Liza Boyd and Clemens. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.
Mill Spring, NC – May 19, 2017 – Liza Boyd of Camden, SC captured top honors in both the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby and $10,000 International Hunter Derby at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), making her mark on World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) week at the venue. Boyd topped a class of 26 entries on her way to taking the highlight hunter class of the week, the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby in George H. Morris Arena aboard Clemens.
Boyd is a mainstay at TIEC during the major hunter weeks at the venue, as her home base of Camden, SC is only a mere two hours away. With multiple rides in a number of classes, Boyd made the most of her time aboard her mounts, as she rocketed to the top of both the national and international derbies today with Clemens and Shamrock. She also took top honors in the $5,000 USHJA Pre-Green Hunter Incentive aboard Callahan earlier in the week.
Sarah Taylor of Sherborn, MA and Carento, owned by Sherri Crawford, took second place in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby with a final score of 362, ahead of Katie Cooper of Owings Mills, MD and Sandlot, owned by Cherry Knoll Farm, Inc., who finished the class in third place with a two round combined score of 360.5.
“I did put some pressure on myself to win. I thought winning all three big classes this week would be really exciting,” said Boyd. “I want to thank this horse show and the management for the hunter opportunities here and offering the prize money.”
She piloted Clemens, a 2007 Oldenburg gelding owned by Finally Farm, Inc., to victory after recording a total score of 373 from the judging panel to earn the pairs first international derby win together. The duo finished with a score of 171 in the first round to sit in the top ten before returning for a spectacular handy round and receiving a 202 from the judges, catapulting them into first place.
While the atmosphere grew a bit more intense as the top twelve re-entered the George H. Morris Arena for their handy round, Boyd noted that Clemens surprised her and felt more relaxed than she had anticipated in their second round.
“He’s only just seven and was just imported in February, so he’s only done a few hunter horse shows. The first round I think he went in there a little frozen with his head up a bit, but then came back for the handy, took a deep breath and was a made horse. I’m really proud of him.”
Boyd has been searching for her next top mount following her illustrious career with the storied Brunello and feels that Clemens may have the makings to be a top contender like his stablemate.
“Annie Walters from South Carolina imported him from Germany and she sent me a Facebook message asking if I could help her with him in Aiken. I watched him go every day and I told my dad that I thought I may want him for myself,” she laughed. “I’m really picky and when I rode him, I was like I found him.”
Aiming for a more educational round during their first tour around the course, Boyd felt confident enough to test the gelding a bit more during the handy. The pair perfected all of the low options in their first round and returned to take each of the high options in the handy, which drastically increased their score.
“I felt like it was a good opportunity for him to learn. I decided to try all of the high options and if I needed to alter my plan at some point I would. I didn’t obviously expect him to win tonight,” she elaborated. “I would have been very pleased with a top five finish and there were a lot of horses in the class who are a lot more seasoned than him, but tonight was just our night.”
Earlier in the day, Boyd made her way to the winner’s presentation ceremony again, this time aboard Shamrock, a 2009 Hanoverian gelding owned by Finally Farm, Inc., as the duo topped the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby with a two round score of 183. The pair received a 92 in the first round from the panel to return for the handy round with the lead well in hand. They followed their impressive first round performance with a 91 in the second to secure the win.
Devin Seek of Ocala, FL and Canal Street, owned by Donald Stewart, rode to second place with a final score of 178, while Caroline Weeden of Lake Forest, IL and In Time, owned by Glory Days Farm, LLC, finished in third place with a score of 177.
“I was excited that they had the national class in the two lower rings so that it opened the space up a bit. They used all of the derby jumps for the class later and I think it’s a great stepping stone to get these horses ready for the next level,” she commented. “The first round was great. You could kind of make it your own and get creative.”
“My strategy was to go in and have a solid round. As the class went on the scores were getting higher and higher so I wanted to really make sure that we impressed,” she added.
The handy round offered horse and rider combinations the ability to showcase their agility and grace and Boyd thought her second round effort with Shamrock showcased his talent in the ring.
“It was a really good course. There were some great options. There was the ability to test things that are harder to teach at home. From a horse and rider perspective, I thought it was awesome for what we needed to accomplish today.”
The venue offered an Open Hunter class in the George H. Morris Arena on Wednesday, May 17, prior to the start of major derby competition and Boyd reiterated her excitement and thanks to the show management for allowing competitors the opportunity to gain exposure in the main ring.
“I thought that it was really a thoughtful gesture for the show management to include that in this week’s classes. What a great way to give your horse some experience before the bigger classes. I think it provides a great platform to do some kind of a welcome class prior to the derby, which is great for us as riders too,” she continued.
For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), please visit www.tryon.com.