Marylisa Leffler with Headlines.
Mary Lisa Leffler Rides Headlines to the Win in the International Hunter Derby
Friday was a double header Derby Day during Week II of the Atlanta Spring Classics when the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Nalley Toyota Stonecrest, and the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Legend, took center stage.
Jason Berry of Staunton, Virginia, winner of last week’s $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, and Stacey McFadden, LLC’s Wistful led the Classic round after earning a score of 174. Headlines, owned by Felicia Harrsch and ridden by Mary Lisa Leffler of Brookeville, Maryland, followed in second place after the first round with a score of 169.
North C, owned and ridden by Jaime Steinhaus of Milton, Georgia, followed in third place in the Classic round after earning a score of 164. Elizabeth Boyd of Camden, South Carolina, in the irons of Stella Styslinger’s O’Ryan, sat in fourth position after earning a score of 164. Boyd also had the fifth place position after the first round with Finally Farm’s Shamrock, earning a first round score of 162. Kris Killam of Naples, Florida and Barbara Fishman’s Mr. Big sat in sixth place with their score of 160. Boyd also had the seventh place horse after earning a first round score of 158.5. Berry held both the eighth and ninth place positions after the first round with Willoughby Stables’ Falcor and their score of 158 and Oakledge Farm’s Cobalt Blue R with a score of 150. Tenth place after the Classic round saw Why, owned by Charlotte Warren and ridden by Julie Curtin of Villa Rica, Georgia, earn a first round score of 150. Sitting in eleventh place after the first round was Liddy Strickland’s Valentine, ridden by Sarah Milliren of Jenks, Oklahoma, with a score of 149; Redfield Farm’s Fandango HX, ridden by Cassandra Kahle of Califon, New Jersey, sat in twelfth place after earning a score of 133.
The Handy Round of the Derby saw Kahle and Fandango earn a score of 147 for a total of 280, which would finish in twelfth place overall. Milliren and Valentine moved up to tenth place overall after earning a second round score of 160 for a total of 309. Curtin and Why moved to an eleventh place overall placing after earning a second round score of 143 for a total of 293.
Berry and Cobalt Blue R moved from a ninth place position to finish in fifth place overall after earning a second round score of 186 and overall 336. Berry also moved from the eighth place spot to sixth place overall with Falcor, earning a total score of 335.
Boyd and Cellino moved from seventh place to third overall after earning a Handy score of 185 and an overall 343.5. Killam and Mr. Big moved to finish in ninth place overall after earning a Handy score of 154 and an overall 314. Boyd and Shamrock moved up to finish in fourth place overall after earning a Handy score of 180 and an overall 342. Boyd and O’Ryan moved from a fourth place standing after the Classic round to an overall second place finish after earning a Handy score of 187 and an overall 351.
Steinhaus and North C moved to finish in seventh place overall after earning a Handy score of 160.5 and an overall 324.5.
Sitting in second place after the Classic Round, Leffler and Headlines earned a Handy score of 187.5 for a total of 356.5 which moved them into the lead.
Berry and Wistful were in first place after the Classic Round, but after earning a Handy score of 145 for a total of 318, finished in eighth place overall.
The heavy rains had moved through the area earlier that morning, so the main hunter event was moved to the Oval Ring. Liza Towell Boyd, whose resume includes three time Overall World Champion Hunter Rider as a Junior, four time recipient of the Best Child Rider Award at the Washington International Horse Show, and second place finisher in the Washington International Equitation Finals, as well as a multitude of National and International Hunter Derby wins, commented, “I was pleasantly surprised, that with all the rain the night before and how wet everything was, how great the rings held up,” she said. “I woke up, looked outside and thought that we may not even be able to show. You know, the Derbies are the equivalent of the Hunter Grand Prix and we were really looking forward to showing,” she said. “They moved the Derby to the Oval Ring which is so big and impressive and it’s actually even better for the younger generation of the up and coming Derby horses,” she said. “It was amazing how well the footing held up. It was really perfect. We were able to do those inside turns and the footing was great,” Boyd commented.
Don’t Tell and Sarah Milliren Win the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby
The $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Legend, followed the International Derby and saw Courtney Billings’ Don’t Tell, ridden by Sarah Milliren, win the class after earning first round score of 86 and second round score of 91 for a combined 177. Davinci, owned and ridden by Josie Baird, placed second after earning a first round score of 82 and Handy score of 88 for a combined 170. Third place honors went to Charlotte Warren’s Enticement, ridden by Julie Curtin, after posting a first round score of 80 and second round score of 87 for a total of 167.
Suntrust, owned by Sandra Ward and ridden by Jacqueline Ward, earned a first round score of 77 and second round score of 83 for a total of 160 and fourth place. Fifth was awarded to Replax du Plant, owned and ridden by Libby Greene. I’ve Been Spotted, owned and ridden by Rebecca Hollman, won sixth place; Iamwhatiam, owned by Dawn Mason and ridden by Jason Berry, placed seventh overall. Click here for more results.
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