Antioch, IL – May 30, 2012 –Chicago Equestrians for a Cause is pleased to announce the dates of its 4th Annual Chicago Hunter Derby presented by CN for the 2012 season. The two-day event will return to the beautiful Annali Farm in Antioch, IL, on September 8-9, featuring both national and international hunter derby classes.
CN returns as the presenting sponsor of the international class, which will be held on Sunday and feature a newly increased $50,000 purse. All proceeds from the weekend will benefit The Children’s Memorial Hospital of Chicago as well as the USHJA Foundation and the University of Chicago’s Cancer Research Foundation.
One of the most highly anticipated derby classes each year, the Chicago Hunter Derby presented by CN, will feature double the prize money in 2012, increasing the $25,000 purse from the previous year up to $50,000 to be divided between the top finishers in 2012.
As always, a very impressive roster of judges has lined up to evaluate the classes. This year’s judges will include Ken Smith, Geoff Teall, Bob Crandall, and Julie Winkel. Teall will be co-course designing with Bobby Murphy.
The Chicago Hunter Derby is a very unique event that draws some of the best athletes in the country, both horses and riders. The class is held on the beautiful grass in-field of an old steeplechase track with a stunning pond in the background. The hunter discipline is deeply rooted in tradition, and the best hunter derby classes recognize that tradition in the detail of their events, including courses reminiscent of the hunt fields of days past.
As an esteemed judge who has presided over many derby classes throughout the country and in fact judged the Chicago Hunter Derby during its first year, Geoff Teall praises the event on maintaining that tradition.
“The best thing in my opinion about that event is that it is very old fashioned, especially in its hospitality,” Teall stated. “They do such an amazing job of making an event out of just a couple of classes. They have great viewing, great food and activities, and the field is beautiful.”
“It is a different group of horses that excel in derbies in general, but at that derby in particular, because it is on grass and it is up on a hill. It is kind of through the woods and over the stream and to grandmother’s house we go,” Teall described with a smile. “It is really interesting to watch. It is fun to see which horses handle it and which ones don’t. It is also really fun to see the riders that can handle that - the ones that have had enough experience that they can handle the grass, the hills, everything.”
“It is very different than what we are used to, but it is exactly what that class was designed for,” Teall pointed out. “Their committee does a great job and they make a big effort to make sure that they really keep the concept of the derbies in mind.”
Teall looks forward to sharing the course designing duties as well. He noted, “This will be my first time building a course for this kind of a class. I am very excited to do it. I have not done a lot of course designing, but I have done some big, special events. That field is really great and I think Bobby is really good to work with because he is so innovative and creative. I am very much looking forward to doing that and working with him and hopefully doing a good job.”
Following in the footsteps of its first three events, the Chicago Hunter Derby presented by CN hopes to raise even more money for Chicago Equestrians for a Cause, a philanthropic group that donates money to significant charities.
The Chicago Hunter Derby presented by CN has been held as a benefit for the Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago for the past three years and will continue that assistance in 2012. In addition, the event will raise money for The USHJA Foundation for a second year and, always looking to increase their support in the community, has also added the University of Chicago’s Cancer Research Foundation as a brand new beneficiary this year.
No event can be successful without the help of many great supporters in this industry, and the Chicago Hunter Derby is lucky to have the very best involved with their competition. CN, one of the most generous supporters of the equestrian sport for many years, will return as the presenting sponsor for 2012 and Chicago Equestrians for a Cause thanks them for their support. The Chicago Hunter Derby presented by CN is a 2012-13 Member Event of the USHJA International Hunter Derby Series.
Photos: Top prizes accompany an increased purse of $50,000 to the best competitors at the 2012 Chicago Hunter Derby presented by CN. Photo copyright Wendie Aull; Last year's winners, Taken and Erynn Ballard, negotiated the grass course with ease. Photo copyright Wendie Aull; CN returns as a presenting sponsor of the 2012 Chicago Hunter Derby. Photo copyright Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.