Holly Shepherd and Belvedere continue their Derby Reign at Gulfport

RELEASE: March 2, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Classic Communications

Holly Shepherd and Belvedere collect the ribbon, trophy and check in Friday's $2,500 USHJA Hunter Derby
Holly Shepherd and Belvedere collect the ribbon, trophy and check in Friday's $2,500 USHJA Hunter Derby
Gulfport, MS
- Fun is in full bloom during Magnolia Week at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic. Twenty eight hunters from all over the country tackled the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby yesterday while spectators enjoyed the complimentary brunch in the exhibitor tent complete with fried chicken, eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits, salads, mimosas, tea, orange juice and coffee.  But, none could dethrone Derby Queen Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Belvedere, owned by Ellen Herrington, from their winning Derby streak.

This was the second consecutive Derby win for Belvedere at the Gulf Coast Classic.  Courtney Calcagnini of Lantana, Texas rode Blue Moon, owned by Anne Hormel to a second place finish while Maria Rasmussen of Milwaukee, Wisconsin rode Use the Ring LLC's Castlewellan to the yellow ribbon.  Fourth place honors went to Carino, owned by Linda Viens and ridden by Christian Rogge of Spring, Texas while fifth was awarded to Priority, owned by Eileen Fontaine and ridden by Belynda Bond of Pilot Point, Texas.  Six place went to Blue Grass, owned by Ruth Hawk and ridden by Jazz Hawk of Houston, Texas and seventh was awarded to Happenstance, owned and ridden by Lauren Takata of Athens, Texas.  Eighth place was awarded to Caves Farm LLC's Outsider, ridden by Katie Cooper of Owings Hill, Maryland and ninth place went to State Hill, owned by Joan Violin and ridden by David Wright of Murfresboro, Tennessee.  Tenth position went to Kim Segal's Iceberg, ridden by Jordan Siegel of Flower Mound, Texas and eleventh place went to Barbara Risius' Longstreet, ridden by Sarah Young of Belleville, Illinois.  Sally Carrera, owned and ridden by David Wright rounded out the class in twelfth place.

No Worries and Devin Ryan snag Friday's Welcome Cash

Friday afternoon it was the jumpers' turn to celebrate TGIF in Gulfport when twenty eight took to the course designed by legendary designer Steve Stephens.  But it was CWD sponsored rider Devin Ryan of Long Valley, New Jersey riding
No Worries owned by Barbara Rowland, who took the win in Friday's $10,000 Open Welcome Classic.  

Stephens is considered to be the world's most accomplished course designer as a USEF R licensed hunter course designer, 4* FEI course designer, R jumper course designer, judge and the show jumping course designer for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  "I designed this course pretty straightforward. There are a lot of competitors out there who are trying it out and taking it for a spin. This is a good opportunity to get a sense of what I'll be designing for Sunday," said "I have been designing here for a few years. I designed the course last year and this year and --wow, What a difference.  This field is unbelievable. I thought it was Week One when I got here it's so green and it's already Week Four.  NO where have I seen one in this sort of shape.   It has held up unbelievably well," commented Stephens on the new grass grand prix field.

The field continued to hold up under many thundering hooves under sunny skies, but only seven went clean.  The first to go clean was the fifth to go,Carrington, owned by Helen Gilbert and ridden by Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri in a clear first round effort in 80.888 seconds.  They accumulated eight jump faults in a time of 49.689 seconds in their second round which would finish them in seventh place overall.  Devin Ryan rode his second mount, Zosja, owned by Eagle Valley Partners, LLC to the second clear round of the class in a time of 75.499 seconds. But with four faults in his second round and a time of 43.241 seconds, the pair would finish in fourth.  The next clear round to go was not until the thirteenth pair entered the ring. Eduard Braun of Bend, Oregon and his own H.J. El  Magnifico went clean in a time of 81.297 seconds and set the second round time to beat at 42.063 seconds which would eventually land them in second place.  Next to go was Christian Rogge of Spring, Texas aboard his own Lissa TSP who looked to challenge Braun, going clean in a first round time of 78.413 seconds. But with four faults in his second round and a time of 44.044 seconds, would settle for fifth place overall. Wilhelm Genn of Lebanon, Ohio, riding his own Cookie Monster was the next to go clean in a time of 80.942 seconds. The pair would accumulate eight jumping faults in a time of 47.232 seconds in their second round which would land them in sixth place overall.  The next clean round came right after Genn, this time as Lillie Ross of Wheaton, Illinois rode Pako , owned by Allison Ross to a clean first round time in 79.172 seconds.  Despite a clean second round effort, their time of 46.691 seconds would not beat out Braun and Magnifico's time and would land them in third place overall.  Ryan and No Worries were the last clean round of the class and the second to last competitor to take the field. After going clean in a first round time of 76.167 seconds, the pair would beat Braun's second round time by about a second in 41.271 seconds and secure the win.
Bon Giorno owned by Showcase 81, LLC and ridden by Bryn Sadler of Santa Fe, New Mexico would finish in eighth place in a first round time of 76.846 seconds and four faults.  Ninth place was awarded to Zine Dine, owned and ridden by Hailey Henderson of Lafayette, Louisiana in a first round time of 77.662 seconds and four faults and Vorione Fortuna, owned by Marieke Slik and ridden by Trapp O'Neal of Magnolia, Texas finished in tenth place with a first round time of 77.665 seconds and four jump faults.

"I think Sunday might be a hole bigger," said Stephens.  "We'll see some 5' fences and everything will be pretty square.  I would like to see about five or six go clean this Sunday-that's what they did last Sunday so I'd like to continue that," he added.