Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 7, 2021 – Hunter competition at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show came to a head early Saturday morning in the Stonelea Ring during the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. An expansive fleet of 70 junior, amateur and professional athletes took to the derby ring aboard their prospective mounts in hopes of claiming some of the last precious World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) points before the Finals later this fall. Due to the large field of competitors, the class was broken up into Professional and Non-Professional sections. Rising to the occasion in the pro-section was Keri Kampsen with Arezzo, while junior rider Shiloh Roseboom, topped the Non-Pro section aboard Likely Story posting the highest scores of the day out of all 70 competitors.
With 70 horse-and-rider pairs in the initial pack, the talent in the field ran deep prompting the athletes and their mounts to pull out all the stops in the first round in order to catch the judges’ eyes. On the open card, it was Jeff Gogul and No Doubt who rose to the occasion leading the pack on a first-round score of 89.000. Michael Desiderio and Cromwell were hot on their heels with a first-round score of 88.750, while Kampsen sat not so far behind in third place aboard Arezzo with a score of 88.50. With only half of a point separating the top three professional riders, the coveted winning ribbon was anyone’s for the taking.
Heading into the handy round, it was Kampsen who was the first of the top three to take to the ring. She and Woodland Way LLC’s Dutch Warmblood gelding laid down a round to envy. As an experienced derby competitor, Kampsen instilled confidence in the 7-year-old mount as they navigated the handy track with style and grace taking all four high options to score a consistent 88.500. Combined with her first-round score of 88.500 the pair closed out their day with a total score of 177.000.
The leaderboard saw a shake-up when Caitlin Venezia, who sat just outside of the top-three following the first round on a score of 88.000, laid down an excellent effort in the handy with Jennifer Combs’ 9-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding earning a score of 87.000 bumping them into the second-place position with a total score of 175.000. She only held the position briefly though as Desiderio followed up with Debbie Bianco’s 12-year-old Warmblood gelding, Cromwell. Their competitive handy round score of 87.750 would ultimately prove high enough to take over the second-place position on an overall score of 176.5000, falling just half of a point shy of Kampsen’s lead with a 176.500, which would be good enough to earn her the victory.
On the Junior/Amateur card it was Roseboom who dominated the field with her first-round score of 92.000. She and Enchantment Farms LLC’s 13-year-old Westphalian gelding Likely Story turned heads with their effortlessly smooth and stylish first round earning the highest first-round score out of all 70 competitors. Waiting in the wings to try and snag the lead was Friday’s Hagyard Grand Reserve Junior Hunter Champion, Mae Mannis with Clooney’s Pleasure just 2 points shy with a score of 90.000. Closing out the top three heading into the handy was Alexandria Beneson and Ballentine’s F with a score of 86.500.
Amateur rider Anna Koenig shot up the leaderboard to take over the third-place position aboard Ashland Farms’ 7-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Constantin to earn an overall score of 171.000. Mannis maintained her second-place position finishing out her day on a total score of 180.000.
Both 12-horse handy rounds saw stiff competition, but it was Roseboom who stole the show, laying down the round of the day as the final athlete to enter the arena. The junior rider from Tennessee proclaimed that she and her “trusty partner” sometimes struggle in their handy rounds, although the judges would never have guessed rewarding the dynamic duo’s efforts with a whopping score of 94.000. Roseboom showed talent and expertise beyond her years piloting her mount with precision nailing all of the high options and flawlessly executing the transition to the trot fence. As the final competitors to take to the ring, the pair secured the two highest scores of the day, running away with the victory in the non-pro section on a total score of 186.000.
Competition concludes at the Kentucky Horse Park, Sunday, August 8, with the crowning of the Hagyard Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion, Presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Keri Kampsen – $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Professional Section Winner
“Arezzo belongs to Peggy (Margaret) O’Meara and Woodland Way Stables out of Wellington. He’s 7 years old and eligible pre-green. This was our first derby together. His jumping style is so effortless – I think that’s where we got the nice scores from. He was great. He’s a super brave horse. He always has a great expression.”
On her strategy for the class:
“I was a little conservative in my first round not knowing how he would do in the long bending lines. The handy, again, because he’s 7 years old, I took a very conservative approach to the bending lines. I gave him time in the bending line, which allowed me to turn tighter on the backsides.”
On showing at the Kentucky Summer Classic:
“This is one of my favorite horse shows. It’s the one always on my schedule and I am very nervous to judge pony finals next week!”
On her future plans:
“We’re here showing for the next two weeks. We will do the Bluegrass Festival and the KHJA Horse Show, and we’re looking forward to indoors.”
Shiloh Roseboom – $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Non-Pro Section Winner
On her mount:
“He’s my junior hunter and we were champion in the 3’6” this weekend. We always do the derby after, and we’ve always been almost winning. The handy isn’t always our favorite. He’s a little freaked out by the cantering in, but he put on his big boy pants this time. He’s my trusty partner. I’ve had him for almost two years. We just moved up to the 3’6” this year and it has been going really well.”
On her plan for the handy:
“I just had a plan to make him as calm and relaxed as possible, and I tried to keep the lead after I saw the person that went in before me had a pretty high score. I had a two point lead, so I just went in hoping it would go smooth and it all lined up perfectly.”
On showing at the Kentucky Horse Park:
“I feel like it’s really fun and I really like all the shows they hold here.”
On her future plans:
“I think we’re planning on doing the Capitol Challenge, medal finals, and pony finals.”
$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby – Professional Section
Horse / Rider / Owner / Total Score
1. Arezzo / Keri Kampsen / Woodland Way LLC / 177
2. Cromwell / Michael Desiderio / Debbie Blanco / 176.5
3. True Blue / Caitlin Venezia / Jennifer Combs / 175
4. No Doubt / Jeff Gogul / Roaring Brook LLC / 168
5. Icadello / Cecelia Perry / Cecelia Perry / 165
6. Hey King / Winter Tietjen / Winter Tietjen / 152
7. Cabochon / Sophie Carlin / Sophie Carlin / 148.5
8. LF West Bank / Sue Takata / Sue Takata / 135
$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby – Non – Professional Section
Horse / Rider / Owner / Total Score
1. Likely Story / Shiloh Roseboom / Enchantment Farms LLC / 186
2. Cloney’s Pleasure / Mae Mannis / Mia Mannis / 180
3. Constantin / Anna Koenig / Ashland Farms / 171
4. Biscoff / Nicole Lyvere / Nicole Lyvere / 170.5
5. Zero Tolerance / Allison Cederberg / Dru Cederberg / 169
6. Royal Crown / Taylor Horace / Taylor Horace / 168.5
7. Independence / Naomi Dachis / Naomi Dachis / 165.5
8. Venice / Shiloh Roseboom / Shiloh Roseboom / 165