Ocala, FL – The second Hunter Derby Friday of the 2023 November & December Show Series at World Equestrian Center – Ocala welcomed a strong field of impressive combinations. Doug Russell designed the tracks for three hunter derbies: $12,500 Golden Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby, $10,000 UF Veterinary Hospital 3’ Open Hunter Derby and $10,000 USHJA National 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby.
Samantha Schaefer is a force to be reckoned with at the 2023 November & December Show Series at World Equestrian Center – Ocala, earning her second consecutive $12,500 Golden Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby victory and taking home the win in Thursday’s Welcome Prix.
“So far, so good!” Schaefer returned with her tried-and-true partner In The Know (Arkansas x Cavelle) with the hopes of repeating their victory from last week.
“Spyder was very fresh this morning. I was a little late to get him in the ring. Kate [Conover] said I should hand walk him to see the strawbales jump. Luis came back in the barn and said, ‘I don’t think he’s quiet!’ And I said, ‘Uh oh!’ I thought he held it together, but you could definitely tell he was having a little more fun in there with the weather being a little cooler and breezy,” said Schaefer.
With a slight lead coming back to the handy, Schaefer wanted to have a nice smooth round. “Jordan Lubow had a great second round, so I just tried to stay calm knowing Spyder was a little frisky. I tried to find a track that would suit him, and I think it ended up being a good idea to stay out in a few places.”
A 91 from the judges, and a two-round total of 185 gave Schaefer another win to add to her impressive record.
Schaefer spoke about her partnership with the famous ‘Spyder’, “I’ve had him seven years. He’s 14 and he’ll be 15 next year. He was my sister’s equitation horse first, and I did him in some High Performance and International derbies. We got a horse for my sister that turned out to be more of a match for her to do the equitation on. I had just turned professional and didn’t have a horse to do the bigger classes on, so he filled that role for me to keep me in the ring and our career evolved from there.”
$12,500 Golden Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby Results:
1 In The Know, Samantha Schaefer, Madeline Schaefer: 94 | 91 | 185
2 Wisely, Jordan Lubow, Opening Bell Sporthorses, LLC: 90 | 92 | 182
3 Cliff Affair, Skylar Gurtis, Halley Barrett Sporthorses: 82 | 89 | 171
4 Billy Abraham, Rowan Willis, Seven Oak Sporthorses: 79 | 86 | 165
5 Mai Star, Megan Young, Jane Baysore: 81 | 82 | 163
6 MTM Lolah LOL, Dorothy Douglas, Abigail Davenport: 87 | 68 | 155
7 MTM Good Times, Erica Prockow, MTM Farm: 74 | 75 | 149
8 Chacco Ricco, Erika Moore, Noble Steeds LLC: 85 | 45 | 130
9 Radioland, Sara Sprague, Judith Sprague: 42 | 85 | 127
10 Hollywood, Erika Moore. Moore Acre, LLC: 76 | 49 | 125
Clair Kellner & Caligua Capture the $10,000 UF Veterinary Hospital USHJA National 3’ Open Hunter Derby Win
The $10,000 UF Veterinary Hospital USHJA National 3’ Open Hunter Derby saw 26 horse-and-rider combinations, but it was Caligua (Casall x La Corofina) owned by Suzanne Cayatte that stood out from the rest with Clair Kellner in the irons.
Kellner and the 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding yielded a superb performance in the first round for a score of 91.
“Doug always does a great job with the courses. The jumps here are always pretty and inviting. The handy was perfect because you had quite a few options to show off, but if you didn’t want to take the inside turn, you didn’t have to go to the ends of the earth to get there,” shared Kellner about the handy track.
When it came time to return for the second round, Kellner and Caligua were sitting second. Kellner was strategic with the seasoned gelding, opting to take just a few tight turns, but focusing on a nice smooth track to secure another high consistent score of 92 for an overall total of 183 for the win.
Kellner spoke about her longtime partnership with Caligua, “I’ve been riding him since he was four, and he’s now 11, so it’s been a long partnership. His mom has a house in Colorado and takes him there in the summer to vacation, so we are just getting back into the swing of things. He does the 3’ Adults with his owner and I do him in the 3’6” Performance. I usually do the bigger derby, but we figured we take a step down while we are working on his fitness, and it turned out pretty well today.”
$10,000 UF Veterinary Hospital USHJA National 3’ Open Hunter Derby Results:
1 Caligua, Clair Kellner, Suzanne Cayatte: 91 | 92 | 183
2 Zoe HC, Mickie Sage, Eqg LLC: 92 | 88 | 180
3 MTM Exceptional, Dorothy Douglas, Abigail Davenport: 84 | 95 | 179
4 True Balou, Isaac Leffkowitz, Redfield Farm: 90 | 86 | 176
5 Small Story, Kate Conover, Iwasaki & Reilly: 79.5 | 96 | 175.5
6 Inspiration, Clair Kellner, Mindy Carreja: 84.5 | 88 | 172.5
7 MTM Aztek, Jenny Miller, Kelly Desaye: 83 | 87.5 | 170.5
8 Emilio, Hannah Matts, Phyllis Harlow: 82 | 88 | 170
9 Acapulco, Ed Copeland, Wolfstone Stables & Sales, Inc: 86 | 83 | 169
10 Carsten S, Jennifer Tate, Barbara Kravetz: 80 | 86 | 166
Maggie King & Challenger Dominated the $10,000 USHJA National 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby
Twenty-five talented junior and amateur athletes put forth their best efforts in the $10,000 USHJA National 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby, but it was Maggie King and her new partner Challenger that captured the victory with an overall score of 173.
“We recently bought Challenger and this is actually my first show with him,” shared King about her new talented mount. Even with a fresh partnership, the pair made light work of the winding course, opting to jump all four high options for a score of 85.
King knew she had some points to make up in the handy to try and snag the first-place spot. King and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding floated around the track, taking tidy turns and finding each fence out of stride for a high score of 88 for a two-round total of 173 to take the victory.
“I’ve now been showing at WEC – Ocala for one year and I absolutely love the facilities! I’ll be here from now until the end of the winter circuit and it is great to have the continued opportunity to show at such a wonderful venue,” commented King.
$10,000 USHJA National 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby Results:
1 Challenger, Maggie King, Maggie King: 85 | 88 | 173
2 King VD Wellington, Madison Moore, Madison Moore: 86 | 86 | 172
3 Catori, Lilyana Spafford, Bella Clemente: 80 | 84 | 164
4 Blue Zone, Lily Rusis, Monica Hunt: 79.25 | 84 | 163.25
5 Khan of Ballmore, Mary McGee, Mary McGee: 79.5 | 78 | 157.5
6 Limitless, Stephanie King, Stephanie King: 79 | 78 | 157
7 Best of Me, Ashley Wallace, Ashley Wallace: 73 | 80.5 | 153.5
8 Classic Hit, Hannah Klinedinst, Equestrian Closet, LLC: 77 | 76 | 153
9 Set Sail, Lily Rusis, Lily Rusis: 75 | 68 | 143
10 Ivano S, Maggie King, Maggie King: 88 | 49 | 137
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