Wilmington, Ohio – The beautifully decorated R+L Arena set the scene for top hunter derby competition at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington Winter Classic 15. Robert Barton (USA) built the decorative courses for the stylish field of athletes, where Catherine Rinehart and Hero (Brainpower x Corini W) rose to the top of the Shoo-Fly $15,000 USHJA National Open 3’ Hunter Derby.
Rinehart, of Rinehart Farm in Westfield, Indiana, made her return to the winner’s circle in the R+L Arena aboard Luke Rinehart’s 11-year-old KWPN gelding. The duo made light work of Barton’s first-round track for a score of 86, putting them in second place for the handy phase.
“There were a lot of long bending lines. I thought the hay bail jump at the end of the arena was super pretty and very classic. I just wanted to make the handy as handy as possible. That is one of the great things about Hero. He is super handy and will always turn in the air. He is almost better that way, so the course suited him,” Rinehart commented on the track.
The pair made every inside turn available to them and demonstrated a brilliant hand gallop to the last single oxer to earn a 90, the highest score of the class.
A two-round total of 176 ultimately secured the win for Rinehart and Hero in the Shoo-Fly $15,000 USHJA National Open 3’ Hunter Derby.
Shoo-Fly $15,000 USHJA National Open 3’ Hunter Derby Results:
1 Hero, Catherine Rinehart, Luke Rinehart | 86 | 90 | 176
2 Victory Gold, Jennifer Schwartz, Jennifer Schwartz | 86 | 86 | 172
3 Benji, Devin Milan, Cynthia Chaconas | 82 | 89 | 171
4 RND Larrico, Richard Rinehart, Donald Stewart | 84 | 86 | 170
5 Troubador, William Dow, Suzanne Deuel | 80 | 88 | 168
6 Juan Colorado, Melissa Donnelly, Addison Mae King | 76 | 86 | 162
7 Esperanza, Jennifer Schwartz, Haley Maher | 72 | 87 | 159
8 Star Attraction, Courtney Morton, Courtney Morton | 74 | 73 | 147
9 Well Played, Natalie Geller, Fox Ridge Farm | 70 | 76 | 146
10 Shannaghmore, Holly Kalso, Elizabeth Blake | 73 | 72 | 145
Vanessa McCaughley & Capitol Hill are Victorious in the $15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro 3’ Hunter Derby at Winter Classic 15
Thirty-three elegant horse-and-athlete combinations kicked off hunter derby Friday of Winter Classic 15 in the R+L Arena with the $15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro 3’ Hunter Derby. Vanessa McCaughley (USA) held the lead through the entirety of the class with her own Capitol Hill, besting a competitive field of contenders over Barton’s tracks.
Recently coming off of a successful winter series in the sunshine state, the duo entered the grand hunter arena in top form for the distinguished class. The competitive junior rider piloted her own 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding to a foot-perfect first round for a leading score of 93.
McCaughley spoke on her partnership with Capitol Hill, “I have had Henry for two years now. We bought him originally as a sale horse but I ended up falling in love with him. We have had a lot of fun since then. This is my last junior year, so I will finish the year in the Junior Hunters with him and hopefully win a few more derbies!”
McCaughley, training with Diana Conlon out of Olive Hill Sporthorses in Lexington, Kentucky, returned for the handy looking to maintain her leading position. The duo mastered their plan and glided effortlessly through each turn to earn a second-round score of 88.
“I thought it was a really nice course. The handy was my favorite, I have never really done anything like that track. It had a lot of options so you could really cater to your horse and do what showed them off the most. The first round was pretty even and gave everyone a fair shot to show off their abilities.”
With an overall score of 181, the seasoned pair earned the win in the $15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro 3’ Hunter Derby.
McCaughley discussed her future riding goals, “I will continue to do Henry through the Amateur-Owner Hunters. I also have my jumper that I got over the summer who I just moved up to the 1.30m with today. It has been a really good day! I will hopefully move up to the High Junior Jumpers within the next year. I will bring my jumper with me to the University of South Carolina. I am super excited to ride there on the team.”
$15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro 3’ Hunter Derby Results:
1 Capitol Hill, Vanessa McCaughley, Vanessa McCaughley | 93 | 88 | 181
2 Solitude, Sophia Tabasso, Sophia Tabasso | 90 | 90 | 180
3 C Major, Amanda Wildauer, Amanda Wildauer | 89 | 87 | 176
4 Prosper, Caroline Smith, Caroline Smith | 82 | 88.5 | 170.5
5 Heaven’s Dream, Isabella Griffin, Isabella Griffin | 84 | 86 | 170
6 Diacasir, Isabella Griffin, Trefoil Farm LLC | 81 | 88 | 169
7 Rocky Rules, Maelyn Taule, Maelyn Taule | 76.5 | 84 | 160.5
8 Rock Star, Allison Pelzel, Katie Pelzel | 77.25 | 80 | 157.25
9 The Boy Friend, Izzy Beisel, Izzy Beisel | 80 | 77 | 157
10 Quillan, Ruby Darmanin, Ruby Darmanin | 78 | 60 | 138
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Results can be found at wec.net.
All horse show images are provided by Winslow Photography and can be purchased onsite at WEC – Wilmington or online through their website.