Hunter Derby action took over the R+L Arena this afternoon and into the evening for three classes, more than ninety entries and $80,000 in prize money. The afternoon began with the Open $20,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, then the Non Pro $20,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, then culminated with the $40,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.
$40,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
The $40,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby saw nineteen stunning hunters vying for top honors over a course designed by Tucker Williams of Ocala, Florida that invited a long galloping stride, with fence heights set at 3’6″-4′ with several 4’3″ high options. Stiff competition filled the class including four stunning mounts ridden by Kelley Farmer that all placed in the top ten, but it was Greg Crolick and Renaud Farm, LLC’s Corallo Z that ultimately earned the top spot.
Farmer set the tone early on in the class with a pair of 92 scores aboard Larry Glefke’s As Quoted (Zambesi TN x Bybalia SMH). The pair took second place in last week’s Open $20,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at World Equestrian Center, in preparation for tonight’s International Derby. The pair navigated the course to a chorus of “wows” from the crowd as the six year old Dutch Warmblood gelding soared feet above the 4’3″ options. The pair earned a total first round score of 184, signaling that they would be tough to beat.
While the pair held the highest first round score, they were trailed closely by Greg Crolick aboard Renaud Farm, LLC’s Corallo Z. Crolick and the ten year old Warmblood gelding compete regularly in the High Performance Hunters, and have taken top ribbons at shows like Devon and Wellington in 2019. This evening, the handsome gray Corallo Z showed off his scopey athleticism, taking the high options with ease for a pair of 88 scores, bringing their first round total to 176.
Next, Farmer piloted Aizlynn Radwanski’s Closing Statement (Mr. Blue x Ursula) to another top score. The pair often compete in the Conformation Hunters, typically earning tricolors for their efforts. Tonight, Farmer and the seven year old Warmblood gelding garnered scores of 87.5 and 89 in the first round, totaling 176.5.
The course was reset and the top twelve entries returned for the handy round. Crolick returned near the bottom of the order aboard Corallo Z, riding a foot-perfect round with inside turns to the second, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth fence. The pair earned a total second round score of 193 with handy bonus points and high options added in for a two round total of 369, moving themselves to the top of the scoreboard. Farmer was next to return aboard Closing Statement. The pair also chose the inside track where available for a second round score of 185, bringing their two round total to 361.5, positioning them just behind Crolick and Corallo Z. Last to return was Farmer and As Quoted. Farmer mirrored her previous inside track while As Quoted sailed stylishly over each fence with room to spare. The pair earned a total second round score of 180 for a two round total of 364, moving them into second place between Corallo Z and Closing Statement.
We caught up with Crollick ringside to chat about his rides this afternoon, “Corallo Z was amazing, it’s been a great week for him, he was also Champion High Performance. He’s very brave and honest. His nickname is Grandpa back at the barn, even though he’s only 10 years old. He just has a really sweet personality. He’s an unassuming horse, but what an athlete he is. I’ve done a lot of High Performance all year and he’s also done 8 or 9 Derbies. He was 3rd at Devon and 3rd at Country Heir and got ribbons in Wellington. He’s a really dependable.”
Crolick added, “What a great facility to come to. I’m glad we skipped out of all the indoors and came here instead. It’s a lovely place to show at. It was an inviting course and a fun course. The course was beautiful and I really appreciate how they made the ring bigger, it was very accommodating and it rode great. We’ll be back in December.”
$40,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Results
- Corallo Z, Greg Crolick – 176 | 193 | 369
- As Quoted, Kelley E. Farmer – 184 | 180 | 364
- Closing Statement, Kelley E. Farmer – 176.5 |185 | 361.5
- Candid, Kelley E. Farmer – 172.5 |182 |354.5
- Nandino, Samantha Cooper – 166 | 186.5 |352.5
- Virgo DC, Jennifer S. Jones – 166 |169 | 352
- Consent, Kelley E. Farmer – 167 | 184 | 351
- Cake, Greg J. Crolick – 159 | 177 | 336
- Vendome DH Z, Summer K. Hill – 147 | 187 | 334
- Cayman, Renee F. Lenkhart – 150 | 176 | 326
Open $20,000 National Hunter Derby
The Open $20,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby saw twenty three entries contest the 3′ course with 3’5″ options, but ultimately it was Melissa Donnelly and Laura Loveday’s Improv (Dr. Pepper x St. PR Lara) that took first place.
Donnelly and the nine year old Canadian Warmblood gelding rode near the top of the order. The pair took fourth place in the Open $20,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at World Equestrian Center in late September and were prepared to best their previous performance. Donnelly and Improv negotiated a lovely first round this afternoon for a score of 89.
Greg Crolick also had a fantastic ride in the Open $20,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby aboard Jon Cotton’s Winterfell. The pair ended the Summer with top placings in the Green Hunters at the Kentucky National Horse Show and took to the R+L Arena this afternoon with an air of confidence. Crolick and the seven year old KWPN gelding impressed the judges, earning a score of 84.5 in the first round.
Brady Mitchell also scored high into the eighties aboard Further Lane Farm’s Georgica (Conello x Wilma XIX). The pair compete regularly in the Green Hunters, often taking top placings. This afternoon, Mitchell and the six year old Holsteiner mare negotiated a stunning round, skipping the high options and still managing a score of 87.
The ring was refreshed and the top twelve returned for the handy round. Mitchell and Georgica returned near the end of the order, riding a second flawless round for a second score of 87, bringing their two round total to 174. Next to return was Crolick aboard Winterfell. The pair wowed the judges, earning a score of 88 and bringing their two round total to 174, moving them to the top of the scoreboard. Last to return was Donnelly and Improv. The pair chose all inside turns and high options, earning a score of 86 and bringing their two round total to 175 for the win in the class.
Donnelly stuck around after the awards presentation to chat with us, “For a young green horse it was a lovely course, just a beautiful track. It was a nice flowing track with a lot of options and a really inviting course for the horses to jump.”
Donnelly described the handsome gelding, giving us some insight into his background and personality. “He’s an 8 year old, we’ve had him for 8 months. It’s only his 10th Derby ever! He usually does the Adult Amateurs. He’s kind of an in your pocket, puppy dog. He wants to know that he’s pleasing you, that’s most important to him.”
Donnelly rides out of Dorothy Campbell’s Just a Folly Farm in Oxford, Michigan, and added “I have a wonderful group of horses and customers.”
This afternoon’s Grooms Award went to Juan Flores for Improv’s flawless turnout.
Open $20,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Results
- Improv, Melissa P. Donnelly – 89 | 86 | 175
- Georgica, Brady Mitchell – 87 | 87 | 174
- Winterfell, Greg Crolick – 84.5 | 88 | 172.5
- At Last, Jeff Gogul – 85.5 | 84 |169.5
- Braavos, Greg Crolick – 82.5 | 86 | 168.5
- Story Teller, Sean M. Jobin – 85 | 83 | 168
- Caemlyn Z, Havens Schatt – 78 | 88 | 166
- Lavish, David Q. Beisel – 79 | 80 | 159
- Central Park, Mary G. Eufemia – 82 | 76 | 158
- Incognito V, Jennifer S. Jones – 83 | 74.5 | 157.5
Non Pro $20,000 National Hunter Derby
The Non Pro $20,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby saw forty eight entries this afternoon, but it was Christopher Coberley of Fox Meadow Farm and No Introduction that earned the win for the second week in a row.
Coberley and No Introduction rode near the bottom of the order this afternoon. Fresh off of last week’s win in the Non Pro $20,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at World Equestrian Center, the pair were prepared to give their all again today. Coberley and the eleven year old Warmblood gelding delivered a brilliant performance, taking advantage of the room to gallop that the course afforded and taking the high options with ease for a score of 90.
Next in the ring were last year’s National Hunter Derby Series Junior Leading Rider Award winners Jordan Toering and Rick Toering’s Premonition BHF (Pablo x SPS Galaxis). The pair just returned from the Pennsylvania National Horse Show where they took top placings in Junior 3’6″ classes. This afternoon, Toering and the thirteen year old Hanoverian mare were flawless, earning a score of 89.5 in the first round.
One of the last to go in the first round were Ellen Toon and J T Farm’s Playmaker (Cassini 1 x Gipsy Lady 11). The pair just returned from Capital Challenge where they took top placings in the Adult Amateur Hunters. This afternoon, Toon and the nine year old Holsteiner gelding earned an impressive first round score of 92.
The top twelve entries returned for the handy round with Toering and Premonition BHF riding near the bottom of the order. The pair took all available inside turns and all four high options for a score of 88, bringing their two round total to 177.5. Next to return was Coberly and No Introduction. The pair rode a second foot-perfect round, earning a score of 91 for a two round total of 181. Last to return was Toon and Playmaker. The pair negotiated a second fantastic round, earning a score of 84 for a two round total of 176, moving into third place and leaving Coberley in first place and Toon in second.
Coberly, 17, was ecstatic about his rides. “I thought that he did everything that I asked again and I found pretty much every distance that I wanted to. My strategy in the Handy round was pretty much what I did, taking all of the inside turns.”
“I won the Derby last week with him and then I was second in another Derby earlier in the year. I want to thank Larry (Glefke) and Kelley (Farmer).”
“We’re very appreciative to come and show at a place like this. It’s been a great five weeks,” said Polly Howard, Christopher’s trainer / Mom.
Non Pro $20,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Results
- No Introduction, Christopher Coberley – 90 | 91 | 181
- Premonition BHF, Jordan Toering – 89.5 | 88 | 177.5
- Playmaker, Ellen Toon – 92 | 84 | 176
- Herr Drosselmeyer, Anneliese Kolaska – 86 | 83 | 174
- Elliot, Alliy Moyer – 85 | 86 | 171
- Chamonix, Sydney L. Miller – 84.5 | 85 | 169.5
- Hero, Alliy Moyer – 87 | 78 | 169
- Favoriet, Izzy J. Beisel – 88 | 75 | 167
- The Boy Friend, Paige J. Beisel – 83 | 79 | 162
- The Great Gatsby, Haylee Moore – 81 | 76 | 157
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.