Hunter competition in the Stonelea Ring began with the highlight of the day, the $5,000 USHJA National Derby, sponsored by the World Equestrian Center and Kentucky Horse Shows. After taking the win in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby in the previous week at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, Havens Schatt returned to take another impressive win in the hunter ring, this time with Caroline Moran’s Happy Thoughts. The pair claimed their victory after scoring a total of 185 points.
Thirty-three entries tackled Bobby Murphy’s derby course, which featured a total of ten fences including four locations where horse-and-rider combinations could choose either a high or low option. Following the first round of competition, the top 12 athletes who scored above a 83 were asked to return to showcase their horse’s handiness with rollbacks and a trot fence featured halfway through the course.
Schatt completed the first round of competition sitting in the second place position, behind Jeff Gogul and Snowbird, with a score of 90 after taking all of the high option fences. Aboard Happy Thoughts, an 8-year-old Warmblood, Schatt returned to the ring with a plan to utilize her horse’s handiness throughout the duration of the course. Showcasing smooth rollback turns on the adjusted derby course, which now featured eight fences, Schatt and Happy Thoughts delivered a textbook round that would earn them the highest score of the day at 95 points. Schatt plans to continue to work the gelding in the derbies, eventually working him up to the 3’6” international derby level.
Coming in second place was another repeat winner from the previous week of competition at the Kentucky Horse Park, Gogul aboard Snowbird. Owned by Roberts Stables LLC, Snowbird is a regular in national derbies, consistently placing in the top three with Gogul at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio near his home base of Chagrin Falls.
Sunday’s feature class is part of an 15-event USHJA National Hunter Derby series collaboration sponsored by the World Equestrian Center and Kentucky Horse Shows that includes $10,000 in rider bonuses to be awarded at the World Equestrian Invitational in October.
Kentucky Horse Shows will continue at the Kentucky Horse Park for its summer series, which will begin with the Kentucky Summer Show from July 24 through 28. Highlights will include the $5,000 National Hunter Derby, sponsored by World Equestrian Center and Kentucky Horse Shows and the $50,000 Rood and Riddle Grand Prix. The Kentucky Spring Classic will take place directly after on July 30 through August 4.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Havens Schatt – $5,000 USHJA National Derby winner
On Happy Thoughts:
“He is 8 years old. I do him in the national derbies because I just didn’t think he was ready for 3’6” height yet. The national derbies are great to give them something interesting to do. This horse has really found his niche at this, he really likes it. It gives him the experience to jump bigger jumps, then smaller jumps. They’re always in nice rings so it’s a good atmosphere to get them used to things to come in their future. He has a funny personality. He is a very quiet horse, but he can be opinionated at times. He likes when people watch him.”
On Kentucky Horse Shows:
“We live here in Georgetown and this is just one of the premiere facilities in the country. We always know that there will be good course designers, judges, and footing here. They pay attention to the weather and all of that. We’re so lucky to have this facility in our backyard.”
$5,000 USHJA National Derby, sponsored by the World Equestrian Center and Kentucky Horse Shows
Place / Horse / Rider / R1 Score / R2 Score / Total
1. Happy Thoughts / Havens Schatt / 90 / 95 / 185
2. Snowbird / Jeff Gogul / 91 / 93 / 184
3. Tztargazer / Chloe White / 89 / 89.5 / 178.5
4. Page One / Jennifer Alfano / 88 / 90 / 178
5. Cascartini / Havens Schatt / 84.5 / 92 / 176.5
6. Conor / Jennifer Waxman / 84 / 89 / 173
7. Fastrello K / James Boyce / 84 / 88 / 172
8. Counselor / Jeff Gogul / 86.5 / 84 / 170.5
9. Lloyd / Emily Williams / 86 / 81 / 167
10. Honor / Ashleen Lee / 86.25 / 75 / 161.25
11. Herr Drosselmeyer / Anneliese Kolaska / 83 / 77 / 160
12. Caesar Augustus / Anneliese Kolaska / 84.5 / 75 / 159.5