Gisele Beardsley O’Grady and Januar ©TIEC.
Mill Spring, NC – August 12, 2019 – Friday’s $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby awarded Gisele Beardsley O’Grady (Tryon, NC) the winner cooler and ribbons for her efforts aboard Ginny Barnette’s Januar, earning a two-round score of 172 to take the win. In second, Allen Nabors Jr. (Odessa, FL) piloted Lookalike, the 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Levistano x Paola), for Margot Hirsch on a score of 169, while Robert Stucky (Waxhaw, NC) and The Girl From Ipanema, a 2009 Hanoverian mare (Clinton I x Vorbuch) owned by Allie Rae Hayes, claimed third after earning a score of 166 after two rounds.
Fifteen pairs challenged the first-round course set by J. P. Godard (Aiken, SC), and it was Januar all the way after his initial score of 87. Beardsley O’Grady called the 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Junior Mariner x Poetri) “perfect” and “playful” on the way to victory.
“It went really well, so I couldn’t be happier,” said Beardsley O’Grady. “The course was nice. He’s a blast to ride, and he’s got a ton of experience, and I’m lucky to get to ride him. He’s a showman; he goes in there and shows off! So, that works in our favor.
“Everything pretty much rode to plan today. I had a couple lucky moments in the handy round, where he got a little playful, but I think they liked the way he jumped and forgave us for it! I think I could have helped him out just a little better, but everything pretty much rode to plan today. I got the advantage by riding a good horse that jumps so well! He’s perfect!”
Beardsley O’Grady emphasized that Januar is happiest in limited competition with National Derbies only, but he makes the most of every trip around the ring: “His story is a little long – he was imported a couple years ago, and has had a long recovery from a couple injuries,” she explained. “We’re lucky enough that he is back and fully recovered to be in the show ring. He has always loved showing, so I think that’s honestly also helped his recovery. He’s done really well here [at TIEC]. We do a limited amount of shows, and he just loves it every time.
“Jeanne [Smith], our trainer, and his owner, Ginny, have both obviously played a huge part in him,” Beardsley O’Grady continued. “He’s just perfect, and we love him. He’s awesome. Going forward, he will remain a National Derby horse. We want to protect him and keep him happy and sound. He’s not old, but with his prior injuries we want to keep him protected. Ginny just loves her horse, and Jeanne is such a good horseperson that she’s never going to push him,” she concluded. “They’re a really good team for him!”
For full results from the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, click here.
For more information and results, please visit www.Tryon.com.