The United States Hunter Jumper Association announced on Nov. 15 that the $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals, now in its third year, will return to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The finals are scheduled for August 19-20, with Round 1 taking place on the 19th and Rounds 2 and 3 on the evening of the 20th. This year, the finals will relocate to the KHP’s outdoor Johnson Arena, where the inaugural finals were held.
"The inaugural finals were nothing short of spectacular. In the Johnson Arena, the creativity of course designers Bobby Murphy and Patrick Rodes played a huge role in making the event so special. The sizable outdoor arena with the lakeside view helped create a thrilling, yet traditional venue. The USHJA High Performance Committee is excited to bring the Derby finals back to the Johnson arena," said Ron Danta, chairman of the USHJA High Performance Hunter Committee.
The top 75 horses in the USHJA International Hunter Derby standings qualify to compete in Round 1. They’ll be judged over a course that includes natural fences with height and handy options. The top 25 horses, who showed the most brilliance and handiness, qualify to compete on the second day. Round 2 tests the riders' abilities to showcase their horses over a classic hunter course that determines the top-12 horses for Round 3. The top 12 compete over an exciting handy hunter course that decides the champion.
The USHJA International Hunter Derby series and finals were created to bring show hunters to the international level, to increase spectator, media and sponsorship interest, and to bring tradition and basic riding principles back to the sport of showing hunters.
For more information about the USHJA International Hunter Derby series or finals contact Melanie Fransen at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the USHJA at 859-225-6700.
Photos: Jennifer Alfano and Jersey Boy, Hunt Tosh and Lonestar. Photo credit: Diana DeRosa.