Showplace Spring Spectacular's USHJA International Hunter Derby Deemed Great Success by Exhibitors and Judges
RELEASE: June 24, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jennifer Wood
The Showplace Spring Spectacular, recently held from June 2-14 at the Lamplight Equestrian Center, was a great success this year. One of the most popular events for exhibitors and spectators was the $15,000 Chronicle of the Horse
/United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby, sponsored by Woodrun Farm. It was held on "Derby Day," Tuesday, June 9, along with a $5,000 Junior/Amateur Jumper Speed Derby.
The USHJA International Hunter Derby had more than 30 competitors and some of the best hunters in the nation. First place in the class went to Early Applause, ridden by Maggie Jayne for Pony Lane Farm. Kelley Farmer rode Jane Gaston's Upshot to second place. The show was managed by Pat Boyle, who worked closely with course designer Skip Bailey to produce a fun, beautiful, and breathtaking event for the hunters.
The two-round course featured fully landscaped jumps and was held in the grand prix ring. There were real trees throughout the large ring, chutes, a boxed-in combination, post and rails, real rolltops, and more. All of the exhibitors praised the course for its ability to make horses jump well and the fun that the riders had on course. The ribbons, trophy, cooler, and awards were presented by Troy Linback of Woodrun Farm.
The beautiful leather "Tack Trunk Bag," awarded to the high score in the Handy Hunter round, was donated by Stacey Lefton Glick & King's Crossing, LLC, and Oughton, Ltd., Equestrian Luggage. Early Applause, owned by the Thatcher family's Pony Lane Farm, and Jayne won that award for their high score in the second round of the derby. Lefton Glick also donated a "Barn Tote Bag" for the "Best Turned Out Horse," which went to Capone, also owned by Pony Lane Farm.
"Big thanks also goes to Diane Carney of Telluride Farm," said Showplace Productions manager Pat Boyle. "She is a great help in producing the hunter derby, and with the use of some of her derby jumps, it helped make this event special and unique."
The judges for the hunter derby were Jimmy Lee of Keswick, VA; Mark Jungherr of Gainsbury, MA; Frank Willard of Oak Ridge, NC; and John Roper of Franklin, TN. These highly esteemed judges gave their scores in pairs, and all four were very impressed with the quality of the derby.
This was Lee's first time judging at Lamplight for Showplace Productions, and he said that the entire show was "outstanding." He added, "It was a real production, and not just a horse show, but a real event."
Lee has judged hunter derbies before in California and Pennsylvania, and felt that the Showplace derby was a wonderful class. "I think all of the judges felt that way," he remarked. "We obviously talked about it afterward, and I thought it was a very, very top-notch event. The course rode beautifully. Not only was it beautiful to look at, but the whole effort and the production that they did to come up with that course was outstanding, and it reflected in the performances. Obviously they had some high-quality horses, but the course rode great."
Jungherr agreed, "I think it was really well done with a lot of effort. There were a lot of good options for the handy course, and the biggest thing for me was that we had a good combination of natural obstacles that were still inviting. They weren't easy for the horses to jump by any stretch, but they weren't trappy either. They were encouraging for the proper jumping style of the horse."
Willard was pleased to see that the two horses that the judges liked the best were the ones that ended up on the top of the class. "The two best horses at the horse show and arguably two of the best horses in the country were first and second, and it doesn't always work out that way. Early Applause won and Upshot was second and from judging the rest of the show, it was obvious that those were the two best horses. You love it when that happens."
Willard was full of pr