Ocala, FL – A large field of stunning hunters gathered at the CaptiveOne Advisors Arena today for the final Hunter Derby Friday of the 2022 USEF Summer Series at World Equestrian Center – Ocala. Doug Russell carefully crafted the courses that featured an abundance of spectacular natural obstacles. All three derbies saw new pairings take this week’s victory gallops.
The $12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby included a full list of top notch hunter competitors vying for the top prize, but it was Josh Dolan and Belle Rolfe’s Ipanema (Verdi x Alliance) that earned the highest overall scores.
Dolan was familiar with the course, “The course rode really well. I was able to ride the lines in the smaller derby earlier today, so I had a nice feel for it. There were a few more interesting jumps, like the hay bale with the copper topped standards. It was perfect for the last derby.”
Dolan and Ipanema were the first pair on course, delivering an effortless round for the class’s highest first round score of 86.
The pair were the last to return for the handy, “I tried to hold it together because we have been knocking on the door. Kris Killam had a nice score, so I knew I was going to have to take a few risks, but not do anything too crazy,” laughed Dolan.
“I was able to do the inside turn to the double. There was a more patient option out of the turn, but it was a handy, so I went for the forward option, and it was perfect. Then, he jumped the next oxer so big I was worried he was going to try and rush the trot fence, but he melted and stayed so patient. He was so great over the trot fence, I was able to relax and do the nine to the last one.”
Dolan and Ipanema received a handy score of 89 for a two-round total of 175 for the blue ribbon.
$12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby Results:
1 Ipanema, Josh Dolan, Belle Rolfe: 86 | 89 | 175
2 Golden Opportunity, Kris Killam, Helene Jones: 84 | 90 | 174
3 Beorn, Ashley Hotz, Southpointe Farm, LLC: 82 | 88 | 170
4 Collins, Lauren Schweppe, James York: 76 | 90 | 166
5 Calvin Z, Trevor Ritter, Trevor Ritter: 75 | 80 | 155
6 High Renaissance, Elizabeth Blaisdell, Della Equestrian: 77 | 72 | 149
7 Starfighter, Taylor Ann Adams, Donald Stewart: 48 | 86 | 134
8 Anthemis Z, Josh Dolan, Jordan Lubow: 47 | 79 | 126
9 I.M. Gold, Bailey Benner, Benner Family Farm: 61 | 63 | 124
Harold Chopping & Light My Fire MD Are On Fire in the $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Open Hunter Derby
A competitive field of 20 horse-and-rider pairings competed for the lion’s share of the prize money over Doug Russel’s flowing first round track. Harold Chopping and Alexis Niepert’s Light My Fire MD (Dallas VDL x Red Flame) caught the judges eye and received two scores in the high 80s for the triumph.
Chopping and the six-year-old KWPN gelding found a lovely first round, jumping all three high options with ease to earn a first round score of 86.
Chopping spoke about the talented gelding, “He’s a wonderful six-year-old that was recently imported from Belgium. He’s been showing here for the past three weeks and has been in the ribbons each time. He was fifth or sixth the first week, second last week and won this week. He’s very consistent. His best trait is that he doesn’t make mistakes. He just goes in and is more impressive each time.”
Chopping and Light My Fire MD returned for the handy, “He’s a big mover that never gets quick during a challenge. He just slows down and jumps higher, so I was able to take a short approach to the two stride and press my way through for a nice curve. Then I tried to stay on the tidy track back to the next oxer and he was great over the trot jump. He never seems to panic or tense up at a challenge which is remarkable for his age.”
Chopping and Light My Fire MD found a score of 88 for an overall 174.
$10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Open Hunter Derby Results:
1 Light My Fire MD, Harold Chopping, Alexis Niepert: 86 | 88 | 174
2 Best Of Me, Stephanie Frey, Ashley Wallace: 87 | 86 | 173
3 Carsten S, Jennifer Tate, Barbara Kravetz: 84 | 85 | 169
4 Simply Irresistible, Meredith Gallagher, Ashley Wilson: 80 | 86 | 166
5 Icytonic, Stacey Reser, Sinead Maynard: 69 | 84 | 153
6 Casa Quo Vadis, Lauren Barth, Janet Dannanhoffer: 71 | 75 | 146
7 King Conan, Lauren Barth, Lauren Barth: 73 | 63 | 136
8 Caspian, Lauren Patterson, Stefanie Collier: 80 | 53 | 133
9 Junanda, Stacey Reser, Stacey Reser: 67 | 65 | 132
10 Nanu, Ilan Halpern, Kayla Macisaac: 78 | 48 | 126
Catalina Peralta & PS Call Me Top the $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby
Twenty-four horse-and-rider combinations competed in the $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby, but it was Catalina Peralta and Wendy Peralta’s PS Call ME (Casall x Charleen) that secured the win.
Peralta and the eight-year-old Holsteiner mare were the first pair in to attempt Doug Russell’s open tracks. The pair delivered a gorgeous round to earn the class’s highest first round score of 91.
“We have had PS Call Me since she was a foal. We bred her when she was young and now we have one of her babies. Tina [PS Call Me] is an incredible mare. This is actually her first derby ever, so she is already off to a great start.”
Peralta and PS Call Me returned for the handy, “I don’t show in the hunters that often. I am primarily found in the jumper ring, so my goal was to have a consistent pace. I tried to not get too twisty with the inside turns, and most importantly, just have fun.”
The stylish pair rolled around the handy track to earn another score of 91 for a two-round total of 182.
Peralta spoke about the lovely mare, “She has been great. She’s proudly offered for sale now, but until she sells, we are going to keep developing and progressing, but I think she has a great future ahead of her.”
$10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby Results:
1 PS Call Me, Catalina Peralta, Wendy Peralta: 91 | 91 | 182
2 Waterfall Z, Luke Sassi, Laurie Hillburg: 88 | 87.5 | 175.5
3 MTM Entitled, Paige Jones, Olivia Brown: 85 | 90 | 175
4 Killian’s Gold, Sarah Tight, Sarah Tight: 81 | 88 | 169
5 Atlantus Blue, Ella Bostwick, Christine Bostwick: 78 | 86 | 164
6 Oliver, Madison Berger, Berger Equine, LLC: 79 | 82 | 161
7 Twain, Mary Beth McGee, Mary Bancroft: 78 | 81 | 159
8 Play Maker, Stephanie King, Stephanie King: 80 | 77 | 157
9 Mister Fahrenheit, Anna Ermlich, Anna Ermlich: 73 | 78 | 151
10 Charlotte Co, Kimberly Little, Kimberly Little: 75 | 75 | 150