Sunday at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show concluded with the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby sponsored by World Equestrian Center/Kentucky Horse Shows LLC. Havens Schatt held the lead from round one into the handy round to clinch the title aboard Salt Creek. Jennifer Waxman and Codex 22 settled for second place while Dominic Gibbs and Perseus YC claimed third place.
Lyman T. Whitehead and Tucker Ericsson judged a field of 33 entries comprised of professional, amateur and junior riders that tackled the course set by Jason Shelley. The track consisted of 11 obstacles that included four high options, and following the classic round, the top 12 horse-and-rider combinations returned for the handy round in reverse order. The second round gave riders the opportunity to display their horses’ handiness with a series of roll backs, four high options and a trot fence to a two-stride combination.
In the classic round, Schatt and Salt Creek earned an 88 plus 4 points for the high options for an impressive total of 92. Close behind was Waxman and Codex 22 with an 84 plus 4 points for taking the high options for a first round total of 88. With just 4 points separating them going into the handy round, Waxman left no room for error when she turned in a stellar round with scores of 91 from the judges plus all four high options, giving them an impressive score of 95 combined with their first round score to total 183 points, taking over the leaderboard. Schatt knew she had to impress the judges to overtake Waxman’s total, and opted for an inside turn and all four high options. Although Waxman’s score from the handy round would remain the top score of the second round, Schatt’s 89 from the judges plus 4 points for the high options for a grand total of 185 points, would be enough to surpass Waxman and take home the top placing.
Salt Creek is an 8-year-old black Selle Francais gelding owned by Schatt and is still new to competing in the national derbies, but is already building an impressive record. The pair were second in the USHJA National Hunter Derby at the Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic earlier in July and second in the same class in the spring at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Schatt and Salt Creek will return next week for the Kentucky Summer Classic and take another try for the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby title.
The National Hunter Derby Program was launched in 2010 to provide both horses and riders a place to gain experience in Derby competition at a lower height and difficulty level than the International Hunter Derbies. The program has enjoyed continued success and growth throughout the years and is rising in popularity. Sunday’s feature class is part of a 17-event USHJA National Hunter Derby series collaboration sponsored by the World Equestrian Center and Kentucky Horse Shows that includes $20,000 in rider bonuses to be awarded at the World Equestrian Invitational in October.
With the conclusion of hunter competition at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, the hunters will continue on Tuesday, July 30 with the start of the Kentucky Summer Classic July 30 – August 4 featuring the Green Conformation Hunters in the Stonelea Ring.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Havens Schatt – $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby winner
On her performance today:
“He was super today! The first round was one of the smoothest rounds he’s ever had. He was on it from the beginning. I was a bit worried with so many broken lines because he is only 8-years-old and sometimes he gets a bit confused with broken lines, but he landed on all his leads and he was great.”
On her horse:
“I’ve had him for a year and a half. At the beginning of this year, I didn’t feel like he was ready to do the 3’6 Green Hunter and he’s not eligible for Pre-Green anymore, so I decided I would start to do some derbies with him and the 3’6 Performance. This was his first derby win — he’s been second and third a few times. I was happy for him to finally get the win. He’s really fun to ride. He goes in a rubber snaffle with no martingale and he just goes. He’s so brave and in the handy I didn’t even question to go inside to the second jump to the high option. It was a harder turn, but you put the jump in front of him and he’s game to do it.”
On what’s next for Salt Creek:
“He will show next week again in the national derby. After that, I may give him a break. I have another horse named Happy Thoughts that does these national derbies — I was giving him a break these weeks and then he will show at the Bluegrass Festival.”
On Sunday’s course:
“For me, I thought the first course rode great with Salt Creek. You had to ride the course a bit slower — it was not a course to attack. The handy had enough tricks which allowed for some great high scores. I was three points ahead of Jeff Gogul going into the handy. Since they don’t give handy points, I was thinking I was going to jump the low option at number two because why make it difficult and risk a mistake if you have that buffer? I didn’t see his round but he said he had a problem after the trot jump and I knew his score. Then Jen Waxman went in and got a 91 and I thought “I have to do the high option!” So I changed by strategy as I was walking down. We actually had a little rub behind on the first jump so I knew I had to really step it up to erase that little mistake.”
On showing at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show:
“We live in Georgetown so the show is very convenient for us. It’s been about 10 years since I’ve been competed at these two shows. How can you ask for a better place to show than the Kentucky Horse Park? It’s nice to be home and feel so lucky to have this amazing facility with top-notch competition, judges and managers. We are incredibly lucky to have that here.”
$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, Sponsored by World Equestrian Center / Kentucky Horse Shows LLC
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Score / R2 Score / Total Score
1. Salt Creek / Havens Schatt / Havens Schatt / 92 / 93 / 185
2. Codex 22 / Jennifer Waxman / Elm Rock LLC / 88 / 95 / 183
3. Perseus YC / Dominic Gibbs / Erin Gibbs / 87 / 94 / 181
4. Helen / Kelly Mullen / Allison W Ventura / 86.5 / 92 / 178.5
5. Candid / Vivian Yowan / Jennifer Alfano / 86 / 91 / 177
6. At Last / Jeff Gogul / Roberts Stables LLC / 85 / 88.5 / 173.5
7. Balou Belle / Robin Rost Brown / Robin Rost Brown / 83 / 89 / 172
8. Freakfeld / Olivia Darnell / Lily Beck / 82.5 / 87 / 169.5
9. Quarterletto / Callie Schott / Riverview Farm LLC / 82 / 85 / 167
10. Snowbird / Jeff Gogul / Roberts Stables LLC / 89 / 64 / 153
11. MTM One Time / Kelly Lorek / MTM Farm / 84 / 68 / 152
12. Conor / Jennifer Waxman / Jennifer Waxman LLC / 85.5 / 62 / 147.5