Ocala, FL – A field of elegant hunters gathered at the CaptiveOne Advisors Arena 1 for the second Hunter Derby Friday of the 2023 Ocala Summer Series. Good things come to those who wait proved true for athletes in the $12,500 Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby, where the final derby of the day saw the highest scores of the day, and where Josh Dolan and Meg Robinson’s Something Blue (Carambole x Special BP) earned their first career derby win together.
Third on course, Dolan and the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding impressed the judges with their brilliant style for a first-round score of 92.
Dolan spoke highly of his stunning mount, “This is his first derby win! This is actually only his third or fourth derby. We got him on the first of the year. He had only done the Low Adult Hunters and he taught his former owner how to ride. When we tried him, we knew he had it in him, he gives you an amazing feeling. Derby Finals is my goal. He should walk in the ring and always shine, he is all of the quality.”
Although only together for a short time, the duo have developed a trusting partnership that stands out in the ring. “It took him a long time to believe in me. He had to learn that when I asked him to do something, I was asking for the right thing. He has really learned to trust me now and we have really turned a corner,” said Dolan.
Returning as the final to contest the handy track, Dolan perfected his plan, allowing the scopey gelding to jump in spectacular form for a second-round score of 87.
“He jumped so well in the first round. I have been really trying to work on a forward canter because he is so good at going slow that we have been working on a lot of lengthening and shortening on the flat. He is naturally so careful that you never really have to worry about holding him off the jumps. The more you challenge him, the higher he jumps.”
With a two round total of 179, and the highest overall score of the day, the pair galloped home decorated in blue.
Dolan shared his winning strategy, “My plan was to try and be in the middle of the road in the handy. I had a comfortable lead and because he is so green with the handiness; I didn’t want to go too crazy. I was surprised that he was a little bit casual to the first jump because he was flying in the schooling ring. I went through the gap to the small option so that I could make the inside turn after to practice because he doesn’t quite know how to do that yet, so I thought to play it safe. Everywhere else he was so good. I just wanted to make sure after the double that he landed left so I could get there, and balance and he really jumped amazing.”
$12,500 Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby Results:
1 Something Blue, Josh Dolan, Meg Robinson: 92 | 87 | 179
2 Chacco Ricco, Erika Moore, Noble Steeds LLC: 85 | 93 | 178
3 Cocorrado, Luke Sassi, Luke Sassi: 84.5 | 90 | 174.5
4 Ruby Tuesday, Hunter Holloway, Hays Investment Corp.: 86 | 84 | 170
5 High Renaissance, Elizabeth Blaisdell, Della Equestrian: 82 | 78 | 160
6 Lord Cornet, Jodie Camberg, Jodie Camberg: 79 | 77 | 156
7 Cicero 117, Mickie Sage, Sigma Stables LLC: 78 | 74.5 | 152.5
8 FRF Marquis, Jake Evans, Elizabeth Barnes: 74 | 78 | 152
9 Hollywood Erika Moore, Moore Acres, LLC: 64 | 87 | 151
10 Calvin Z, Trevor Ritter, Trevor Ritter: 48 | 82 | 130
Jenny Miller & Finn’s Pride Conquer the $10,000 UF Veterinary Hospital USHJA 3’ Open Hunter Derby
The $10,000 UF Veterinary Hospital USHJA National 3’ Open Hunter Derby welcomed a stunning field of 18 horse-and-rider combinations to compete over Tucker Williams’ (USA) flowing tracks. Jenny Miller piloted Nelle Dressler’s Finn’s Pride (Querly-Elvis x Beasanette) to two exceptional scores and the blue ribbon.
Miller rode all three of her mounts to solid scores in the first round, but earned her highest, an 88, with Finn’s Pride.
Miller spoke about the skilled 13-year-old KWPN mare, “She’s a really cool horse. She is owned by an Adult Amateur that trains with me. Her owner does some traveling in the summer, so I get the opportunity to show her in the derbies.”
With three chances in the handy, Miller took a few risks on her first two mounts, “The handy had some crazy turn options. I did the really hard turns on my first horse and made a mistake. I tried to fix the mistake on my second horse, but it still wasn’t great. When I came back on Finn’s Pride, I just wanted to focus on being smooth. We had a rub at the one fence, so toward the end of the course I knew I had to take a little bit of a risk and do the hard inside turn to the last, and she was so smooth which I think got us the win.”
Miller piloted Finn’s Pride to a sublime handy track, earning a high score of 90 for a two-round total of 178.
$10,000 UF Veterinary Hospital USHJA National 3’ Open Hunter Derby Results:
1 Finn’s Pride, Jenny Miller, Nelle Dressler: 88 | 90 | 178
2 Wisely, Jordan Lubow, Opening Bell Sporthorses, LLC: 90 | 83 | 173
3 MTM Nonchalant, Crystal Young, Adelle Alletto: 88.5 | 82 | 170.5
4 Calrissian, Kyle Dewar, Stephanie Keen: 83 | 87 | 170
5 Anthemis Z, Jordan Lubow, Jordan Lubow: 79 | 84 | 163
6 Diara Blue, Isabela De Sousa, Sergent Stables, LLC: 81 | 76 | 157
7 GFS Mikado, Isabela De Sousa, Sergent Stables, LLC: 77 | 69 | 146
8 Hearts Forever, Nashea L. Powell, Reagan Conner: 80.5 | 59 |139.5
9 Pepita, Jessica Cross, Karen Kogon: 87.5 | 45 | 132.5
10 Tibri’s Alibi, Jenny Miller, Tibri LLC: 87 | 44 | 131
Isabel Harbour & Fitz Land the $10,000 USHJA National 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby Victory
Thirty-two aspiring junior and amateur athletes put forth their best efforts over a natural track built by Tucker Williams in the $10,000 USHJA National 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby. Isabel Harbour and IMH Equine, LLC’s Fitz hunted their way to the top securing two superior scores in the 90s.
Harbour and Fitz are no strangers to the winner circle, having earned numerous top finishes at World Equestrian Center – Ocala. “We have been coming to WEC since it opened, and I don’t show anywhere else. The only other shows that we are planning on this year are Indoors. It is so easy and beautiful here. They do such a great job, and I don’t know why I would want to show anywhere else!”
The competitive duo continued their successful streak today, receiving the highest first round score of 90 after the pair laid down an impeccable first round.
“I haven’t ridden since the last week of the winter circuit. Last week was our first week back,” said Harbour. “My horses have been down here with Terry Brown, and she has been keeping them fit. The whole Showcase team makes my life so much easier!”
The handy track suited Harbour and Fitz’s style perfectly, “I looked at the handy this morning. Agave was the first of my two to come back for the handy and he isn’t quite as handy yet. He is still getting accustomed to doing the hunter handy. I played out my turns with him and let it all go on Fitz. You just jump a jump and look one way and Fitz just knows how to turn. I pick up the canter and his ears go forward, and he is all business when it comes to that.”
Harbour and the seasoned 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding found each inside track with ease, seamlessly flowing through the turns for a score of 92 for an overall score of 182.
$10,000 USHJA National 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby Results:
1 Fitz, Isabel Harbour, IMH Equine, LLC: 90 | 92 | 182
2 Consanto, Lily Toensing, Lily Toensing: 89 | 90 | 178
3 Malbec, Ella Bostwick, Christine Bostwick: 87.5 | 88 | 175.5
4 Casino Royal, Eva Alcorn, Eva Alcorn: 89 | 84 | 173
5 C-Star, Mary McGee, Mary McGee: 82 | 86 | 168
6 Nuff Said, Madeline Rubin, Briar Field Farm, LLC: 85 | 82 | 167
7 Agave, Isabel Harbour, IMH Equine, LLC: 87.25 | 79 | 166.25
8 K&T Games of Thrones, Ella Bostwick, Christine Bostwick: 89.5 | 73 | 162.5
9 Ganesh M7, Faith Schuttemeyer, Malia Simpson: 81 | 78 | 159
10 Callisto, Angela Gais, Stormfront Stables, LLC: 83 | 64 | 147