Wellington, FL - March 4, 2018
-- Victoria Colvin and Private Practice may have been together for only two weeks, but they jumped around the course like a seasoned partnership, garnering a score of 407 points over the two phases of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, easily winning the feature event of the Deeridge Derby, part of the Palm Beach Masters series at Deeridge Farms, a spectacular world-class venue in Wellington, Florida.
Colvin and Private Practice, owned by Brad Wolf, scored a 194 in the first round of competition, the highest score given by Judges R. Scot Evans, Robert Crandall, Sissy Wickes and Linda Andrisani. They returned in the Handy round to repeat their stellar performance and they were awarded a score of 213 points, again the highest point total, to take the win.
|Katie Robinson with Hunter Derby winners Private Practice and Victoria Colvin. Kathy Russell Photography
"Private Practice is the perfect amount of careful," said Colvin. "I think he was pretty amazing here. I could not be happier with his performance today.
"He was a jumper before, but I thought he would be a good hunter. I think his background as a jumper has helped prepare him for a successful Derby career, especially today when you had to canter right from the in-gate to a big first fence. There is nothing I would change right now about his jump. All I would change is his bridlepath, it is at least a foot long!"
Red Ryder, owned by Tracy Freels and ridden by Hannah Isop, placed second. The pair scored a 182 in the first round and returned to score a 206 in the Handy round for a total score of 388 points.
"I loved Steve Stephens' course yesterday," said Isop. "It worked out really well for my horse. Today I was a little nervous about all the left turns, but my horse handled it great. He is a little guy with a big heart. He is just coming back from an injury; he has been off for two years and this is his first big class back so I am really happy."
Amy Momrow and Aeroplane, owned by Melissa Wright, finished in third with a total score of 380.5 points - 181.5 from the first round and 199 from the Handy round.
"The course today gave us a chance to showcase the great space of this field," said Momrow. "I want to thank Deeridge and the Jacobs family for putting on an event like this. To have the hunters showcased like this is wonderful."
|Chambery 25 and Jessie Smith. Kathy Russell Photography
In the Deeridge Jumper Ring, the action was ramped up as Jessie Smith and her Chambery 25, a 10-year-old gelding, decimated the competition in the $7,500 Turkish Airlines 1.30m Jump-off class. Twenty-two of the starting field of thirty horse and rider combinations went clear in the first round to advance to the jump-off. Smith and Chambery 25 were the fastest of the eleven pairs who turned in double clear rounds. They completed the shortened course in a blazing 35.876 seconds for the win.
"I bought him two years ago and it has been a long road," said Smith. "He was a little complicated when I got him, but he has turned into something easy which is really amazing. He has always been sweet and 100 percent honest. We were making a joke this morning about how he is not fast, and I think he must have heard me say that and decided to prove me wrong.
"This show is amazing for him. At a bigger venue he is overstimulated and nervous and it almost dulls him a little bit. But this is almost a little European. This is my first time here and I just wish I had been here for all of them. It is such an incredible show. It is so much fun. We don't get to show at a lot of places like this."
|Mustafa Kizilay and Pierina Lerida of Turkish Airlines and Burc Ceylan, Consul General of Turkey in Miami, present the award to Chambery 25 and Jessie Smith. Kathy Russell Photography
Catherine Kubiak swept the top two places in the $5,000 Akerman LLP 1.25m Jump-off class. She was victorious on Cantique D'Hyrencourt, owned by Over Fences Farm, with a winning time of 34.673 seconds. She placed second on Tauber Van Het Kapelhof, the horse on which she won Saturday's 1.20m class. They crossed the timers in the jump-off in 34.827 seconds.
"I just really tried to stay neat with my turns in the jump-off," said Kubiak. "Cantique D'Hyrencourt has a lot of blood and really wants to win while Tauber Van Het Kapelhof is my safe one. You always know you are going to be ok on him, but they both performed great. It is so beautiful here at Deeridge; it was a perfect chance to slow down and have some fun!"
The $2,500 1.15m Jump-off class was won by Kaskade ridden by Katy Wingerter. The jumped two rounds without penalty and finished the jump-off in a time of 31.418 seconds.
Grace Debney and Storyteller, owned by Temple Equestrian, took top honors in the $2,500 Pony Derby, sponsored by Little Brook Fam and Perfect Sky Ranch, with a two-round score of 128.0 points. Debney, 13, and her large pony, who is also 13, have been a partnership for only a year.
"I planned on having as smooth a round as possible," said Debney. "I think we did really well, especially since he had never been in this ring before. The two-stride was the best jump we had, we had so much fun jumping that. He is so sassy, and just likes to have fun, and jumping is what he thinks is fun so it is great. He is just a fun, weird, goofy pony."