Katy, TX – Following two years off from injury, Glorieus made a glorious return to the winner’s circle on Friday, April 14, at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show in Katy, TX. With Courtney Lenkart in the irons, the gelding earned the victory in the $30,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, sponsored by Augusta Pines Farm.
“This is our first international derby back since his injury,” said an emotional Lenkart. “So, it’s super, super special. It’s been a really long journey. He’s been very successful before. We won a lot of great classes together, but we never thought he could come back. He just fights [for it], and he has the best owners that have taken their time and given him everything he needs. It’s really a miracle.
“I thought about, if he came back, what to say for a really long time, and I don’t know if I give it justice,” continued Lenkart. “We’re just really grateful.”
On their way to the win, Lenkart and Glorieus were one of 22 entries to take on the first-round, Tom Hern-designed course in the Porter Hedges Main Arena at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center. With a score of 86 plus one high-option bonus point from judges John French and Patricia Griffith on panel one and a score of 87 plus a high-option bonus point from judges Tony Sgarlata and Bobbie Reber on panel two, Lenkart and Glorieus shot straight to the top of the leaderboard.
With scores of 89 and 90 in round two, plus three high option bonus points added to each score, Lenkart only further lengthened her lead, finishing with a total score of 360.
“Everything just came up so nice,” said Lenkart. “I tried to be smooth, and he just jumped out of his skin!”
Finishing in second place with overall score of 341 were Nada Wise and Stevie Ray, owned by Samantha Brown. Third place with a score of 333 went to Michael Dennehy and Hulla-Balou, owned by Dana Vollbracht.
Following the conclusion of the class, Wise was presented with the Antarès Sellier Leading International Derby Rider Award for her strong results throughout the three weeks of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show. For the award, Wise received a $1,000 cash prize and a new Antarès saddle.
The Paula Sparks Perpetual Trophy for the Best Turned Out Derby Horse went to Diamante T, owned and ridden by Caitlin Burns.
For the class win, Lenkart was presented with the Valobra International Hunter Derby Perpetual Trophy, and Glorieus’ owner, La Primera Hacienda LP, was presented the Shawn McMillen Memorial Trophy.
“We just want to do what’s best for him,” concluded Lenkart, in speaking of the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. “Our dream is to be able to do Derby Finals possibly, but we’re just going to keep taking it day-by-day and hope for the best.”