Lucio and Shannon E. Hicks Win the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Michael Saunders & Company at TerraNova Winter Series IV

Lucio and Shannon E. Hicks Win the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Michael Saunders & Company. Photo by EQ Media

Edited Press Release

Myakka City, Fla. – The $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Michael Saunders & Company, kicked off a busy Saturday at TerraNova Equestrian Center, with Lucio and Shannon E. Hicks (St. Louis, Missouri) securing the victory. 

Six horse-and-rider combinations took on Mike Belisle’s first and second round tracks, with round one consisting of four high-options, a long approach single oxer, a one-stride combination, and the notable TerraNova hedge jump. Riders returning for the second round had the opportunity to take a handy inside turn to jump one, in addition to an option at fence six that allowed for two different tracks to jump seven. 

In the end, it was Lucio (Legolas x Shakira IX) and Hicks who walked away victorious. 

Though Lucio looked right at home in TerraNova’s Hunter 1, having scored an 89 in round one and a 92 in round two for a total score of 181, Helen Gilbert’s 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding only got his start in the hunters about a year and a half ago.

“We actually bought him to be a grand prix horse,” said Hicks. “He won the first grand prix I ever did, and then we didn’t get another clean round. So we decided to make him a hunter, because he’s so pretty and he’s pretty slow. He’s been fairly successful!”

Hicks, who won the $20,000 Laughlin Tanner Group at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty 1.35m National Prix at TerraNova Winter III aboard Halo de Maugre, is partial to the jumper ring, but recognized Lucio’s talent and ability and decided to try redirecting him to the hunter ring.

Hannah Wu and Upgrade finish in second. Photo by EQ Media

“I don’t really like much about doing the hunters compared to the jumpers to be honest, but I appreciate any time there’s a handy,” said Hicks. “When he’s in his zone he’s the easiest horse in the world to ride. You don’t have to ever touch the reins, you just plot along. So he’s really a good horse to ride.”

Hicks spent much of her winter circuit in Myakka City for the TerraNova Winter Series shows, and notes that it was an overall success in both rings.

 “Showing at TerraNova –  it’s fabulous,” she said. “The rings are so big and expansive and you can do so many good things– long lines, three in a row, it’s just fabulous.”

Mackenzie Suffy and Lammtarra round out the top three. Photo by EQ Media

Finishing in second place was Hannah Wu aboard Upgrade on a total score of 147, while Mackenzie Suffy followed behind in third aboard Lammtarra with a total score of 133.