Wellington, FL - The Holiday & Horses Show, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, concluded competition today with the feature event for the hunters, the $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Molly Ashe-Cawley of Newton, CT, rode Olivia Jack's Back in the Game to the win in the $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Kelley Farmer of Keswick, VA, was second on Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare's Rosalynn, while Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, rode Sanzibar for Barbara Ridder Irwin and Karen Long Dwight to third place.
The Holiday & Horses Show is the first competition in the Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) Holiday Series, which consists of seven shows through the beginning of January.
The course designer for today's derby was Skip Bailey, who set a beautiful track with bright new jumps and interesting options. Farmer described, "They did a beautiful course. The jumps were gorgeous and it all looked great. Skip does a beautiful job. The horses jump well, you're not in their mouths, they flow beautifully, and there's not a lot of related distances. It's never a trap to make the horses nervous. Even if it's hard, they jump well. I thought it was great."
For the derby scoring, there were four judges in two spots across the arena. In Judge's position 1 was Rob Bielefeld and Julie Winkel, while Judge's position 2 was Ralph Alfano and Scott Hofstetter.
In the first round, Ashe-Cawley and Back in the Game had scores of 87 and 90, along with two bonus points from each judge's position for a total of 181, seven points behind Rosalynn and Farmer in the first round.
They returned in the second round to post fantastic judge's scores of 93 and 92, along with scores of eight and nine for handiness and eight more points for doing the four high option jumps. Their second round total was 210, and their overall total of 391 put them well above Farmer and Rosalynn, who finished with 377 for second place.
Farmer and Rosalynn won a tricolor ribbon at every indoor show this fall, and after some time off, Farmer decided to show her in this derby to earn money toward qualifying for the Derby Finals next summer.
Farmer said, "She was great, she just slipped off her lead for a stride (in the handy). Molly's horse went beautifully in the handy, and it was enough to beat me. I was proud of Rosalynn for having done all that at indoors and then coming back for this."
Ashe-Cawley has only ridden Back in the Game since May, and they showed four times before coming down to Wellington. This was their first derby together, and it was Ashe-Cawley's first ever hunter derby. Back in the Game, a 12-year-old Warmblood gelding by Robin II Z, will compete in the junior hunters with Jack this winter.
"It can always go one way or another; you never know. I had a pretty good feeling he could go out there and do that," Ashe-Cawley said. "He gave me a pretty good feeling this morning. We were able to ride in the ring this morning and he wasn't fazed by any of it. I felt pretty good about it until I trotted in the ring for the first round! He was a little more bug-eyed, but then he didn't look at anything. He went right around and was perfect."
Ashe-Cawley took time off from riding over the past years to have her two children, most recently her son earlier this year. She has a vast resume of representing the United States in international show jumping, but her foray into the hunter ring brought up some nerves. "It's weird, I get more nervous for something like this than I do for a grand prix, just because I'm not used to it," she revealed. "I haven't done it in so long, so I get more worked up over this. It's cool to win though, no matter what. Victory is victory!"
For more information and full results, please visit www.equestriansport.com.
Final Results: $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
(Horse, Rider Judge 1 score+option score, Judge 2 score +option score = Round 1 total Judge 1 score+ handy score + option score, Judge 2 score +handy score + option score = Round 2 total Overall Total)
1 BACK IN THE GAME, MOLLY ASHE-CAWLEY
87+2, 90+2 = 181.00
93+9+4, 02+8+4 = 210
2 ROSALYNN, KELLEY FARMER
89+4, 91+4 = 188.00
80+10+4, 84+7+4 = 189.00
3 SANZIBAR, VICTORIA COLVIN
88+0, 87+0 = 175.00
89+8+0, 84+6+0 = 187.00
4 TAKEN, KELLEY FARMER
75+4, 84+4 = 167.00
82+8+4, 86+10+4 = 194.00
5 MONTAGUE, GARY YOUNG
76+4, 76.5+4 = 160.50
79+9+4, 79+9+4 = 184.00
6 POETIC, MAGGIE BOYLAN
85.5+0, 85+0 = 170.50
81+6+0, 81+5+0 = 173.00
7 ZAFIR, CHRIS EWANOUSKI
79+0, 79+0 = 158.00
78+5+3, 80+6+3 = 175.00
8 SANDER, HAYLIE JAYNE
81+4, 76+4 = 165.00
68+7+4, 71+8+4 = 162.00
9 LUMIERE, JANE GASTON
86+0, 85.5+0 = 171.50
60+5+0, 68+4+0 = 137.00
10 RED SKY, MAGGIE JAYNE
76+4, 73+4 = 157.00
66+2+3, 66+5+3 = 145.00
11 DECLARATION SCOTT STEWART
83+1, 82+1 = 167.00
47+10+4, 47+10+4 = 122.00
12 BLESSED, SCOTT STEWART
82+0, 81+0 = 163.00
45+10+4, 45+10+4 = 118.00
Equestrian Sport Productions would like to thank the sponsors supporting this year's Holiday & Horses show: Farm Vet, the "The Official Equine Care Provider," Equine Tack & Nutritionals, "The Official Horse Health Supplier," Wellington Equestrian Realty, Rob and Chris Desino, "An Official Realtor," Illustrated Properties, Carol Sollak, "An Official Realtor," Dever, "The Official Golf Cart Provider," Brook Ledge, "The Official Horse Transportation Company," Arenus, sponsor of "The Arenus Low Hunter 2'9" Division," Reist, "The Official Drag," Pine Hollow, an "Official Sponsor," Camping World, the "Official RV Sales and Rental," Palm Beach Equine, "The Official Veterinarian," Elite Equine Shavings, "The Official Shavings," Pennfield Corporation, "The Official Feed," and Beval, an "Official Sponsor."
The other shows in the ESP Holiday Show Series are:
ESP Year End Awards Show - December 11-12, 2010 - "C" Rated and Jumper Rated 3 with $25,000 Grand Prix on Saturday at 7 p.m. and $5,000 3'-3'3" Hunter Derby on Sunday
ESP Holiday I - December 17-19, 2010 - "A" Rated and Jumper Rated 3 with $25,000 Grand Prix on Sunday
ESP Holiday II - December 22-24, 2010 - "A" Rated and Jumper Rated 3
ESP Holiday III - December 28, 2010 - "B" Rated
ESP New Year's Show - December 29-January 2, 2011 - "AA" Rated and Jumper Rated 3 with $25,000 Grand Prix on Sunday
A-T Children's Project Benefit - January 5-9, 2011 - "AA" Rated and Jumper Rated 3 with $25,000 Grand Prix on Saturday evening at 7 p.m.
All "A" and "AA" shows in the ESP Holiday Series will include $10,000 Open Jumper Stakes classes and Hunter Classics. The Equestrian Sport Productions Fall Series shows are all USEF, North American League, and Marshall & Sterling League approved.
As always, the added convenience of online entries and live ring updates are available at http://esp.showgroundslive.com.
For more information on Equestrian Sport Productions and their horse shows, please visit www.equestriansport.com.
Photo Credit: Molly Ashe-Cawley and Back in the Game won the $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Holiday & Horses Show. Photos © Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.