Wilmington, Ohio – Competition for Winter Classic #18 concluded the 2023 Winter in the Midwest Series at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington on Sunday, April 16. Kady Abrahamson (USA) dominated in the Dandy Products $30,000 Grand Prix Saturday evening in the Standlee Sanctuary. On hunter derby Friday, Melissa Donnelly (USA) stole the show in the $15,000 USHJA National Open 3’ Hunter Derby.
Abrahamson, of Georgetown, Kentucky, earned the win in the Dandy Products $30,000 Grand Prix aboard her very own Any (Aljano x Nina XI). The 15-year-old Holsteiner mare posted a double clear effort with a jump-off time of 39.324 seconds. With the eight-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, Jazil Du Houssoit (Peppermill x Gerboise Du Houssoit), Abrahamson also claimed third place honors in the class.
“Any has been there done that, and I knew that if I did the same turns as I did on Jazil we would end up fast. There was still one to go after me, so I didn’t want to leave it open for the last rider. Everything came up off a gallop so nicely with her. Any is jumping the Kentucky Invitational at Land Rover this year. This was our last class to prepare for that. I didn’t want to run her off her feet today, but she is so fit for that class now that this felt easy for her,” Abrahamson shared.
Lindsay Lyden (USA) of Temperance, Michigan, raced to the finish in the $10,000 Futures Prix sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings with her own Fawkes (Carthino Z x Tisral). Lyden entered aboard her own 13-year-old KWPN gelding looking to challenge the leading time, and made every inside turn on the track to earn a time of 37.241 seconds and the win.
“I just tried to stay out of his way and let him do his job,” laughed Lyden. “The course was great. It rode exactly like it walked. It was great for him since I was able to get on a good gallop. He is always really fast in the jump-off, so I just made sure I got on a good pace, and I was able to make all of the turns smoothly!”
The $15,000 USHJA National Open 3’ Hunter Derby saw a veteran pair, Donnelly, and Elizabeth Becker’s Corlando 49 (Cartani x Olanda I) reach the top of the leaderboard once again. With high scores of 87 and 88.5, the 17-year-old Holsteiner gelding earned the blue ribbon once again in the prestigious class.
“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 of Just A Folly Farm shared on her winning handy.
Elizabeth Rinehart (USA) piloted her new mount Spotlight (Spartacus x Fly High) to the win in the $15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro 3’ Hunter Derby. Rinehart of Rinehart Farm in Westfield, Indiana, jumped to scores of 87 and 91 with the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding to top the class.
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!”
The $10,000 Welcome Stake sponsored by Devoucoux stole the spotlight Thursday evening. Devin Milan (USA) rode Karlina T (Cabrio Van De Heffinck x Goberlina T) to a speedy double clear. The young professional of Ann Arbor, Michigan, guided the seven-year-old KWPN mare to a jump-off time of 39.950 seconds for the win.
“When I approached the first fence, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do six or seven strides. She was staying on the bit so well and I felt like I had the canter that I could open up. I have been working on getting her to stay on the bit throughout the courses and her progress is remarkable since we brought her over from the Netherlands. I knew if I wanted to win that I needed to open up for six. I have really been working on not pulling in the turns, so I just focused on continuing around the turns everywhere and she was really good,” Milan shared on her strategy with Karlina T.
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Results can be found at wec.net.
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