [Ademaro Van Encanta] is really super handy, so he was really good in the turns. We jumped the trot jump a little high, but he got it back together and jumped the last fence nicely.”

Ademaro Van Encanta’s barn name is Danny, and Friday’s win was extra special for McAdow, who named him after her late uncle. He supported McAdow’s early career and helped her with the first horse she imported, and on Friday, her aunt was at the show to watch the pair take home the top honors.

McAdow’s next horse was Lomanske, who earned an equally impressive score of 169, which would be good enough for the second-place prize. Liz Atkins and Adonis placed third, finishing with a total score of 161.

The Lamplight Equestrian Center has provided the perfect venue for McAdow to develop her young horses, and she has enjoyed having the opportunity to compete at the boutique horse shows throughout the summer. “It’s always a good experience here,” she said. “Any derby [the horses] can do where the course isn’t overwhelming and over-facing with things that will scare them is great – it’s always nice courses. Like today with the hunt and go, neither of my horses have had to canter between the rings and keep going – it’s nice that they get to practice those things. It’s quieter here, and it’s nice they can do these special things without being overwhelmed.”

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The Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association (PCHA)

The Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association (PCHA), a non-profit corporation, has as its main purpose the promotion and development of the sport of horse showing, primarily in the Hunter/Jumper, Western and Reining disciplines. These objectives are accomplished by setting the standards for showing on the West Coast and approving shows that meet these criteria. 

Founded in 1946, the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association promotes the interests of owners and exhibitors, cooperates with exhibitors, officials, and management of competition, publicizes and advertises PCHA sanctioned shows, encourages and assists owners, exhibitors, and breeders of horses to maintain, develop and improve the quality of horses of the Hunter, Jumper, Western and Reining divisions.