Peter Pletcher didn’t have the best start to the second round of the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show.
Pletcher rode four of the 12 horses that advanced to the handy, and on his second, Aura, he forgot the track and had to circle.
“I just totally forgot,” said Pletcher, who admitted it’s not the first time in recent memory he’s lost track of where he was going in the ring. “One of my customers came up to me and said ‘That’s going to be the best thing for the kids at this show to see.’ ”
Scott Brash has had a pretty good trip to Wellington, Fla., for the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. The show jumper ranked No. 1 in the world picked up plenty of checks, and no fewer than seven second place ribbons. But every time there’s a victory gallop, he’s had to stare at someone else’s tail.
But in the last class of circuit, Brash picked a good time to reverse that trend.
Most riders consider the handy round of the USHJA International Hunter Derbies the more stressful part of the class. That’s especially true at the two-day $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, when the second round is held on one of the most impressive venues of the derby tour, the grass derby field of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center Stadium.
Beezie Madden didn’t enter Cortes ‘C’ in the $50,000 Ruby Et Violette WEF Challenge Cup 12 thinking she’d run for the top check. Like most of the 69 starters she used that class as a warm up for Saturday’ $500,000 FTI Consulting Grand Prix Finale, the feature class of Week 12 of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. But when it came her turn to jump off, she changed her plan.
Thousands of riders from around the world flock to Wellington, Fla., every year for the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. But over the last seven years, another hunter/jumper show circuit in town has been gaining steam and followers at Nona Garson and George D’Ambrosio’s The Ridge Farm at Wellington.
Most riders without hunter derby experience wouldn’t stand much of a chance in a international derby with a serious start list, especially if they only have one hunter in the barn. But most riders aren’t Peter Wylde.
The team gold medalist from the Athens Olympic Games topped the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at The Ridge at Wellington aboard Smoking Gun. It was the first hunter derby of his career.
Bugatti may be new to grand prix competition, but now that he’s in the game, he’s not wasting any time. He and Wilhelm Genn topped today’s $77,000 Governor’s Cup Grand Prix, in that horse's fourth grand prix start.
“I thought he’d be in the ribbons, but I didn’t think he’d win,” admitted owner Eduardo Leon.