It’s All about the Hunters Week II at the Gulf Coast Winter Classics

Holly Shepherd and White Lightening [Photos: Alison Hartwell Photography]

The $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby kicked off the hunter action Week II at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Circuit. Helen Gilbert’s White Lightening, ridden by Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama, galloped away with the blue ribbon after earning the highest Classic and Handy Round scores of 174 and 189.5, respectively, for a combined 363.5.

The second place ribbon was awarded to Fairfax, owned and ridden by Liz Hudspeth of Alpharetta, Georgia, after earning a Classic Round score of 160 and a Handy score of 187 for a combined 347.

Love Game, owned by EMC International and ridden by Evan Coluccio of Middleburg, Virginia, earned a third place ribbon with their first round score of 162 and Handy Round score of 174 for a total of 336 combined points.

Coluccio returned for a fourth place ribbon in the irons of Larry Antonini’s Six Pack after earning a Classic Round score of 159 and a Handy score of 155 for a total of 314.

Estander, owned and ridden by Leah Toscano of Chesterfield, New Jersey, placed fifth after earning 150 points in their Classic Round and a score of 154 for a total of 304.

In the Black B, owned and ridden by Liana Brown of Carmel, Indiana, took home the sixth place ribbon after earning a first round score of 140 and a Handy round score of 163 for a combined 303. Seventh was awarded to Allure, owned and ridden by Gianna Cobb of Marietta, Georgia, for their combined score of 302. Nemesis, owned by Daniel Damen and ridden by Dominique Damica of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, was awarded eighth place. Coluccio returned to the arena for both the ninth and tenth place ribbons with Ellen Addison’s El Tindo and Mary Antonini’s Rocking the Boat. Autograph, owned and ridden by Tim Sweat of Milton, Georgia, placed eleventh.

Jason Berry and Cammarata

The $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby followed the International Hunter Derby and Jason Berry of Verona, Virginia and Kirsten Martin’s Cammarata took the win, besting sixteen horse and rider teams. Enticement, owned by Rebekah Warren and ridden by Julie Curtin of Woodstock, Georgia, was awarded a second place while Kaitlyn Williams of Wayne, Pennsylvania and her own Balouette placed third. Berry returned with EMO Stables’ Capiche to pick up the fourth place ribbon and Katie Thomas’ Yahtzee, ridden by Kelley Buringa of Northlake, Texas, earned fifth place. Liana Brown of Carmel, Indiana rode her own Marengo to a sixth place finish. Curtin returned to the winner’s circle to pick up the seventh place ribbon this time in the irons of Wesley Wilson’s Whitny and Robin Hood, owned by Jacob Brupbacher and ridden by Mary Antonini of New Orleans, Louisiana, placed eighth. HC Sport Horses’ HC San Patrignano, ridden by Lucy Heaton of Clarksdale, Mississippi, placed ninth and Katrina Seitz’ Notre Montrachet, ridden by Amy Tilson Ochoa of Zionsville, Indiana, finished in tenth place. Lily Gumenick of Richmond, Virginia rode her own Summit to an eleventh place finish and Hil Cat Farm’s Casting Call, ridden by Catherine Castle of Folsom, Louisiana, finished in twelfth place.

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The hunter grooms were recognized Friday thanks to Sheila and Shirley Murphy. Tito Aguilar won the class and the cash award. Second place went to Missie Morrissey and third place was awarded to Josette Ward. “The grooms are often the unsung heroes of the horse show world and this class is a great opportunity to thank them for their commitment to the well-being of our horses,” said Bob Bell, President of the Gulf Coast Classic Company.

The $2,000 Sidelines 3′ and 3’3″ Green Hunter took place and for an entry fee of $5, Jason Berry and Kirsten Martin’s Cammarata won the 3’3″ Green Hunter Championship and Julie Curtin and her own Honey Badger won the 3′ Sidelines Green Hunter Championship. Twenty-three horse and rider teams competed in Week II’s $2,000 Sidelines Green Hunter Division and it continues to be successful, largely in part of Sidelines Magazine’s sponsorship of the Green Hunter Division offered for only a $5 entry fee. “Sidelines is happy to sponsor this division which is so important to the development of our Hunter horses,” commented Bradley Spragg, Publisher of Sidelines Magazine.
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