Isabelle Lapierre and Carrera S Land Hunter Derby Win at Ottawa Summer Tournament

Isabelle Lapierre of Lévis, QC, guided Carrera S to victory in the $10,000 Pommies Cider Co. Open Hunter Derby held on Friday, July 5, at Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa, ON. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography

Ottawa, Ontario – Isabelle Lapierre of Lévis, QC, claimed victory in the $10,000 Pommies Cider Co. Open Hunter Derby on Friday, July 5, during the Ottawa Summer Tournament I held at Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa, ON.

The $10,000 Pommies Cider Co. Open Hunter Derby, part of the Canadian Hunter Derby Series, attracted 38 entries to compete on Wesley Clover Parks’ grass grand prix field. Horse-and-rider combinations faced a challenging track set by course designer Pierre Burch and beautifully decorated by Levko Malyna that featured hunter classic, handy hunter, and field hunting obstacles. Held in a single round format, riders competed at the 3’ height with 3’3” options or at the 3’6” height with options set between 3’9” and 4’3”. Only those competing at the 3”6” height earned points towards the Canadian Hunter Derby Series Final to be held at Toronto’s iconic Royal Horse Show in November.

Having won the Canadian Hunter Derby Series Final in 2018 and been the reserve champion in 2023, Lapierre and Carrera S have all but secured their starting place at this year’s Royal with a win in the $10,000 Pommies Cider Co. Open Hunter Derby. Despite their numerous accomplishments together over the years, Lapierre and Carrera S had never before won the hunter derby in Ottawa.

“It was a check on the bucket list!” said Lapierre following her win. “I’ve won so many derbies with him but to finally do it on grass at Ottawa, it’s special. To ride on the grass makes it feel like a real hunter derby. That’s how hunter derbies should be, but we don’t have many grass fields anymore. It’s a real class in Ottawa, and I needed to win it with this horse.”

With a base score of 85 points, Lapierre was awarded 10 bonus points for taking higher fence options and earned nine bonus points for handiness to bring their final total to 104 points.

Isabelle Lapierre, pictured aboard Carrera S, is presented as the winner of the $10,000 Pommies Cider Co. Open Hunter Derby and recipient of the Gladys Adam Memorial Trophy by, from left to right, Heather, Duncan, and Erin Oswald.
Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography

“We had a triple that we don’t see normally in hunter derbies as well as a double,” said Lapierre in describing the course, which included a rare two-stride to a two-stride triple combination. “There were lots of bending lines. We went everywhere on the course; it was nice and flowing. There was nothing that changed the rhythm. The triple was a bit difficult for some horses and the last line by the VIP tent was challenging because the horses wanted to look at the tent instead of focusing on the jumps. You had to be on the job everywhere. In the end, it was a nice hunter derby course.”

Lapierre was especially excited to win partnered with Carrera S, a 14-year-old bay Holsteiner gelding sired by Carrado.

“We’ve known each other for a long time,” said Lapierre of the horse owned by Johannie Légaré. “I first started with him in 2017 and then he had colic surgery and then the pandemic. I think he’s back to his best self. At 14, he knows when it’s important. He likes his job, it’s easy for him, and he’s a happy horse.”

As the winner, Lapierre was awarded the Gladys Adam Memorial Trophy, presented by the Oswald family. Established in 2004, the trophy commemorates the life of legendary horsewoman and Jump Canada Hall of Fame member, Gladys Adam.