2008/2009 ASG Software Solutions/United States Hunter Jumper Association International Hunter Derby Qualifying Series Concludes
RELEASE: May 27, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Whitney Allen
The 2008/2009 ASG Software Solutions/United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby Qualifying Series was brought to a close this past weekend at the Devon Horse Show in Devon, PA, and the Memorial Day Classic in Burbank, CA. The 18-month series will culminate at the Hunter Derby Finals on August 21-22, 2009, at the Kentucky Horse Park. The top 75 horses based on earnings will be invited to Lexington to compete for an unprecedented $100,000 in prize money.
Forty-five derby classes have been held throughout the country over the past year and half, attracting top hunter riders and horses. Each class includes a classic hunter round and a handy round that feature natural obstacles and challenging options. The top 12 riders from the classic round are invited to ride the handy hunter course and contend for top honors. Each derby course is built to encourage and reward brilliance and daring from the rider and true athletic ability from the horse. Both of the winners of this weekend’s derbies proved that they have the ability and style the prestigious class is looking for, and cemented their spot in the finals.
Jessica Springsteen of Colts Neck, NJ, and Tiziano, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by Stone Hill Farm, rode to victory in the Devon Horse Show Derby on May 24. The 16-year-old junior piloted the gelding to a second-place finish in the classic round and a first-place finish in the handy round to win the overall championship. The pair has competed in three derby classes to date, with the Devon Horse Show coming as their first derby victory.
Forbes, ridden by Jenny Karazissis of Calabasa, CA, also earned his first derby win at the Memorial Day Classic on May 24. Karazissis and the eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by Tonia Cook-Looker came from behind to win the class under the lights at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. The pair was in fifth place heading into the handy round, but put in an impressive ride to win the round and the class. The Memorial Day Classic is the fourth derby that Karazissis and Forbes have competed in.
Since its inception in December 2007, the International Hunter Derby has been receiving accolades from top professionals in the industry and growing in popularity. The class was created to bring the lost art of tradition and horsemanship back to the show ring and to raise show hunters to the international level. The Finals competition will begin Friday morning with a traditional hunter course. The top 25 will return Saturday night to ride the exhilarating handy course. More information about the finals can be found online at www.ushja.org/ihd/2009-finals.shtml
Point standings for the Finals close June 10. Be sure to check your standings on the USHJA website. In June, all those qualified for the event will receive information in the mail concerning entries, stall reservations and event schedule. For up-to-date standings, clickhere
Questions concerning the Derby can be directed to Melanie Fransen, USHJA’s Director of Programs and Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (859) 225-6960.