Ocala, FL – Another picturesque Florida day set the scene for Hunter Derby Friday at World Equestrian Center – Ocala. Nearly 60 horse-and-rider combinations gathered at Hunter 1 today to vie for the top prize in the $12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby, $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Open Hunter Derby and $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby. Tucker Williams created the stunning natural tracks that showcased three high options and handy courses that allowed athletes to show off their horse’s style and athleticism.
The $12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby saw an elite field of 13 stunning hunters, but it was Samantha Schaefer and Madeline Schaefer’s In The Know (Arkansas x Cavelle) that secured the highest overall score of the judges after two foot-by-foot perfect rounds.
In The Know is just returning to the show ring after a little vacation, “He deserved a nice break after Michigan in September. I decided to not take him to Indoors, anticipating a busy winter circuit here. So, we just stayed at home and kept him fit.”
“I showed him during the November show here where he was great in the first round, but then was a goon in the second round,” laughed Schaefer. “Spyder had a little too much fun in that handy, so this week I decided to do two warm-up classes which we never do, but it worked it out well. I think he just needed one round to shake it off.”
Schaefer and the 12-year-old Warmblood gelding navigated the course flawlessly in the first round, jumping all three high options with ease to secure the highest score of the day, a 93.
Schaefer has a plan for the handy, “Sometimes I go a little too crazy in the handy and I knew I had a bit of a lead, so I wanted to stay more conservative. I had every intention to go around to the final line, but I landed, and the turn showed up. I had a tiny rub, so I almost paid for it, but overall, he was fantastic.”
The pair floated around the handy track to earn a score of 89 for a two-round total of 182.
Schaefer spoke about her tried-and-true mount, “He’s amazing. I really can’t say anything about him because he is truly perfect,” expressed Schaefer. “He is dabbling in the equitation right now too. Olivia Sweetnam is here with us and the plan is for her to do the Premier Equitation Cup Championship during the winter, so I let her ride him to qualify for the class, and she is doing a great job.”
$12,500 WEC Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby Results:
1 In The Know, Samantha Schaefer, Madeline Schaefer: 93 | 89 | 182
2 MTM Lolah LOL, Dorothy Douglas, Abigail Davenport: 86 | 91 | 177
3 MTM Nabilli, Jenny Miller, Erica Prockow: 88 | 88 | 176
4 Self Care, Ilan Halpern, Mariah Durand: 85 | 79 | 164
5 Ice, Julie Curtin, RPW Show Horses, LLC: 67 | 86 | 153
6 Don’t Forget, Erica Quinn, Andrea Sandman: 68 | 80 | 148
7 Ziggy Stardust, Jake Evans, Opening Bell Sporthorses. LLC: 70 | 75 | 145
8 Small Kingdom, Jessica Vinthor, Chris Iwasaki & Liz Reilly: 76 | 66 | 142
9 Snowed In, Kristiina A. Claffee, Silver Springs Farm: 75 | 63 | 138
10 Churchhill Blue, Reagan Williams, RPW Show Horses, LLC: 73 | 53 | 126
Lauren Schweppe & Cataumet Top the $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Open Hunter Derby
Twenty talented horse-and-rider combinations competed for the blue ribbon in the $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Open Hunter Derby, but none could best Lauren Schweppe and Cynthia Boudreau’s Cataumet (Cabachon x Gaya).
Schweppe and the ten-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding produced a smooth first round to earn a score of 86 from the judges.
Schweppe spoke about the gorgeous gelding, “He’s very special. He is my client’s Adult Hunter. She purchased him from Europe last year to bring along. She shows him in the 2’6” Hunters and I get to play in the derbies. He’s wonderful for both jobs.”
The pair returned for the handy, “He thrives in the handy. He does much better when he has less time to anticipate the jump and he still has his jumper roots, so he likes the turns,” laughed Schweppe.
The pair navigated a seamless handy track while jumping all three high options for a score of 88 for an overall score of 174.
Schweppe is excited for Cataumet’s future, “He’s such a great horse. He has a spectacular jump and he’s very careful. He’s been so great. We are going to try the First Years next week. Hopefully soon, he will move up to the 3′ Hunters with his mom.”
$10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Open Hunter Derby Results:
1 Cataumet, Lauren Schweppe, Cynthia Boudreau: 86 | 88 | 174
2 Aladdin, Jenny Miller, Jenny Miller: 84 | 87 | 171
3 Finn’s Pride, Jenny Miller, Nelle Dressler: 85 | 85.5 | 170.5
4 Pepita, Jessica Cross, Karen Kogon: 81 | 86 | 167
5 Carsten S, Jennifer Tate, Barbara Kravetz: 79 | 85 | 164
6 Moontide, Helen Goddard, Karen Rouff: 80.5 | 83 | 163.5 |
7 Clapton, Julie Curtin, RPW Show Horses LLC: 77 | 81 | 158
8 MTM Exceptional, Dorothy Douglas, Abigail Davenport: 87 | 70.5 | 157.5
9 McLaren, Michelle Moen, Amelia Gallagher: 80 | 77 | 157
10 Royal Balou, Jake Evans, Opening Bell Sporthorses, LLC: 83 | 68 | 151
Mary Beth McGee & C-Star Are Victorious in the $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby
A strong field of 24 competitors tried their hand at Tucker William’s open tracks in the $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby, but it was Mary Beth McGee who piloted her own C-Star to victory after delivering two consistent rounds.
McGee and the 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding secured a $10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby win this past summer during the 2022 Summer Series at World Equestrian Center – Ocala.
Today, McGee and C-Star added another victory to their roster. The pair yielded a smooth first round, jumping all three high options to earn the class’s highest first round score of 87.
The pair returned for the handy with determination. McGee and C-Star cantered around the track finding each obstacle right out of stride for a score of 85 and an overall score of 172 for the win.
$10,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby Results:
1 C-Star, Mary Beth McGee, Mary Beth McGee: 87 | 85 | 172
2 Mojito Z, Macie Sousa, Macie Sousa: 82 | 86 | 168
3 Prado, Katalena Prusso, Falcon Ridge Stables: 80 | 87 | 167
4 Balou Label, Molly Braswell, Molly Braswell: 83 | 81 | 164
5 Camelot, Katalena Prusso, Judy Kerr: 84 | 79 | 163
6 Viscolano, Katalena Prusso, Falcon Ridge Stables: 83.5 | 78 | 161.5
7 Fidonna, Shannon Kathleen Popp, Shannon Kathleen Popp: 86 | 73 | 159
8 Cedric, Lyndsey Keen, Stephanie Keen: 76 | 81 | 157
9 Kenobi, Gabriella Savettiere, Gabriella Savettiere: 77 | 75 | 152
10 Ps Copy That, Sara Setian, Sara Setian: 81 | 70 | 151