For Immediate Release
Flaxen Mane Media for Fairfield County Hunt Club
The Fairfield County Hunt Club concluded its June Horse Show on Saturday, June 24, 2023 as the club celebrated its centennial anniversary of existence. Throughout the week, the club hosted spectacular hunter competitions for all levels of rider and featured a select number of jumper and equitation classes. Utilizing the meticulously maintained grass arenas that the club is famous for, the venue provided a stunning backdrop and a jump back in time to the days of hunting on the field. As part of the celebration, the club hosted a variety of highlight events throughout the week including a ‘Woof and Hoof’ derby benefitting the Equus Foundation, Rising Starr Horse Rescue, and the SPCA of Westchester, as well as a Sip and Shop featuring vendors and delights from Nômade Westport, and a highly-attended Cocktails and Carburetors evening featuring classic cars from across generations.
The week culminated in competition on Saturday as the main derby field played host to both national and international-level hunter derbies over the first half of the day. As the final touches were laid on the turf, 26 horse-and-rider combinations set to the schooling ring to ready themselves for the $5,000 Fairfield Equine Associates USHJA National Hunter Derby. Andy Christiansen (USA) set a long and flowing track that would wind the pairings across the entirety of the field several times as they performed their best classic round for the judges. Isop put forward two mounts for the first class of the day, riding both Tracy Freels’ Braven and Clem De Brecourt to top returning spots. The local young professional was in top form throughout the morning and paired her first-round score of 92 with a second-round worthy of 89 points to give her the leading overall score of 181.
“Clem De Brecourt is a mare that always tries her heart out one hundred percent of the time,” explained Isop. “She absolutely loves the grass field so this is an ideal venue for her.”
Isop wasn’t stopping with her one-two finish in the morning’s event, however. As the cloudy skies parted way to sunshine and Isop once again took to the field, this time with her longtime partner Red Ryder, it was clear the day would be a special one for the team.
As one of six top hunter riders vying for the headlining prize, she put forth a flawless first-round effort that earned her a base score well into the nineties to once again lead the returning charge for the final handy round of the day.
“He [Red Ryder] has had a lot of successful outings in his career and he is for sure a horse of a lifetime for me,” Isop gushed. “This is a nice big grass field so my plan was to carry a bit of pace but otherwise just to have fun and get the best jump I could out of my horse. I always have a lot of fun when I get in the ring with him so we thought it would be fun to bring him here.”
The wins are additions to a lengthy collection for Isop, but come with special sentimental value as her family has been part of the Fairfield County Hunt Club’s history for generations.
“This is really special for me and it’s something we all really wanted to support,” explained Isop. “I’m the third generation in my family showing here, which is pretty crazy to think about. This is a classic hunter show and for them to have such a big derby event is fantastic.”
For more information on the Fairfield County Hunt Club or the corresponding show series, please go to www.huntclubonline.org.