Friday, August 19, 2011

2011 USHJA Hunter Derby Finals Weekend!

Hey there Derby fans, it's Derby Finals weekend down in Lexington, KY! 

Yesterday was the jog and the hack (all horses passed for soundness in the jog).  There are some really fantastic pictures of the Derby horses getting ready for the hack on the International Hunter Derby facebook page.  The candids were like celebrity sightings for me -- I know most of the big Derby horses by now and I am such a Superfan (where are my foam fingers that say "Jersey Boy" and "Crown Affair"?) that I get a little giddy seeing candid shots of these amazing creatures (reminds me of US Weekly - they wear polos and heidi boots - just like us!).  I highly suggest liking them on facebook for up-to-date coverage and scores of the rounds!

Today is the 1st Round of the Derby.  The first round course looks like this:

(Also courtesy of the IHD facebook page)

I especially love the options starting at Fence 9 -- either land from fence 8 and roll back to 9, then jump the in-and-out toward home and keep turning left to 12, or land from fence 8, across the diagonal to the other option at 9, then hard right to the in-and-out away from home, and roll back left to 12.  I'm so curious to see how most people ride that.  I think I'd prefer the first option I described, though the second one may be a better opportunity to show off your horse's handiness.  The design of that in-and-out is really cool, check it out:

(Photo courtesy of the COTH facebook page)

I will be following along on facebook today for the Round 1 scores, and I will re-post them here once they are released.  So far this morning, two of my favorites, Clearly (ridden by Kelley Farmer), and Garfield (ridden by Scott Stewart), have the highest scores with a 341 and a 350, respectively.  Stay tuned!  There will be a recap on the USEF network this evening. 

Also, tomorrow evening, at 6:25 p.m. Eastern (first horse on course at 6:45 pm), Round 2 will be streaming live on the USEF network.  Friends and I are getting together to watch together.  Some people have Oscar parties... hunter princesses have Derby Finals parties....  If you can't see the streaming video, you may want to check in at the COTH Hunter/Jumper forum.  There is SURE to be a thread going as folks watch at home, and the commentary never ceases to entertain.

An exciting weekend in hunterland for sure!  Check back here for more updates.

Update #1:  Scott Stewart took home 1st, 2nd, and 3rd aboard Carlos Boy, Declaration, and Empire in Round 1.  Empire is my favorite of the three! 

Update #2:  The Top 25 Results from Round 1/the Qualifying Round:
1st - Carlos-Boy/Scott Stewart;
2nd - Declaration/Scott Stewart;
3rd - Empire/Scott Stewart;
4th - Madison/Lillie Keenan;
5th - C Coast Z/Lillie Keenan;
6th - Garfield/Scott Stewart;
7th - Crown Affair/John French;
8th - Carlson/Tammy Provost;
9th - Sailor's Valentine/Holly Orlando;
10th - Timber Ridge/Erynn Ballard;
‎11th - Brunello/Liza Boyd;
12th - Yes Indeed/Sarah Mechlin;
13th - Valiant/Tammy Provost;
14th - Inclusive/Victoria Colvin;
15th - Taken/Kelley Farmer;
16th - CR Haribo/Hope Glynn;
17th - Clearly/Kelley Farmer;
18th - Posse/Colleen Acosta;
19th - Sienna/Patricia Griffith
‎20th - Poetic/Maggie Boylan;
21st - Havana/Victoria Colvin;
22nd - Bases Loaded/Kelley Farmer;
23rd - Praise/Kelley Farmer;
24th - Francesca/Maggie Jayne;
25th - Tell All/Susie Baker.

CONRATS TO ALL!  (Some of my personal faves on that list... Empire, Garfield, Crown Affair, Brunello, Taken, Clearly, and Francesca ... but all of the horses above are simply spectacular!)

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