Wilmington, Ohio – Competition for Winter Classic #12 concluded at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington on Sunday, March 5. Sam Pegg (CAN) earned his second consecutive $30,000 Grand Prix Saturday evening while Jason Berry (USA) secured a double victory on Friday in the R+L in the $15,000 CWD USHJA National Open 3’ Hunter Derby.
Pegg of Ten Sixty Stables in Uxbridge, Ontario, conquered the technicality of Robert Barton’s first-round track with ease aboard the ten-year-old Hanoverian gelding Gin Tonic 158 (Graf Top x Sanjador), setting himself up for back-to-back grands prix wins of the 2023 Winter in the Midwest Series. With a jump-off time of 33.063 seconds, the duo took their second $30,000 Grand Prix win.
Pegg spoke on his new mount, “I have only ever had a rail in two or three classes since we’ve owned him, he has gone clear almost every time. I am quite fond of Gin Tonic. He’s got a lot of blood and a big personality, but he certainly knows the sport.”
Amy Krebs (USA) and her own Play To Win (Providence x SPS Calispera S) raced to the win in the $10,000 CWD Futures Prix. The 15-year-old junior rider of Fair Chance Farm bested the competition aboard her 12-year-old Warmblood gelding with a confident jump-off time of 32.543 seconds to take the win.
No stranger to the spotlight on hunter derby Friday, Berry of Jason Berry Stables in Verona, Virginia, prevailed in the prestigious $15,000 CWD USHJA National Open 3’ Hunter Derby, guiding the seasoned 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding to scores of 88 and 89 for an overall score of 177 for the win. Berry earned second-place honors with Alisa Berry’s On Point (Cola Zero x Lolita).
Alisa Berry shared on the top two mounts, “We have a newer crop of horses with us. We showed the month of January and then we went home for some rest. With On Point, since he is still a green horse and he is brand new to us, we weren’t sure if he would come back where he left off or if we would have to start over, but from day one he has been perfect. Cadbury is an older horse that has a huge show career. He has done about five of these derbies and had something unlucky each time, so he was due for this win!”
Nicole Lyvere (USA) and Vaillero (Vaillan x Highlight Z) conquered the $15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro 3’ Hunter Derby. Lyvere, of Lexington, Kentucky, piloted her own 15-year-old Zangersheide gelding to a respectable first-round score of 80. The duo delivered a textbook handy hunter round to earn the highest score of the day. With a 92 and a two-round total of 172, they went home with the blue ribbon.
“I made a mistake in the first round, and I was a little mad at myself for it,” laughed Lyvere. “I knew that I had to lay it down in the handy and hope that it was good enough to move me up. I knew that he could do it and our strong suit together is definitely the handy because we know each other so well. I just went in and tried to redeem myself and he was even better in the second round than the first round.”
None could catch Charlotte Clark (USA) and her own Kinsella (Capitalist x Jerpoint Mist) Thursday evening in the $10,000 Welcome Stake. Clark, of Kendalwood Farm in Sunbury, Ohio, piloted her 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare to a time of 32.837 seconds in the short course. The duo found their place at the top of the podium once again in picture-perfect style and unmatched speed.
Clark shared on her thoughts on the jump-off track, “When I walked the course, I actually didn’t think that it suited us very well. Kinsey is really quick across the ground, but sometimes I have a hard time, especially in left turns. I thought that jumps one-to-two in the jump-off could be a bit hard for her because it was oxer-to-oxer, but I thought she did it very well. She is so careful and quick with her feet that she was able to do the combination even though it was set short. I have been close, but not the winner for a while so I think it was due!”
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Results can be found at HorseShowing.com.
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