Stephanie Dubois-Emond and Castello. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.
Ottawa, Ontario – Stephanie Dubois-Emond, of Morriston, FL, won the $10,000 Canadian Hunter Derby, presented by Topline Trailers, on Sunday, July 17 at the Ottawa National Horse Show held at Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa, ON.
In her hunter derby debut, Dubois-Emond topped a large starting field of 59 entries riding Castello, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Colleen McKenzie. The pair earned a total score of 103 points from the judges, including ten bonus points for taking all of the high option fences offered throughout the course.
“I’ll definitely do that again!” said Dubois-Emond, who normally competes in the show jumping divisions. “This is my first hunter derby ever. I’ve never done one; I’ve never really ever even watched one. Before riding Castello, I had not done the hunters since I was a kid, so this was really a lot of fun today.”
Finishing in close second to Dubois-Emond and Castello was Ryan Roy of King City, ON and Bayridge, owned by Doug Bannister. The pair was one point off the lead, earning a score of 102 points while Isabelle Lapierre of Levis, QC placed third with a score of 101.5 riding Excellent Balou, owned by Gabrielle Buisson.
Renowned Canadian course designers Evie Frisque and 2015 Jump Canada ‘Official of the Year’ Chris Brandt set a challenging track on Wesley Clover Parks’ expansive grass grand prix field that attracted the most entries ever seen in a Canadian Hunter Derby Series qualifying event. Horses and riders competed over specially-constructed natural obstacles, and bravery was tested as they galloped down through the dreaded devil’s dyke.
“Castello was great today; he’s the simplest horse I’ve ever had to deal with,” said Dubois-Emond, who began riding the horse in January for McKenzie. “Now I’ll probably aim to do the next event [in the Canadian Hunter Derby Series].”
The richest qualifying event in the Canadian Hunter Derby Series, the $10,000 Canadian Hunter Derby is a qualifier for the prestigious Canadian Hunter Derby Series Final, offering a total of $40,000 in prize money, to be held at Toronto’s Royal Horse Show on November 6 and 8.
Earlier in the day, young riders had an opportunity to compete on Wesley Clover Parks’ grass grand prix field in the CET Medal competition, won by Montreal’s Ludovic Richer riding Grand Slam 3E. The CET Mini Medal was also held on Sunday, with Quebec’s Marie Deragon St. Cerny topping 26 entries riding Qui Est-Ce de Bromont.
To find out more about the Ottawa National and CSI2* Ottawa International Horse Shows, visit www.ottawaequestriantournaments.com. For complete results from the Ottawa National Horse Show, visit ottawa.showmanagementsystem.com.