Which International Derby Horse Would You Love to Ride and Why?

Lafitte de Muze & Amanda Steege. Photo © Heather N. Photography.

BY April Bilodeau

The 2023 Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship kicked off on August 17 with the final rounds taking place on August 19 at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.

90 of the top derby horses gathered at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY to strut their stuff before a captive audience that marvels at their bravery and scope over a series of large, natural jumps.

We asked both the Adult Amateur Lounge and the Professional Collaborative groups on Facebook “Which International Derby horse would you love to ride and why?”

Here were their answers…

From the Pros

“Lafitte, Tybee, Mr Manhattan- don’t make me pick just one. This week is hands down my favorite week of the year to watch so many special horses jump.”

“Cadouch Z! He just has such a lovely way of going.”

“I really like Poker Face. With a canter like that, it looks like the jumps find themselves!”

From the Amateurs

“There were several, but I must say the one that made the biggest impression on me as one “NOT” to want to ride was Eagle Scout. Quentin did an amazing job staying on him…… he would have jumped me off over the first jump…. heck I wouldn’t have made it through the schooling ring. WOW that one has scope!!”

“Thunderbird looked like a fun horse to ride. He was totally game with a quiet, kind expression but didn’t over jump the big jumps so much that he jumped you out of the tack!”

“I have been in love and obsessed with Lafitte de Muze every single year and root for them every time I see them. When I say that’s my favorite horse to watch, I mean it. I’m not sure I would ever be good enough to ride a horse like that but even getting to give him a pat on the shoulder or a little cuddle would make me happy!”

“Red Ryder. Looks fun! Forward and happy. My other favorite is Chappy.”

“Milagro!! So correct and straight, uphill build. And he makes it look so easy!!”

“I am obsessed with Chappy.”

“It’s a tie for me! I have always loved Lafitte De Muze, and Cadouch Z is my new obsession!!”

“Unbelievable has always been a favorite of mine.”

“Dana Vollbracht’s ‘Balou!'”