The Junior riders stole the show in tonight’s $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby. With twenty eight entries vying for the win in the class and many among them Professionals, taking the blue was no easy feat. However, seventeen year old Josephine Rose made winning seem like a piece of cake aboard her nine year old Holsteiner gelding, Cassino (Cassiano x Marlen I). The stylish pair earned the highest score in both the first round and the handy round of the Derby, proving themselves unbeatable tonight. Cassino’s grooms, Gillian Fent-Baker and Morgan Leja, were awarded tonight’s Groom’s Award, which included $100 cash and a $50 WEC Gift Certificate, for the gelding’s stunning turnout.
The course for tonight’s $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby was designed by Keith Bollotte, a course designer with more than thirty years of experience in the industry. The course began over a vertical option on the diagonal heading up the ring, then asked entries to jump a second vertical option heading down the opposite diagonal, which bent to an oxer. The course then asked entries to negotiate a four stride birch line on the rail, then head back over the first vertical option, this time aiming down the ring, and bending to an oxer. To finish, the course asked entries to canter up the opposite diagonal over the second vertical option, this time heading up the ring, then jump a two stride stone line on the rail heading home.
Near the top of the order of go was Josephine Rose aboard Joey Rose LLC’s Cassino (Cassiano x Marlen I). The pair have been sweeping the Junior Hunters this Winter, taking countless top placings in 2019 both at World Equestrian Center and at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida. Rose and Cassino strode into the ring this evening with an air of confidence, fully aware of their ability to deliver a top round. Rose piloted Cassino through the first round with the precision of a seasoned professional while the lovely grey gelding redefined the term “knees to nose” at every fence. The pair took all four high options, earning an impressive score of 90 in the first round.
Rose was not the only Junior to lay down a fantastic first trip in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Last to go, Lilly Anthes entered the arena aboard Kimberlee Beeson’s In The Light (Papparazzo x Lulani). The pair have been collecting top placings in the Large Junior Hunters throughout the Winter Series of the Midwest. Like Rose, Anthes piloted In The Light with professional-like skill, taking all four high options and earning a score of 84 in the first round.
The ring was refreshed as the top twelve horse and rider pair prepared to return for the handy round. The course for the handy round began over a vertical option on the diagonal, then asked entries to round the top of the ring to jump the second vertical option on the diagonal that bent to an oxer. From there, the course asked entries to trot a natural fence heading up the ring, then bend across the center to jump the second vertical option again in the opposite direction. The course then led entries down the first vertical option, then asked for a roll back to a birch oxer heading up the rail. To finish, entries were asked to hand gallop to the final fence, an oxer near the end of the ring heading home.
Rose and Anthes were the final two entries to return in the handy round, having scored the two highest scores of the first round. First of the two to return was Anthes aboard In The Light. The pair took to the course with the same style from the first round, taking all four high options and an inside turn to the final fence. Anthes and In The Light earned a score of 85 in the second round, bringing their two round total to 169, the highest score in the Derby thus far.
Rose was last to return aboard Cassino. The pair rode a second impressive course, maintaining their accuracy and finesse from the first round. Rose and Casino took all four high options, and also chose the inside track to the final fence. The pair earned an 89 in the second round, bringing their two round total to 179 and taking first place by an astounding ten points.
After the awards ceremony Josephine Rose of Springboro, Ohio stopped to grab a few photos with second place finisher Lilly Anthes and to chat with us about her ride in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby. “Originally we were just doing the Derby for practice,” explained Rose, “But we went in there and it went really well. I actually kind of liked my second round better, but the first round was really good, too. I was really happy with Cassino. He couldn’t have been any better. This is only our second time back at World Equestrian Center since we were down at WEF, and we did a Derby there. I dabble in the Derbies for fun, so this is only my third Derby on him. He was so good.”
When asked about her horse, Rose replied, “Cassino is pretty young; he’s only nine. I’ve had him for about two years; it will be two years in April. He is perfect. He will do anything for you. He’s the first horse I’ve had, before him I just rode ponies, and he’s the best first horse anyone could ask for. I’ve moved up from the 2’6″ to the 3’6″ in under a year on him. Currently, I do him in the Junior Hunters. I’ve done Indoors on him too. He’s awesome.” When asked about her future plans with Cassino, Rose said, “In the future, I would love to continue to do the Junior Hunters on him and maybe do some Derbies. Maybe, eventually, we could go to Derby Finals. I’m not really going for Derby Finals but, if it happens, that’d be a lot of fun!”
Rose also added a personal note, “I’d like to thank everyone from my barn, especially my trainer Jennifer Edwards!”
Watch Josephine Rose and Cassino’s winning round courtesy of ShowNet
$2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby Results
- Cassino, Josephine Rose – 90 | 89 | 179
- In The Light, Lilly Anthes – 84 | 85 | 169
- Chemistry, Stephanie Portman – 83 | 84 | 167
- Craftsman, Reynolds Martin – 76 | 88 | 164
- Poetic, Ryan Sassmannshausen – 77 | 86 | 163
- Capital, Alyssa Simin – 82 | 79 | 161
- Rhythmico, Reghan Wiskochil – 80.5 | 77 | 157.5
- Ideal Image, Maggie Bresch – 80 | 74 | 154
- Bonfire, Emily Schlosberg – 74.5 | 71 | 145.5
- Memorable, Aly Senatore – 75 | 69 | 144