Brunello and Liza Towell Boyd Rise to the Challenge in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Atlanta Spring Challenge Horse Show

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Brunello and Liza Boyd. Pictures by Shawn McMillen

May 21st, 2011 – It was a gorgeous night at the Georgia International Horse Park as the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby took place under the lights in the International Arena with a huge crowd in attendance.  Exhibitors and spectators were treated to a fabulous class featuring 31 of the top horses and riders in the country while enjoying a “Derby Reception” sponsored by Equus Events and the Godard Family.  The course designed by J. P. Godard of Aiken, SC received rave reviews and included inviting natural obstacles such as coups, split rail fencing, gates, wooden logs, and brush boxes.  It is a unique setting for this class being the site of the 1996 show jumping portion of the Olympic Games; it really is quite stunning at night under the lights.

At the end of the night it was no stranger in the winner’s circle as Brunello and Liza Towell Boyd of Camden, South Carolina stepped out to take the blue ribbon.  Boyd’s “Grand Prix” hunter as she has been known to call him jumped brilliantly and earned the highest scores of the night earning a 188 in round 1 and a 189 in the handy round giving them the over winning total of 377.  Brunello, a 13 year old Hanoverian gelding is owned by Boyd along with Mrs. Janet Peterson.  This marks the pair’s 2nd consecutive derby win at the Atlanta Spring Challenge Horse Show.  Boyd was joined by 17 month old daughter Elle, her father Jack Towell, and Mrs. Janet Peterson for the ribbon presentation.  Betsy Minton of Dietrich and Company Equine Insurance was also on hand.  Dietrich and Company is a Major sponsor of the 2010/2011 USHJA International Hunter Derby series as well as the “official” insurance provider for Equus Events, Inc. and the Atlanta Spring Challenge Horse Show.

Another Camden, South Carolina resident Gary Young has also had a successful week taking second place honors on Isobel Goldsmith’s Montague.  Montague and Young also captured the Second Year Green Hunter Championship earlier in the week-ironically Brunello and Montague are often are stabled right across the street from each other; Montague at Roger Young Stables and Brunello at Finally Farm both in Camden, South Carolina.  Third place honors in the Derby went to junior rider and recent High School graduate Chase Boggio and Alexa Boggio’s Alamo.

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Holly Shepherd and Triomph

Earlier in the week in the jumper ring Holly Shepherd took the $5,000 Open Welcome Stake on Wednesday with Sarah Patterson’s Triomph.  Shepherd rides out of her Accolade Farm in Grand Bay, Alabama.  Thursday afternoon’s $5,000 Welcome Stake was won by Atlanta, Georgia native Taylor Land and Jay Lands’s Nepal.  Taylor also garnered the fifth place ribbon with Merlin owned by Francis Land.

Other Champions earlier in the week included:

First Year Green Hunter – Triton Z owned by Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wheeler and ridden by Hunt Tosh
Second Year Green Hunter – Montague owned by Isobel Goldsmith and ridden by Gary Young
High Performance Working Hunter – Cavalli owned by Isobel Goldsmith and ridden by Gary Young
Performance Hunter 3’6”-3’9” – Nice owned by Lori Christman and ridden by Teri Brown
Performance Hunter 3’3” – Fiyero owned by Molly Gardner and ridden by Elizabeth Boyd
Pre-Green Hunter 3’ – Xavier K owned and ridden by Krissy Wilson
Pre-Green Hunter 3’3” – Fairfax owned by Liz Hudspeth and ridden by Elizabeth Boyd
Baby Green Hunter – Rubina owned by High Valley Hanoverians and ridden by Daniel Geitner

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Taylor Land and Nepal

The exciting hunter and jumper competition continue Saturday and Sunday and features the $25,000 Atlanta Spring Challenge Grand Prix Saturday evening and “Preakness” Party sponsored by DFG Stables and Cathy and Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina set to take place at approximately 6:30.  For more information and complete results please go to

Megan Godard
Equus Events, Inc.
Meybohm Realtors

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