Jef Lauwers Lands Back-to-Back Derby Wins with Hallpass and She’s All That at Pin Oak Charity Horse Show

Jef Lauwers and Hallpass. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Edited Press Release

March 28, 2024 – Katy, TX – A double hunter derby day meant double the wins for Jef Lauwers on Thursday, March 28, at the 78th Pin Oak Charity Horse Show in Katy, TX.

Lauwers and She’s All That kicked off the day with victory in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by R-C Ranch. Lauwers then returned to the Mega Ring at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center aboard Hallpass, this time taking the win in the $30,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, sponsored by Augusta Pines Farm.  

Lauwers and Hallpass were one of 16 entries to take on the International Derby, and the pair held the lead from beginning to end with an overall first-round score of 182. With that score – made up of the combined total from the two judging panels – and with the top 12 each returning in reverse order of their standing, Lauwers and Hallpass were the final entry to return for the handy round.

Jef Lauwers and Hallpass were presented as the winners of the $30,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, sponsored by Augusta Pines Farm. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Their performance over the Kevin Holowack-designed handy course only further cemented their lead, with the two judging panels awarding them scores of 84.5 and 87, plus four high option bonus points added to each score, for a second-round total score of 179.5 and a cumulative, overall score of 361.5.

Second place with an overall score of 347 went to Nada Wise riding Next Chapter, owned by Kristen Pribilski, and third place went to Alwaleed Alrashid who finished on a score of 345 aboard Lyla Brady’s Versailles.

For Lauwers, the victory is a bit of a comeback win, as he missed last year’s Pin Oak Charity Horse Show while undergoing back surgery.

“My doctor wanted me to be very careful, and it was an intensive enough surgery that I had to lie down for a month and then gradually get back to walking and physical therapy,” said Lauwers, who ultimately took roughly eight months out of the saddle. “I feel good now. I had a good support system, and like everybody in our sport, it’s important to stay healthy and try to do what’s right for you and for your horses.”

For Hallpass, the class was the 11-year-old Hanoverian’s first hunter derby in several months, as the chestnut gelding does not travel to compete on any winter circuits. Instead, Hallpass spends the winter in Texas with owner, Sue Copeland. 

“Peter [Pletcher] suggested that I try [Hallpass],” said Copeland. “He was big and growthy, and I think needed some time and flatwork. I love to do that. I jump him at home. We tend to do Texas shows most of the time; we have sent him to Kentucky. He just loves to jump the big jumps. So, I do the flatwork and little jumps at home and then hand him off to Jef. So [Hallpass] hasn’t jumped like this in a while, but he was really happy to get back to it! He loves to jump.”

In the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, it was another of Lauwers’ longtime, successful partners that took the win, She’s All That, owned by Linda Yarborough.

Jef Lauwers and She’s All That. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

The pair led the field throughout both rounds, scoring an 89 in round one and returning to the handy round in the final position. They then scored a 91 in the handy round for a winning, total score of 180.

Finishing in second on a total score of 175.5 was Linda Crothers aboard Menessa, owned by Carly Richardson, while Catherine Moorhead and Eurokom, owned by PLC Farm, rounded out the top three on a total score of 173.

“She is very competitive,” said Lauwers of the 9-year-old black Westphalian mare that he has been partnered with for nearly four years. “At home she’s a bit uninterested; she is just kind of like, ‘There are no jumps; nobody is judging me.’ But when she comes out here, she turns into a show horse. She knows when it’s business, and she’ll tell you. You just put your leg on, and it’s easy.” 

She’s All That is affectionately known as “BB” in the barn, a nod to the classic 1877 Anna Sewell novel, Black Beauty.

Lauwers explained, “Linda [Yarborough] showed up with her and was like, ‘I have this horse, this black beauty.’ So, that’s what it stands for. Linda picked the name, and BB has just been unbelievable.”

Jef Lauwers and She’s All That. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Lauwers, originally hails from Belgium but began riding professionally for PJP Farm in Magnolia, TX, in 2019, and the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show has been an important show on his calendar since then. 

“I missed this show last year, so it’s great to come back with a good string of horses,” said Lauwers. “I feel like we all have a good time here. The Great Southwest Equestrian Center supports the sport very well here in Texas. There’s a lot of prize money for the horses in both the jumpers and the hunters. It’s fun for us. It’s fun for the owners, and the rings are good; the weather is good, so it’s a fun change of scenery.”

For full results of Thursday’s hunter derby classes, visit HorseShowsOnline.com.

Competition at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show continues through Sunday, April 14, with highlights of Week I including the $30,000 Texas Children’s Grand Prix on Friday, March 29, beginning at 7 p.m. To learn more, visit www.PinOak.org.

About the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show
Recognized as a US Equestrian Heritage Competition, the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show is one of the oldest and most prestigious horse shows in the United States. Today, the show features three weeks of top-caliber hunter/jumper events and one week of breed show competition at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX.

Watch to hear from Jef Lauwers following his back-to-back derby wins!