Jaipur Jumps to the Win in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Michael Saunders & Company at TerraNova Winter Series III

Taylor St. Jacques and Jaipur win the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Michael Saunders & Company. Photo by Jessica Buehler Photography

Edited Press Release

The hunters took center stage this morning at the TerraNova Winter Series III, with Taylor St. Jacques (Wellington, Florida.) and Jaipur securing the win in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Michael Saunders & Company.

Eleven horse-and-rider combinations contested the Mike Belisle-designed classic round, consisting of 11 jumps featuring four high options, a two-stride combination and two flowing lines set both towards and away from the ingate.

In the second round, the same four high options and in-and-out combination remained, with an added test of a trot jump set away from the ingate, options for tight inside turns and other opportunities to showcase handiness.

St. Jacques and Jaipur (Douglas x Wianne), a 10-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Zachary Parks, received a base score of 87 plus all four high options to score a 91 in round one. The pair returned to the handy round on top, scoring an 88 again jumping all four high options to receive a second-round score of 92 to secure the win with a total score of 183.

“My plan coming into today was just to have two nice rounds,” St. Jacques said. “This is my first show with him, so I just wanted to kind of push my buttons, play with him a little and he really rose to the occasion. His first round was great and his second round was even better, so it’s really exciting.”

In the handy round, the pair rode all of the inside turn opportunities with ease, sneaking between jumps two and five on their way to the two-stride combination and finding a seamless approach to the trot jump. 

“I thought he did everything I asked him to,” St. Jacques explained. “You kind of had to make the best out of every jump. My plan was just to have a smooth round and take whatever inside tracks I could. It went to plan!”

This year is St. Jacques’ second at TerraNova. “Everybody is so friendly here, which just makes it that much more enjoyable” St. Jacques said. “The showgrounds are compared to none. In my opinion, this is one of the best grounds and the best management that there is, especially in Florida. I really appreciate everybody here for everything they’ve done to put this show on.”

Mackenzie Suffy and Lammtarra. Photo by EQ Media

Mackenzie Suffy (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina) and Lammtarra (Vagabond de la Pomme x U-Bresco Z) took the reserve honors for the second week in a row, jumping all four high options in both rounds for a first-round score of 88.5 and a handy round score of 88.

“This is his second derby and it was lovely,” Suffy said. “Everything was long and bending, so I could really canter up and show some pace, which he loves. It really just played to his favor today.”

Hugh C. Mutch and Va Bien Z. Photo by EQ Media

Hugh C. Mutch (Loxahatchee, Florida) and Va Bien Z (Va Vite x Arentha De Revel), Laurie Birnbach’s 17-year-old warmblood gelding, earned the third-place honors with an overall score of 170.