Well-Attended Event Serves as Eventing Season Opener
Parker, CO - April 28, 2014 - The Colorado Horse Park eventing season opener, the annual Eventing Derby, was held at the picturesque setting on Saturday, April 19 for the eighth consecutive year. The Eventing Derby consists of a dressage test and a modified jumping course with 10-18 jumping efforts of both show jumps and cross-country jumps that include water, ditches and banks.
Laura Backus from Larkspur, CO, designed the course using stadium jumps and the Colorado Horse Park's James Atkinson designed cross country course. It was an opportunity for eventing athletes and their horses to compete outside after the long winter season and served as a perfect warm-up to kick off the season.
Amanda Hund and Pik Pilot nabbed the Preliminary Division, scoring a 32.3 in dressage, establishing their lead then nailing the win with a penalty-free jumping effort.
"This is his first real outing this spring," Hund said. "You never know how they're going to come out. I was very pleased that he went right to work. We have been working hard on his dressage all winter and spring, doing some intense lessons with Dolly Hannon. I was really pleased to see that carry over into the ring."
Hund moved Pik Pilot up to Intermediate last fall and used this show as a first outing warm-up. She plans to move back up to Intermediate at the CHP Horse Trials at the end of May. "I thought the course was fairly challenging," Hund shared. "It was perfect step up for us because it really asked some of those questions that I wanted to make sure he saw on a friendly course before he went out and did a big Intermediate course."
"In the past, he's had some issues with skinnies and corners," she continued. "I was excited to see that the course had several of those and
he just went out there and did them. There were open gallop spaces to test your horse's wind. It rode really well."
Pik Pilot, called Pilot in the barn, is a 17-hand, black Oldenburg just turning 9 this spring. Hund found Pilot from a dressage trainer friend while she was a working student for Phillip Dutton three and a half years ago. She bought him as a resale project but decided to keep him.
"He's young and really talented," said Hund who also trains with John Staples. "My plans for this year are to qualify for a two star."
Hund, who is currently in graduate school in Boulder, CO, studying evolutionary biology, hails from Willmar, Minn., three hours west of Minneapolis, where she grew up on an event farm. Her parents, Kathy and Fred Hund, founded the Junior Development Rider Program (JDRP) in Minnesota. The JDRP provides a program of upper-level coaching and instruction in eventing for Junior and Young Riders who wish to advance to the higher levels of the sport. It includes formal clinics and more.
Training Level at the Eventing Derby was divided into two sections. Bonnie Madine of Boulder, CO, and her horse Roshambo took the Training A. In third place after dressage, Madine had some catching up to do.
"The course was beautiful," Madine said. "It was a super galloping course that had really tough training questions. With where Roe was, I wasn't concerned because he's galloping so well right now. I knew that the course required some thoughtful riding and I knew he'd be fine with it."
Madine trains with Petra Warlimont for dressage, Helen Gould for jumping and Deeda Randle for cross-country.
"Roe is a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood Thoroughbred cross," Madine said. "I've had him since he was a year old. He had eye cancer, so he missed a season. Then this year, he had a broken bone in his hock. I've had him down for the last six months and it is finally all starting to come together. I am really hoping this season is going to be his season. So winning this one was really super exciting."
Madine plans to compete in the Colorado Horse Park Horse Trials at the end of May and, if everything goes well, move Roe up to Preliminary.
Ellen Truitt from Denver, and Grand Traverse (GT) took the win in the Training B. Truitt trains with Beth Jauquet at Ken Caryl Ranch in Denver and plays polo for Colorado State. She is just finishing up her sophomore year studying chemical engineering.
"I have only had him (GT) for a month," said Truitt. "I bought him from Ilona English from Summit Sporthorses in New Jersey and he was with Ryan Wood when I bought him. I went to Aiken in February and I tried him and I loved him and then he came to Colorado this March. He is an 11-year-old Oldenburg."
This was Truitt's first competition with GT and it went swimmingly. The pair led after the dressage phase and clinched the win with a stellar jumping round.
"I wasn't really sure what to expect," said Truitt, who had never really schooled GT cover cross-country jumps. "He was really good. We've been working on the flatwork. He was a dressage horse before he became an event horse because he didn't like the dressage and he likes to jump. We were able to pull out a really good test. I knew he was a pretty good horse but he really surprised me. The win was just icing on the cake."
Truitt plans to attend the CHP Horse Trials May 31- June 1 and, if all goes well, move up to Preliminary later this season.
About the Colorado Horse Park
Celebrating its 21th Anniversary, the Colorado Horse Park was founded by visionary Helen Krieble who acknowledged the need for a high-volume horse show and horse boarding facility to serve Colorado. The Colorado Horse Park welcomes more than 35,000 visitors per year and hosts over 40 competitions annually. CHP features a derby arena designed by Olympic-designer Linda Allen and a cross-country course designed by Olympic Gold Medalist, David O'Connor. There are 300 permanent stalls with capacity to house more than 1,000
The picturesque property, located only minutes from the town of Parker, hosts international equestrian events in multiple disciplines. Visitors enjoy the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountain surroundings and access to miles of trails and open space. The Colorado Horse Park is committed to supporting equestrian education and amateur athletics, preserving open space, fundraising for local charities and supporting the community.