Edited Press Release
Kristy Herrera and Swing Easy made their win look easy in the $10,000 MARS Equestrian™ USHJA National Hunter Derby on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village on Friday afternoon at WEF 7. The fitting Hunt & Go format suited them with a portion of the course showing off classic hunter style and the other section showcasing handiness.
Danny Moore designed the track for 66 pairs, giving each a chance to show off their horse’s strengths in both formats.
Swing Easy, a 7-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Safari D’Auge owned by Kate Ellis, was right at home on the expansive field and the judges noticed. Herrera combined a pair of 89s for a winning score of 178. Second and third place honors went to Tiffany Morrissey who rode Cullighan to the runner-up position for owner Claudia Millstone and Copernicus K, owned by Dr. Kathryn Withers, to third with scores totaling 177.25 and 176.75, respectively.
“Swing Easy is a young horse, and this was his first derby. I took a long time in the entrance to let him see the sights and where he was going, and then took it one jump at a time,” Herrera said. “I thought the course was really well put together; it had nice inviting approaches and some good options to be tidy in the handy parts.
“He’s like a couch to ride. He has a nice, slow, beautiful canter,” she added. “He has a big stride and a really lofty and pretty jump. He’s got a wonderful mouth so it’s kind of up to me to keep it very subtle and let him float underneath me.”
As for mapping out the remainder of the season in Wellington, Herrera said, “We are letting him tell us what he wants to do. I think this certainly puts him on the schedule to do some more of these derbies, I would love to see him blossom in that and keep growing. He’s still young and young horses are so fun to develop because they tell us where they want to go.”
Original press release from https://wellingtoninternational.com.
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