Mahalo and Ashley Foster Worthington Win the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Photo by Teresa Ramsay Photography

Edited Press Release

The $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by TTR Sotheby’s International Realty kicked off the hunter competition today in the Wiley arena under sunny skies.

Twenty-six horse and rider teams went on the hunt for the blue over a course designed by Nancy Wallis of Lambertville, New Jersey.

Wallis said she designed both courses with a lot of options. “For the Classic round, the lines didn’t really have a related distance and there was only one measured line in the two strides. The riders really needed to ride off their eye. I think that provided a lot of options for people who knew how to use them. I was happy with the way the riders responded to the course. There were a few that had a hard time, but the top scores were high. I’m always aiming for the riders to get into the 90s,” said Wallis

Wallis continued this theme in the Handy round. “There are several options where the riders can choose to take the turns to the inside or go around if they have a younger horse or if they’re a little green. They don’t need to force anything. I think the way it is laid out, the cream will rise to the top,” she added.

And the cream did rise to the top when Ashley Foster Worthington rode Rolling Acres’ Mahalo to the win with a combined score of 189.

Foster said, “I thought both rounds were beautiful. I love a good, long bending line if I don’t have to count,” she laughed, “so that was super helpful. With Mahalo it’s mostly about getting a good gallop so I thought the course really helped me out with that.”

Judy Bishop presented the awards on behalf of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty. Photo credit: Teresa Ramsay Photography

“For the Handy round, there were so many turns. When I first walked it, I planned on going around everywhere. But then Tiffany [Cambria] and Guy talked me into doing the inside, insides and while I’m not the best at that, Mahalo had it and he was perfect,” said Foster. Mahalo, according to Foster is the most amazing horse. “He has been doing this a long time and knows his job. As long as I’m on top of him, he’s good to go. He’s kind of hard not to love. I would say he loves his job and loves being at the shows. He likes to be home too, but when he gets to the shows, his personality really comes alive,” she said. “It’s been a great week for me here so far,” said Foster. “All of my horses have been awesome. We were champion in the Green Hunters and the 3’ Greens and this win is just a great way to top it off,” she said.

Final results had Sabrina Hellman’s Not to Worry, ridden by Tiffany Cambria in second place for their combined score of 188. Third place was awarded to Price Farms, LLC’s Ufeelme, ridden by Sam Meadows for their combined score of 178.

EMO Stables’ Sidenote, ridden by Maria Shannon, earned a combined score of 177.5 and the fourth-place ribbon. Figure of Speech, owned by Amy Squier Perez and ridden by Guy Cambria, placed fifth with their combined score of 174.

Sixth was awarded to Marilyn Richmond’s Music Man, ridden by Grace Long. The pair earned a combined score of 171.

Watch Hill, LLC’s Fortitude, ridden by Nicole Motes placed seventh and earned a combined score of 166. Jarnac, owned by Joann Cangelosi and ridden by Kylee Buchholz finished in eighth place with their combined score of 163.5 and Cronos Du Leon, owned and ridden by Isabella Salas finished in ninth place with a score of 157.

EMO Stables’ Avila, ridden by Maria Shannon earned a tenth-place finish with their combined score of 145. Brugh’s Mill, owned by Joan Alberti and ridden by Jason Berry finished in eleventh place with a score of 139 and Romero De Solart, owned by Zachary Parks and ridden by Jacob Harris wrapped up the class with a twelfth placing for their combined score of 135.

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Original press release from Virginia Horse Center Foundation.

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