Wilmington, Ohio – The R+L Arena saw a total of 57 brilliant horse-and-athlete combinations Friday evening for the hunter derbies of Winter Classic #10. Scott Alder (USA) designed the elegant tracks that allowed riders to showcase the athleticism and natural talent of their mounts. Matthew Piccolo and Constellation (Cellestial) galloped away with top honors in the competitive $15,000 USHJA National Open 3’ Hunter Derby, besting a field of 21 challengers.
Alder’s first-round track challenged riders to establish a consistent rhythm early in the course with jumps one and two on short approaches. The field of horse-and-athlete combinations mastered the tracks, posting extraordinary scores in the high 80s and 90s throughout the class.
Piccolo (USA) of Arrow Hill Farm in Nashville, Tennessee, piloted Anna Schierholz’s Constellation to a flawless first round. The ten-year-old KWPN gelding instantly impressed the judges with his natural rhythm and scope. The duo jumped to a first round score of 91, returning for the handy sitting in fourth place.
Piccolo commented on his rounds in the prestigious class, “It was a super fun course. I don’t know this horse very well. This is only my third time showing him, but I have watched Anna [Schierholz] show him for years. She told me to just go in and trust him, so my plan was to stay out of his way. I tried to make the inside turns brave, but also as smooth as I possibly could. Even though he is a new horse to me, I just tried to ride him like he is an old friend.”
“He is very near and dear to my heart. We bought him out of Europe when he was a four-year-old and he just turned ten this year. I have done him through the Baby Green Hunters all the way up to the 3’6”. He is a total ham and has a huge personality, the derbies are his favorite classes by far,” owner Anna Schierholz of Clouds End Farm spoke about Constellation.
The duo came back in top form and saw no challenge in the handy options that the track had to offer. Their second-round performance left the crowd in silence and earned a score of 94. With a two-round total of 185, they galloped away with the blue ribbon and a grand applause from their team behind the scenes.
$15,000 USHJA National Open 3’ Hunter Derby
1 Constellation, Matthew Piccolo, Anna Schierholz | 91 | 94 | 185
2 Copa Du Cache, Kathleen Caya, Colleen Nagy White | 94 | 90.5 | 184.5
3 California, Ainsley Vince, Victoria McDonald | 93 | 91 | 184
4 Esperanza, Jennifer Schwartz, Haley Maher | 87 | 93 | 180
5 Dalliance, Michaella Gerlacher, Charlotte Kunes | 92 | 87.5 | 179.5
6 D’esparges, Sarah Robertson, Grace Weber | 89 | 89 | 178
7 Eurythmix, Kathleen Caya, Susan Winchester | 88 | 87 | 175
8 Good Vibes, Sarah Long, Allison Secord | 86 | 88 | 174
9 Cinda, Melissa Donnelly, Elizabeth Becker | 86 | 86 | 172
10 Benji, Devin Milan, Cynthia Chaconas | 85 | 84 | 169
Katelyn Jasky & Conrad Top the $15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro 3’ Hunter Derby
Early in the evening, the $15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro 3’ Hunter welcomed 36 polished duos to set the tone for the week’s featured hunter competition. In the end, it was Katelyn Jasky (USA) and Conrad (Contender x Waccola) that emerged with an impressive win.
Aboard the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Jasky glided around the first-round track with ease and impressed the judges with their classic style for a score of 90.
Jasky shared on her winning mount, “I have had Conrad for a few years now. We have been through a lot together and we have done Junior Hunter Finals twice. He has been the greatest companion. My sister owned him before I did, and she really got him to where I needed to be with Sarah’s [Roberston] help to get him where he is today.”
Competition was fierce through the entirety of the class. Jasky, training out of Ascend Equestrian in Oakland Township, Michigan, rose to the challenge as the second to last to return for the handy.
The duo needed to impress, maximizing every effort that the track offered to top the class. Making light work of the inside turns and high options, the pair earned a second-round score of 84 for a two-round total of 174, and the win.
$15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro 3’ Hunter Derby Results:
1 Conrad, Katelyn Jasky, Leah Jasky | 90 | 84 | 174
2 Show Me, Madeline Brooks, Madeline Brooks | 83.5 | 90 | 173.5
3 Express De B’Neville, Anona Svenkesen, Anona Svenkesen | 92 | 81 | 173
4 Caurso Des Flagues, Stephanie Maahs, Stephanie Maahs | 84 | 88 | 172
5 Co-Pilot, Katie Finley, Katie Finley | 82.5 | 88 | 170.5
6 Clayton 35, Sarah Steele, Sarah Steele | 86 | 78 | 164
7 MTM Amour, Ellie Bennett, Ellie Bennett | 81.5 | 82 | 163.5
8 Solitude, Sophia Tabasso, Sophia Tabasso | 88 | 64 | 152
9 Red Roc, Kiera Phlipot, Kiera Phlipot | 87 | 49 | 136
10 Sir Poldi, Emma Williams, Emma Williams | 81.75 | 44 | 125.75