Rodney Tulloch and Fleetwood Gold Medal Winners at the SJC Canadian Hunter Derby National Championships

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Rodney Tulloch pilots Fleetwood over a victory jump following the podium presentations for the SJC Canadian Hunter Derby National Championships at 2023 Royal West held at the Calgary Stampede Park in Calgary, Alta. on Tuesday, October 17, 2023. Photo by Shealynn Choy.

Edited Press Release

Rodney Tulloch of Calgary, Alta. showed off his seasoned Hunter Derby skills once again by winning Phase III of the $50,000 SJC Canadian Hunter Derby National Championships aboard the 12-year-old grey gelding, Fleetwood, owned by Brent Therrien. Being at the top of the overall standings, Fleetwood was the last horse to step into the arena at the Nutrien Western Event Centre, proving true that sometimes the best is truly saved for last! The pair earned an impressive base score of 89, 8 handy points, and 10 bonus points for high options, sending them straight to the top of the leaderboard. This win, paired with their win in Phase I, and second place finished in Phase II, meant Tulloch earned the overall gold medal by a whopping 37 points. 

Peter Holmes of Cowichan Bay, BC, designed an incredible course for both the competitor and spectator alike in last nights third and final phase. The course proved challenging for many, but plenty of competitors stepped up to the plate and expertly took advantage of the numerous opportunities for handiness. Holmes gave Rocky Mountain Show Jumping’s new horseshoe jump, pictured above, its first opportunity to be used in an indoor competition.

A two-stride combination that could be jumped from either direction was also incorporated, “I wanted to give the riders some more options and add some excitement and interest to the class. I have personally never seen this done in a Hunter Derby before, so it was exciting to see what the riders chose to do,” said Holmes when asked about this unique element of the course.

The recipients of the silver and bronze medals were up in the air leading up to the nail-biting third phase of competition, but Channay Lloyd and Central Park, of Delta, B.C. proved consistently is key when it comes to championship competitions. The pairs 12th, 4th, and 7th placings combined to a total of 259 points. 18-year-old Katrina Klimach made herself known on her first trip out of British Columbia as she piloted her gelding, Black Pearl, of Victoria, B.C. were hot on their heels with 256 points.

The 2023 edition of the SJC Canadian Hunter Derby Championships will prove to be even more exciting, as the total prize money will be doubled to $100,000.

$10,000 Greenhawk 3’0″ Child/Adult/Pre-Green Hunter Championship

Tanya Hardy rides Furst Crush to victory during the Greenhawk 3’0″ Child/Adult/Pre-Green Hunter Championship at Royal West in Calgary on October 17, 2023. Photo by Rylee Smolarchuk.

It was a clean sweep for Tanya Hardy of Victoria, B.C. and 8-year-old gelding, Furst Crush, in the $10, 000 Greenhawk 3’0″ Child/Adult/Pre-Green Hunter Championship. The young gelding impressed the judges who gave him scores of 87, 86, and 87 over the three phase championship.

It was an extremely successful week for Channay Lloyd of Delta, B.C. and her 7-year-old gelding, Diallo. The day after winning Phase II of the $50, 000 SJC Canadian Hunter Derby National Championship, the pair earned themselves the silver medal in the 3’0″ Championship as well. Their 3rd, 3rd, and 2nd place finishes combined to give them a total of 285 points.

The bronze medal was awarded to Michelle James of Airdrie, Alta. and her gelding, Cheers. The pair earned a 7th, 2nd, and 4th place finish for a total of 277 points.

$6,000 Three Sister Sport Horses/Compton Equestrian Pony Hunter Championship

Landon Closson and Grey Swan jump to victory in the $6, 000 Pony Hunter Championship at Royal West in Calgary, Alta. on October 17, 2023. Photo by Rylee Smolarchuk.

Landon Closson, of Whitefish, MT. had a great trip to Canada last week. He piloted his 8-year-old pony, Grey Swan, to a gold medal finish in the $6, 000 Pony Hunter Championship. Two fists and a second combined to give him a total of 296 points. This put him 17 points ahead of the silver medalist, Trinity Hall of Calgary, Alta. and Lonnie Moberly’s pony, Tim Bit. The pair earned third, first, and sixth for 279 points. The bronze medal was awarded to young Eloise Clark of Saanichton, BC, and her 7-year-old pony, In Your Dreams, just a point behind Tim Bit with 278 total points.