Holly Shepherd and Kodachrome [Alison Hartwell Photography]
Seasoned derby riders, Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Tim Maddrix of Leeds, Alabama, battled it out for the top placings in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby over a course designed by Paul Jewell of Lambertville, New Jersey.
Twenty-five horse and rider teams took to the oval arena and it was Derby Queen Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Nina Moore’s Kodachrome who took home the blue ribbon for their overall score of 375.
Special, owned by Missy Nolen and ridden by Tim Maddrix of Leeds, Alabama, earned a second place ribbon with their overall score of 363, and Shepherd returned for a third place ribbon in the irons of Belle Rolfe’s Cesar De Lison Z for their overall score of 362. Maddrix returned to the winner’s circle for the fourth place ribbon, this time aboard Margaret Camp’s Cascaron, for their overall score of 349.
Michael Leon of West Hollywood, California took the fifth, sixth, and seventh placings with Kelly Sims’ True Enough [348.50], his own Nil Du Buffan [347.50], and Sims’ True Story .
Sarah Milliren of Athens, Georgia and Liddy Strickland’s Valentine placed eighth, ninth was awarded to Allison Reichenbach’s High Life, ridden by Danielle Grice of Northfield, Tennessee, and tenth went to Vick Russell of Columbus, North Carolina and his own Tall Paul. Eleventh and twelfth were awarded to West Meadow Farm, LLC’s Fergus, ridden by Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina, and Wimberly Debono’s Indecision, ridden by Maddrix.
“It was great to see so many compete in the International Hunter Derby,” commented Bob Bell, President of Classic Company. “We’ve had a strong showing in the hunter divisions both weeks I and II.”
Julie Curtin and Cheryl Rubinstein’s Capisce Victorious in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Julie Curtin of Woodstock, Georgia took the top two placings in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Kruse Cushion Ride, besting a field of 23 horse and rider teams over a course designed by Paul Jewell. Curtin and Cheryl Rubinstein’s Capisce took the class with their combined score of 179.5, but beating Curtin’s second ride, Rebekah Warren’s Cassico, by only half a point.
“In the Handy round, Capisce and I had a couple of options. We took the inside turns and he was really smooth and extremely handy which made for a good trip. He just edged out my other horse, so it was really close,” she said.
Final results had Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama taking the third and fourth placings with Belle Rolfe’s Boure and Micaela Kennedy’s Magnus Hermes, respectively, with overall scores of 175 and 174.
Kelly Sims’ Eleventh Hour, ridden by Michael Leon of West Hollywood, California, placed fifth with their overall score of 171.5, and Eleese Shillingford’s Odyssey, ridden by Carolyn Bell of Alpharetta, Georgia, placed sixth with their overall 171.
Sabina Holtzman of Clayton, Missouri and her own Jerez Mail earned a seventh place ribbon and Cassino Royale, owned by Anna Huggins and ridden by Clay Alder of Germantown, Tennessee, placed eighth. Shanna Beyer’s Lacoste, ridden by Mary Mielenz of Collierville, Tennessee, earned a ninth place finish, and Curtin returned for a tenth with Select Sport Horses’ Hudson for a tenth place ribbon. SLF Bellarena, ridden by Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina and owned by Helen Byrd, placed eleventh, and Hannahlea, owned by Kelly Sims and ridden by Maggie Diehl of Alpharetta, Georgia, wrapped up the class with a twelfth place.
“I’ve ridden Cheryl’s horse before, but I rode him as a Pre Green. I was excited when Phoebe and Cheryl asked me about a week ago to ride him,” said Curtin. “He’s [Capisce] has really matured and grown up a lot and we just clicked right away. He’s a wonderful horse and I felt so comfortable on him.
“Paul used the same course for us as the International Hunter Derby and it rode really well for both heights,” she added. “It was open, flowing and there were lots of single jumps. Because the arena is very long, but not as wide, he did a great job on making it flow. He put a couple of jumps at the end of the ring because it was so long he had to use some of the width. The very first jump was on the end of the ring and the horses had to pay attention at Jump 1,” she commented. “But Paul let us finish with a nice long run to an oxer for our last jump which was really nice.
“It was so nice to see both the International and National Hunter Derbies with big numbers, especially now at the end of the year,” she added. “I’m looking forward to Gulfport this winter and plan on doing four weeks there.”