Wilmington, Ohio – The R+L Arena at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington played host to an impressive field of athletes for the final hunter derby Friday of the 2023 Winter in the Midwest Series. The $15,000 USHJA National Open 3’ Hunter Derby saw 17 seasoned pairs try their hand at course designer Bobby Murphy’s (USA) tracks, though none could best Melissa Donnelly and Corlando 49 (Cartani x Olanda I).
The veteran pair delivered an exemplary first round, earning a high score of 87 from the judges.
The duo returned for the handy phase sitting in second place, and planned to make every handy effort to top the leaderboard. The seasoned professional of Just A Folly Farm in Oxford, Michigan, rode Elizabeth Becker’s 17-year-old Holsteiner gelding to turns untried by the rest of the field for a score of 88.5.
“I was luckily able to save him for the end. I knew that if he was in the mood, I could make a direct line to one and have him follow me back to the inside turn to the trot jump. He was beautiful coming back to the in-and-out to the line. I got a nice, strong gallop to the hedge, and he held the good gallop down to the final oxer and I counted on his good brakes at the end,” Donnelly shared on her winning handy.
Donnelly and Corlando 49’s efforts earned a combined score of 175.5 which added one more $15,000 USHJA National Open 3’ Hunter Derby to their long list of wins.
$15,000 USHJA National Open 3’ Hunter Derby Results:
1 Corlando 49, Melissa Donnelly, Elizabeth Becker | 87 | 88.5 | 175.5
2 Callestino, Michaella Gerlacher, Frances Conti | 88 | 86.5 | 174.5
3 Legolas, Jessica Borton, Kim Tarnapoll | 85 | 89 | 174
4 Benji, Devin Milan, Cynthia Chaconas | 83 | 90 | 173
5 Dalliance, Michaella Gerlacher, Charlotte Kunes | 81 | 87 | 168
6 Fineas, Jessica Jurkowitz, Clover Hill Farm | 82 | 83 | 165
7 Cinda, Melissa Donnelly, Elizabeth Becker | 80 | 83 | 163
8 Juan Colorado, Melissa Donnelly, Addison Mae King | 72 | 86 | 158
9 Stakkatol 7, Liz Atkins, Anna Lisznianski | 74 | 83 | 157
10 Interesant, Hayley Stair, Candy Lane Acres | 77 | 78 | 155
Elizabeth Rinehart & Spotlight Prevail in the $15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro 3’ Hunter Derby at WEC Ohio Winter Classic 18
Early in the evening, a talented field of 36 horse-and-athlete combinations met in the R+L Arena for the $15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro 3’ Hunter Derby. In the end, it was Elizabeth Rinehart (USA) that rose to the challenge aboard Spotlight (Spartacus x Fly High) to take home the win.
Rinehart, of Rinehart Farm in Westfield, Indiana, jumped to perfection with her newest mount. The seasoned junior rider made light work of the first classic hunter round, impressing the judges for a score of 87.
“We just got him [Spotlight] a month ago and this is only my second week showing him. We haven’t known each other for long, but he has been really great. I want to keep doing the hunters and maybe do some of the equitation with him, and hopefully move up to the 3’6,” Rinehart commented on her new mount.
Returning in sitting in third place in the class, Rinehart navigated a foot-perfect handy phase. The 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding was in perfect form for a second-round score of 91 and a two round total of 178 for the win.
Rinehart spoke on Murphy’s tracks, “I really liked the courses today. I especially liked the handy track because there were a lot of opportunities to turn in it. I wanted to take as many inside turns as I could and still keep it smooth. Since I don’t know him as well yet, I really just wanted to get around and I didn’t have a lot of expectations!”
$15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro 3’ Hunter Results:
1 Spotlight, Elizabeth Rinehart, The Hagerty Family | 87 | 91 | 178
2 Green Book, Madison Olvert, Madison Olvert | 88 | 89 | 177
3 Chevito, Rachel Boggus, Lexi Maounis | 82.5 | 84 | 166.5
4 Opulence, Ava Matas, Ava Matas | 82.75 | 82 | 164.75
5 Dunbar, Jaime Beller, Jaime Beller | 81 | 82 | 163
6 RND Larrico, Elizabeth Rinehart, Donald Stewart | 88 | 72 | 160
7 Lincoln, Sarah Gould, Susan Mattox | 80 | 74 | 154
8 Co-Pilot, Katie Finley, Katie Finley | 84 | 59 | 143
9 Macauley RGS, Carolyn Meng, Amy Bailey | 83 | 49 | 132
10 The Funk Zone, Jillian Puthoff, Denya Fanelli | 81.5 | 50 | 131.5
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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.