Edited Press Release
Sarasota Winter Classic’s derby day developed into a sunny, breezy day by the time the shadbelly-clad riders walked the first course. Friday competition featured the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, the $500 Outreach Derby 2’6” and the highly-anticipated $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby as the highlight of the day. Exhibitors and spectators enjoyed a pizza party in the TerraNova pavilion and cheered on the contestants.
Course designer Paul Jewell used the full expanse of the ring to produce a flowing classic round for the riders to negotiate. The class field included top hunter riders Marylisa Leffler, Ashley Foster-Worthington, David Jennings and Jennifer Alfano.
Alfano (Ocala, Florida) chose all four high options in a flawless first round with Jean Edwards’ Next (Ustinov x Acade II), scoring 185.00 to lead the class going into the handy round.
Jewell’s handy track challenged the precision of the riders and rideability of the horses by starting with a tall vertical as the first fence, including a rollback to a trot fence and four high options.
The chase was on as each pair attempted to add enough points to their scores to best Alfano and Next. Last to enter the ring for the handy, having ridden the track twice aboard her other mounts, Ivy League and Wayside, Alfano showed off Next’s superb jumping style. The pair executed an effortless round, receiving 178.00 points from the judges for an overall total of 363.00, earning the win and the victory gallop.
“She’s just an incredible horse so I knew I could do anything on her,” Alfano said. “I had a pretty good lead heading into the handy so I just wanted to be smooth and have neat turns.”
Alfano previously owned Next and is thrilled to have the mare back in her barn.
“She’s so brave and has so much scope that you just can’t build a jump she can’t jump,” she said. “She does it in beautiful style every time. She’s just so fun to ride.”
David Jennings (Franklin, Tennessee) took second place with a two-round total of 343.00 points with his longtime partner Jordantinus (Air Jordan x O.B.O.S. Flower), owned by Allison Ventura. Alfano’s newest and least-experienced mount, Ivy League (Cumytime Z x Ibiza-S), rounded out the top three after earning overall scores of 339.00. The derby marked Ivy League’s first time competing at 3’6” and her first USHJA International Derby.
Brookeville, Maryland-based Rolling Acres Farm celebrated success earlier in the day after the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, as their trainers took first and second. Foster-Worthington piloted Mahalo, owned by RAF LLC, to the top prize, with Leffler second aboard Wyatt, owned by Heather Bamford. Leffler also won the $10,000 Welcome Stake in the Grand Prix ring Thursday with ZaZa Z.
Besting seven other pairings, Florida rider Shea Slawson navigated two successful rounds with Art Of The Deal, owned by Camille Sarppraicone, to produce the high-scoring performance in the $500 Outreach Derby 2’6”.
$25 000 USHJA INTERNATIONAL HUNTER DERBY
PLACE /NO./ HORSE /RIDER/OWNER / ROUND 1 / ROUND 2 / OVERALL
1 / 549 / NEXT/ Jennifer Alfano / Jean Edwards / 185 / 178 / 363
USTINOV x ACADE II
R1: 88.000 + 4, 89.000 + 4
R2: 86.000 + 3, 86.000 + 3
2/745/ JORDANTINUS /David Jennings / Allison Ventura 178 / 165 / 43
AIR JORDAN x O.B.O.S. FLOWER
R1: 85.000 + 4, 85.000 + 4
R2: 80.000 + 4, 77.000 + 4
3 / 545 / IVY LEAGUE /Jennifer Alfano / Jennifer Alfano / 171 / 168 / 339
CUMYTIME Z x IBIZA-S
R1: 81.000 + 3, 84.000 + 3
R2: 84.000 + 3, 78.000 + 3
4 / 660 / OUT OF OFFICE /Ashley Foster / Elle Hogan / 170.5 / 143/ 313.5
GAILLARD DE LA POMME x URZELINA
R1: 86.000 + 0, 84.500 + 0
R2: 73.000 + 0, 70.000 + 0
5 / 781 / ZINDRO LMF/ Kylie Clarkson / Sara Potterfield / 149 / 155 / 304
ZEOLIET x SHADENDOAH
R1: 75.000 + 4, 66.000 + 4
R2: 75.000 + 4, 72.000 + 4
6 / 717 / WAYSIDE / Jennifer Alfano / Batavia Group LLC / 175 / 126 / 301
GAILLARD DE LA POMME x DEOGRAVIN
R1: 84.000 + 4, 83.000 + 4
R2: 62.000 + 2, 60.000 + 2
7/ 703 / LUCIO / Sarah Young / Helen Gilbert / 138 / 146 / 284
LEGOLAS x SHAKIRA IX
R1: 65.000 + 4, 65.000 + 4
R2: 72.000 + 3, 68.000 + 3
8 / 590 / CANDIDATE / Marylisa Leffler / Katie Triantos / 164 / 92 / 256
R1: 83.000 + 0, 81.000 + 0
R2: 47.000 + 0, 45.000 + 0
9 / 571 / SNOWED IN / Kristiina Claffee / Silver Springs Farm / 90 / 150 / 240.
CALVARO x BOULE DE NEIGE IV
R1: 45.000 + 0, 45.000 + 0
R2: 77.000 + 0, 73.000 + 0
10 / 591 / BACK IN THE GAME / Ashley Foster / Robin Schwartz / 146 / 82 / 228
R1: 73.000 + 0, 73.000 + 0
R2: 42.000 + 0, 40.000 + 0
11 / 570 / DUE NORTH / Amanda Flint / Silver Springs Farm / 140 / 78 / 218
BUSTIQUE x DALESTRA V
R1: 68.000 + 0, 72.000 + 0
R2: 40.000 + 0, 38.000 + 0
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