Mill Spring, NC - Daniel Bedoya of Magnolia, TX, and Ragtime's Bellissima, owned by Loreanna Andrepont, took home top honors in today's $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby hosted on the Grass Complex at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC).
The pair secured the win with a total score of 172. Michelle Whitman of Raleigh, NC, and her own C'Van De Helle earned the red rosette with a score of 164.5, while Laurel Tinney of Cary, NC, and Falido, owned by Amelia Zahn, claimed third place honors with a two round score of 162.
Bedoya and Ragtime's Bellissima have had an outstanding two weeks at TIEC, taking home a win in the $1,000 USHJA Green Hunter Incentive offered ahead of their derby win this morning. The first round was a test of skill and handiness and Bedoya guided Ragtime's Bellissima to a well-deserved win in their first appearance on the Grass Complex.
"I thought it was pretty complicated and wasn't your typical first round for a derby. It was more like a handy round than a first round with a lot bending lines, tight roll backs, and cantering around the huge field," explained Bedoya. "It was this mare's first time on the grass and it was fantastic."
Bedoya described how the impressive derby field, one of the newest additions to the facilities at TIEC, handled the class, saying, "The field is awesome. I hope they keep having classes out there and even add some jumper classes. The footing was perfect. We did not put any studs in the horse's shoes and no one slipped. It was awesome, such a nice ring."
Ragtime's Bellissima, a 2008 Hanoverian mare, not only competes in the Green Hunter Divisions and USHJA National Hunter Derby classes with Bedoya, but also shows in the Long Stirrup Division with her owner Loreanna Andrepont. Bedoya spoke very highly of Ragtime's Bellissima and his hopes for the pair's future together, commenting, "She is a really good mare. She does really well with me and takes great care of her owner."
Ragtime's Bellissima's owner, Loreanna Andrepont, who was present for the duo's derby win today, touched on how the mare is an excellent dual fit for her as an amateur rider and Bedoya as a professional.
"I feel very confident when I ride her. She is a very safe and sweet mare, but really just a babysitter for me! We started out in the Cross Rails Division and now we are in the Long Stirrup Division. My goal would be the Modified Hunter Divisions, but Daniel thinks we will go higher than that. I think Daniel's goals are a little higher than mine," Andrepont said with a laugh. "It was very exciting watching her out on the big grass field this morning and take such a great win."
Today's competition will feature the highlight class of the week, the $130,000 Asheville/Greenville BMW Centers Grand Prix CSI 3*, which will begin at 8:00 p.m. Activities and entertainment will start at 6:00 p.m. and are free and open to the general public. For more information on TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.