Del Mar, CA - July 26, 2014 - On a warm afternoon in Del Mar, a solid group of high performance hunters galloped around the fabulous grass grand prix field in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Good scores, especially in the Handy aspect, earned the win for Tara Metzner and Come Monday (owned by Davlyn Farms).
The two judging panels included Mickey Mastro and Tucker Ericson on Panel One, with Cathy Robinson and Scott Hofstetter making up Panel Two. Skip Bailey did a masterful job with course design, including a hay bale combination, a rolltop, a wall with cutouts and natural obstacles.
Jenny Karizissis led the Classic Round on West Coast Equine Partner, LLC's Y Wonder Y with a total of 179.75, taking all four high options. Metzner on Come Monday was a close second, taking only two high options but earning an 85 and a 90, for a total of 179. Nick Haness rode Ecole Lathrop's Banderas to the third spot, taking two high options and scoring a total of 177.
Going into the infamous second round, where anything can happen and usually does, several riders rode their derby horses well to move up the list, though a few had rails or refusals. Similar to the Handy Round in the Junior Hunter Championships earlier this week, course designer Bailey left room for interpretation in round two. This innovative take on the track allows riders to truly show off their horses.
Haness rode Banderas beautifully, earning eight handy bonus points from Panel One and nine from Panel Two, with no high options, holding his third spot. Sitting seventh after round one, Leslie Steele and Apandanto (owned by 4232 Enterprises, LLC) jumped into second taking all four high options and illustrating a handy and unique interpretation of Bailey's course.
As the only pair who jumped the hay bale at 6a-b and then turned very tightly to the left for the trot jump, Metzner did a fine job of showing Come Monday's handy prowess. This, along with taking all four high options, earned them the top call.
When asked about her choices in the second round, Metzner said, "The first thing you want to think about is how you can be the handiest and then what's going to work best for your horse. There were so many options, but she's pretty incredible so I was just going to try and go for it."
Now having collected several wins and top placings in hunter derbies this season, the dynamic duo will face the best of the best in the Derby Championships in mid-August. The time they've had together helps Metzner feel at ease. "I am feeling very comfortable on her. I can pretty much ask her to do anything or jump anything and I know she is going to do it, or she's going to try."
Stay tuned for tomorrow's $40,000 Racing Festival Grand Prix, presented by SmartPak, starting at 4:00pm. Next week's Showpark August Festival features a $30,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix, the $10,000 Youngster U25 Classic and a $10,000 1.35m Jumper Classic, presented by CardFlex Financial Services.
$10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
Place - Number - Horse - Rider - Owner - 1st Rd/2nd Rd/Total
1 - 252 - Come Monday - Tara Metzner - Davlyn Farms - 179/187.5/366.5
2 - 937 - Apandanto - Leslie Steele - 4232 Enterprises, LLC - 170.5/188/358.5
3 - 763 - Banderas - Nick Haness - Ecole Lathrop - 177/177.5/354.5
4 - 697 - C. Quito - Jessie Lang - Margot Snowdon - 168/185/353
5 - 182 - Ninja - Nicole Haunert - Paul Haunert - 174/174/348
6 - 558 - Ivory Coast - Nick Haness - West Coast Equine Partners, LLC - 174/172/346
7 - 364 - Crockett - Rose Carver - Anne Amerman - 165/167/332
8 - 709 - Copado - Michael Leon - Pinon West, LLC - 163/163/326
9 - 853 - Portrait - Maile Burtech - Maile Burtech - 165.5/154/319.5
10 - 482 - Splendid - Jenny Karazissis - Julia Landmann - 175/109/284
11 - 758 - Bohemian - Mark Purcell - Leslie Scharf - 165/107/272
12 - 556 - Y Wonder Y - Jenny Karazissis - West Coast Equine Partners, LLC - 179.75/82/261.75