San Juan Capistrano, CA - Friday's hunter classes at Blenheim EquiSports' Spring Classic II concluded with the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services.
An idyllic blue sky was the backdrop for 21 entries as they competed over a flowing course on the grass in the Pacific Hunter Field. With a competitor list including top professionals such as Jenny Karazissis and talented young up-and-coming junior and amateur riders like Jillian Stuart and Jaime Krupnick, the class featured a wide variety of impressive horse and rider combinations hunting their way to the top prize.
After the first round concluded, the top 12 competitors returned to show off their handiness and efficiency over a second round course that offered several daring inside turns and tight rollbacks. Professionals Demi Stiegler and Karazissis returned with multiple rides and ultimately navigated their way to command the top four spots in the final results, executing smooth and slick handy rounds to top off their impressive first round scores. Karazissis took home the trophy aboard Silver Spring Farm's Felix, as well as fourth on Joann Golterman's Exclusive. Felix's trainer, Garrett Warner of Medford, OR, picked up the Equitex Winning Trainer Award, with Lara Schleining taking home the Balmoral Farm Winning Owner Award for Silver Spring Farm.
Stiegler took home back-to-back ribbons, with Natalie Templeton's Casiro earning second and Tate Beteta's Playlist winning third. Krupnick, riding Glenda Monkarsh's Red Label to fifth place, also displayed two excellent rounds and earned the One K Helmets High Score Amateur Derby Award. Stuart, aboard Magnolia Farms' Verdana, continued to impress the judges with her young talent and rode to the sixth place as well as The Plaid Horse High Score Junior Derby Award. Verdana's gleaming coat and pristine turnout also earned the Shapley's Best Turned Out Award.
The Blenheim Spring Classic II continues through the weekend with a double highlight on Sunday. Two top 1.40m classes will run consecutively, the Markel Insurance Grand Prix and the Interactive Mortgage U25 Series Qualifier.
Place - Entry - Name - Rider - Owner - Overall Score
1. 641 - Felix - Jenny Karazissis - Silver Spring Farm - 178
2. 479 - Casiro - Demi Stiegler - Natalie Templeton - 171
3. 476 - Playlist - Demi Stiegler - Tate Beteta - 170
4. 628 - Exclusive - Jenny Karazissis - Joann Golterman - 165
5. 526 - Red Label - Jaime Krupnick - Glenda Monkarsh - 159
6. 311 - Verdana - Jillian Stuart - Magnolia Farm - 158
7. 329 - Amazing Grace - Lindsey Schiefelbein - Lindsey Schiefelbein - 157
8. 158 - Way Out West - Karina Sanchez - Karina Sanchez - 156
9. 188 - Sinatra - Emily Goldberg - Lasorda Holdings - 155
10. 168 - Freedom - Jessica Smith - Kevan Husky - 151