Peter Wylde and Candor 15.
Wellington, FL – March 20, 2015 – It was déjà vu during the second annual Hunter Derby Days at The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour. Peter Wylde has racked up an impressive list of accolades – including winning Olympic gold – but last year he attempted his first USHJA International Hunter derby, and won with Smoking Gun. Today, Wylde returned to the turf at The Ridge Farm to ride Candor 15 to first place finish in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, clinching the championship title for his second consecutive year.
Prior to posing with the coveted rosette, Wylde and Candor 15 had to best an extremely competitive field of 28 horse and rider combinations over two rounds of competition.
Following the first, classic hunter round of competition, the top 12 horse and rider combinations returned in reverse order of their rankings for the second round of competition over the Rob Carey (CAN) designed course.
Wylde and Candor 15 made the biggest jump from the first round to the second round. Originally tied for the fourth place with Kelley Farmer and one of her multiple mounts, So to Speak. They earned 180 points from the judges for the first round, but came back to dominate in the handy. Using Candor’s scope and handiness, Wylde smoked the competition to earn 7 handy points from Panel A and 6 handy points from Panel B. Combined with four points added to the base scores of 95 and 91 for taking all high options, Wylde and Candor ended the day with the highest handy score of 207.
Candor 15 is a little different from other competitors. The grey gelding is a veteran of the Adult Jumper division, but in the fall of 2014, owner Dana Tourville asked if Wylde believed that Candor could do the hunters. Without hesitation, Wylde suggested taking a shot with the brave horse, winning two classes during their first show in the hunter ring at Saugerties and then kicking off the season with good ribbons in the High Performance Hunters and the sixth place finish for their efforts during the first of the 2015 $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby of The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour.
“He has done really well,” Wylde smiled. “Basically, the plan was derbies for him. He is a superstar derby horse in my opinion, especially when you have high options. He turns beautifully; he is really handy and has a huge stride. Now, he has figured out what it means to be a hunter. He used to buck and play a little bit after the jumps because he was basically always going in jump offs and he was kind of foolish. Now he loves it. It’s funny – now it’s like he looks forward to going to the ring.”
It was his scope and handiness that allowed Wylde to leave no stone unturned on the derby field.
“We were hoping to peak for these two weeks. We did the earlier derby here in February, and it was a little early. We had only done one show with the high performance and he was sixth in that derby but he was still a little green to the hunter world, was brave and playful. He jumped the best he has jumped today. The higher jumps are the best for him.”
The handy course did not blatantly offer options for the riders. Carey designed the track so that the rider had to decide how tight they wanted to make the turns. For Wylde, it was the perfect handy course. Candor was able to land from a fence, make a tight turn and jump up to the big vertical that incurred several rubs, and knocked the first round’s third place horse and rider combination, Farmer and Joyful, out of their spot with a rail falling to the floor.
Farmer rode six entries in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, with five of her mounts finishing in the top 12. Farmer ended the day with the second place overall aboard Symbolic, a new mount for the professional hunter rider. The Ridge Derby Days were his first hunter debut, adding a notch to his belt and already making a name only two weeks into competition with Farmer. They ended the competition with a score of 384 points, only three points behind Wylde and Candor 15.
Hannah Isop and Red Ryder, owned by Tracy Freels, rode to the third place finish with the overall score of 383.5, while Farmer picked up the fourth and fifth place finishes with Mindful and So To Speak, respectively. Rounding out the top six was Jennifer Bauersachs and For Love, owned by Spring Hill Farm, Inc.
Wylde now has his sights set on the derby at the final week of the Winter Equestrian Festival, as well as the Kentucky and Devon derby classes. He hopes to qualify for the 2015 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship in Lexington, KY this summer.
“I must say that I seem to have inherited some really fancy hunters this circuit. I look forward to doing both-the jumper division, as I have always done, and the hunters. It is a discipline I really enjoy and appreciate. There are some really nice derbies coming up that we would like to do. It is a really great program.”
He plans on returning to The Ridge at Wellington’s Hunter Derby Days next year. “The footing was excellent. It is just soft enough, without being too soft. The footing is really natural and really good. I love the shape of the ring; it’s different and it’s interesting. It isn’t the same thing over and over again, it is great for the competition, and Candor really shined out there today.”
When you saw top hunter riders names such as Winn Alden, Evan Coluccio, and Hannah Isop, you knew that the competition for the National Derby today at The Ridge at Wellington was going to be anything but easy. Almost 30 of the top National derby horses took their turn at the track designed by Carey, completing two rounds in the sand arena surrounded by beautiful palm trees on the picturesque farm. At the conclusion of the competition, Winn Alden would ride Southern Arches, LLC’s Marshall to the top prize.
In the first round, Taylor St. Jacques was the third rider in the ring, riding Alejandro. Starting the day off with a bang, she posted an impressive score, taking all the high options to wind up with a score of 178. This score would hold up throughout the morning, finishing at the top of the first round scores. Unfortunately, an overenthusiastic Alejandro played a bit too hard landing off of one of the oxers in the handy round, resulting in the elimination of the top placed team.
Alden also took all of the high options in the first round to finish within striking distance of the lead with a score of 174. Penny Lombardo rode Too Much Fun over all the high options to come back just one point behind at 173.
The handy round saw competition heat up as the pairs returned to compete in reverse order. Every pair took all four high options, adding eight to their base scores.
Alden left little to chance, laying down another impressive trip to add 181 to her original score, totaling out at 355. Marshall floated around the ring, as the epitome of a top class hunter at the top of his game. Alden came to The Ridge today with the intention of making it a low-key day of competition.
“I showed him one day during circuit and that’s it. He has just been hanging out and came here to do it for the fun of it. He is just a perfect horse.”
She added, “We wanted to come over and just have fun since we haven’t really shown. One of my adults was also in it, so I thought it would be fun for her to do. We want to get him fit so he can do the international derby.”
Alden’s student, Brook Cole, would finish the day in 11th, riding her own Poetic Justis. Alden was very proud of Cole’s performance today in the derby. “I was super proud of her. Her first trip was great. She was champion in the adults last week at WEF, but she was a little nervous today. She had a great first round, and then she had a little miss in the handy, but I was very proud of her.”
Cole was very supportive of The Ridge Hunter Days. “It was lovely! The course rode really smooth while still being challenging. The farm is gorgeous. It’s really nice to be able to walk straight over from WEF over here and feel the same level of competition and expertise.”
Emma Kurtz and Eloquence moved up, coming back fourth from the first round. The pair rode a very handy second round, finishing with a 178 to end at 350 to bring home the red ribbon.
Tiffany Morrissey and Bellucci added an additional 177 to their original 169 to total at 346, good enough for third. Denice De Risio-Perry rode the gorgeous dappled bay gelding Crescendo to a fourth place finish. Revelstoke and Hannah Isop finished in fifth overall. Penny Lombardo would round out the top six on Missy Yoder’s Too Much Fun.
The eleventh week of The Ridge at Wellington’s Turf Tour will continue tomorrow, Saturday, March 21, at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) with its 1.40m Grand Prix.
Saturday’s events promise to be exciting, with the $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix running from 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. on the turf field. The second ring will begin at 8 a.m., with the Children/Adult Jumper classes, offering a classic round for the division, running with an open card until noon. In addition, there will be a Low Schooling Jumper division with two classes running alongside one another, offered at this height. The $2,000 Child and Adult Classic is pointed from Marshall & Sterling, NAL & WIHS. The Junior/Amateur-Owners will start at 12:30 p.m. and run until 4:30 p.m., with both the regular class and classic card open concurrently. The $3,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic is NAL pointed. Medium schooling jumpers will also be offered with cards running concurrently.
The event is approaching quickly, so riders should get their entries in to avoid post-entry fees. Week ten of the Ridge at Wellington’s Turf Tour will take place at The International Polo Club, located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington, FL 33414. The show entrance will be off 120th Street between Lake Worth Road and Pierson Road.
Show Net will be onsite for both Wednesday and Friday events posting live results, as well as videoing rounds in both rings. For results and videos, please visit www.shownet.biz.
Meadowbrook Horse Transport will provide transportation to and from the horse show and other locations throughout Wellington for both the Wednesday and Friday events. The transportation is a nominal fee of $50 per horse, and will be calculated into the final show fees. To make a reservation for one of the three pickup times, 8 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m., please call Peter Tufano of Meadowbrook Horse Transport at (954) 415-7217, or call Nona Garson at (908) 500-0996.
The Ridge at Wellington Horse Show Series Fast Facts
The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour offers their popular 1.40m Invitational Grand Prix for its third year, with an open in gate format taking place once a week at beautiful venues throughout Wellington. The Ridge at Wellington Grand Prix Finale will take place March 27, 2015.
The Turf Tour also will host 1.30m-1.35m Jumpers every Wednesday beginning January 7, 2015 and running until March 18, 2015.
Young Jumper Classes and both Children’s/Senior Jumper Classics will find their home intermittently throughout the Wellington Turf Tour, running concurrently with the 1.30-1.35m and 1.40m Jumpers.
The Ridge at Wellington offers Equitation Shows every Tuesday of the month from January 6 – March 23, 2015. There will also be a series of schooling shows at the Ridge at Wellington for all experience levels.
Two USHJA International Hunter Derbies will take place February 6, 2015 and March 20, 2015.
The Ridge at Wellington series includes several weeks of competition throughout the Winter Season with USEF Rated Equitation Shows. This winter will also feature five two-day schooling shows. The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour will offer 1.30m-1.35m Jumpers, 1.40m Invitational Grand Prix, Young Jumpers, Children’s/Adult Classics, Masters Jumpers, Junior/Amateur Classics, two hunter derbies and the Pre-Green Incentive Stake.
Before Show – (561) 791-1471, Email: RidgeShows@aol.com
During Show – Telephone: (561) 791-1471, Fax: (561) 791-1543
Text: (908) 500-0996
14415 Palm Beach Point Blvd. East
Wellington, FL, 33414
(561) 791-1471 (show office)
(908) 839-3859 (show cell)
(561) 791-1543 (show fax)