Reagan Jarrett and Hopscotch Skip to Victory in The $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby

Edited Press Release

June 18, 2023 – Stillwater, NY

Reagan Jarrett and Hopscotch claimed top honors in the $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby on Sunday, June 18, 2023, during the final day of World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) competition at the Saratoga Classic I, held during the 25th anniversary of Saratoga Horse Shows at White Hollow Farm in Stillwater, NY.

Jarrett of Center Valley, PA, and her own Hopscotch were one of 23 combinations vying for the win. The class was split into six large, six medium, and 11 small ponies, with each section jumping at a different height but judged together. Competing in the medium pony section, Jarrett piloted Hopscotch to a beautiful trip and the highest first-round score of 87.

“I was a little nervous going in for the first round,” said Jarrett, who trains with Ashley Hartman. “Judges often like Hopscotch so I felt a little bit of pressure. I was able to show my large pony first so I could figure out the course and come up with a plan on how best to ride it for Hopscotch. I wanted to ride it to the best of my ability. I tried to ride it like a derby course and not just a normal hunter course.”

Returning for the second round, Jarrett and Hopscotch showed off their handiness by opting for all of the inside turns. The duo earned a score of 86 in the second round for a total score of 173.

“For the handy, I was just hoping to be consistent,” explained Jarrett, 13. “I wanted a nice round. I tried to be clean and tidy with all of the inside turn options and not make any silly mistakes.”

Jarrett and Hopscotch have been forming their partnership since the beginning of December. Jarrett plans to spend the rest of the year getting to know her pony and developing a strong connection while staying consistent in the show ring.

“I haven’t had him for too long, but he’s taught me a lot,” shared Jarrett of the 11-year-old Welsh Pony-cross gelding by Stockham Commander M. “He is definitely one of my favorite and best ponies. Sometimes he can be a little challenging, but we connect really well in a lot of ways. In the winter he can be a little fresh and playful, so he’s taught me to always pay attention while riding.”

Finishing only half a point behind in second place, Emi Richard of Middlefield, CT, and Fortnite, owned by Cisy Zhou, earned scores of 85 and 87.5 for a total score of 172.5. Richard also earned third place aboard Prince of Wales, owned by Gray Neville, after receiving scores of 84 and 88 for a final score of 172.

Original press release courtesy of Jump Media.