Lexington, KY – May 12, 2012 – The night was filled with anticipation and excitement as the nation’s top hunter riders gathered beneath the lights of the Rolex Stadium tonight at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. The evening began with the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby where renowned hunter rider Louise Serio took the championship prize aboard Corvine. The $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby turned into a nail-biter as 14-year-old Victoria Colvin went neck and neck against Jennifer Alfano, with the junior rider eventually emerging victorious.
Riders were tested over a classic hunter course designed by Bobby Murphy, and the top 12 scoring combinations advanced into the handy hunter round. The course was beautifully set, and was reminiscent of a hunt field. The two-round course included stonewalls, oxers, standalone verticals, gates, brushes and an in-and-out. Four high options were offered to the riders as a way of earning additional points on their base scores. The decision to take the higher option came down to whether or not the horse would still be able to demonstrate their style and grace with effectiveness. Additional points were also awarded to riders who demonstrated “handiness” and an elevated amount of difficulty.