View Full Version : Does this horse have derby potential? :) 2 new photos

Oct. 5, 2009, 09:50 AM
Hi guys,
I'm thinking of inquiring with a pro about training this horse for the derbies (so I can ride him, he'd never be for sale). He is my former eventer through intermediate (3'9"-3'11). We did do working hunters once last year and was reserve champion out of about 12 (I think they called it an 'A' show, but I'm not totally sure what all that means) and a trainer with a student in the division said I probably was placed second because I had rubber reins which is a no-no. She was actually being very nice to compliment my horse and help me out with an important detail.

So what is your guy's opinion? Maybe I can find a video, but at this point I only have still photos from a 105 degree summer event where he was a very tired boy by the time we got to show jumping!




Oct. 5, 2009, 10:10 AM
It would be hard to tell you off 1 picture......a video would be better. His form certainly was good enough in the one picture. If it were me instead of posting here to ask, I would find me the best professional hunter rider/trainer in my area and show them the horse and ask them.
Also look up videos of hunter derbies on the web and see what it's all about.
Go watch some "a" show hunter rounds and get aquainted with what is needed etc.
He sure looks cute and brave....luv him :)

Oct. 5, 2009, 10:19 AM
Thanks for the relpy! I did watch all the rounds of the derby finals online and it looks like a lot of fun. I do have to make a 5 hour trip to take this horse to a pro for eval or training, so I wanted to see if people would say "oh no, he has jumper, eq, or what ever form, don't waste your time"

Oct. 5, 2009, 10:45 AM
I love him! He seems round and nice and tight with his knees. Is he a nice mover?? Does he always drop his left shoulder or is it just in this pic? I'd say to go buy a set of laced reins and take him to the trainer!

Oct. 5, 2009, 11:18 AM
Good mover? Good question... I think he probably has too much knee action, but I haven't actually been told that.

He's is jumping bred, Voltaire grandbaby on his sire's side and Burgraaf (spelling?) grandbaby on his dam's side.

Oct. 5, 2009, 11:27 AM
His jump is very nice.. Whether or not he's a derby horse I believe will depend on the rest of the picture. Is he quiet and relaxed? Does he peak at anything? His movement will count for sure, but even if he doesn't move great he can be competitive if his choreography around the course is "huntery".

Oct. 5, 2009, 11:36 AM
First off, I didn't look because I will not leave my e mail addy to get into that photographers site. Same as alot of us in here, I will do facebook if you want to move it there.

The pro trainer who told you the rubber reins were why you placed second? Has no idea unless they were the judge or specifically discussed your horse with the judge. Maybe they were and probably they were not Not knocking her comments but she may have been trying to snag you as a client. Free advice is always worth what you pay for it.

If this was a USEF A rated show, you would have known it as you would have had to either join or fill out an affadavit and there would have been assorted additional fees- believe your horse would have needed an ID number too, member or not.

Regular Hunters jump 4' at the USEF rateds, more often these days it's getting another hole up there to 4'3" or so. Most more regional unrated or affiliate shows go about 3'9" tops.

IMO, the ONLY advice to trust here is to pay to have this one evaluated by a real Pro that actually does the USEF AA circuit and rides the Derbies and Regular Hunters-afraid you will find 95% of those representing themselves as Hunter trainers stop well short of that level. So pick well and research their claims of Hunter success at top levels-as an Adult, not a Junior, and recently, not years ago.

Good luck.

Oct. 5, 2009, 11:42 AM
First off, I didn't look because I will not leave my e mail addy to get into that photographers site. .

You don't have to, look at it again.

Oct. 5, 2009, 12:05 PM
you can just hit the button underneath that says proceed without entering your email address.

I think he is very cute over fences. It is hard to say without a video. Sometimes the horses that are used to doing the jumper stuff tend to rush the last 2-3 strides to the fences. But if he is quiet and doesn't look at the fences and you are interested in it - I say go for it. But get those laced reins.

Oct. 5, 2009, 12:25 PM
Thanks, I got it.

Well, hard to say here. The fences are airy and most look 3' to 3'6ish so he really has nothing to really make him jump up and round. And he is not getting that soft Hunter ride to really let him use himself, especially he is being held on the snug side so he is not reaching with the neck like a Hunter does-and that's OK here, it's not a Hunter class over Hunter jumps.

See nothing glaring stylewise, you'd have to try him over solid coops and walls with that softer ride and more release and see if he sharpens up a little in front. In a few of these he is sort of rolling over the shoulder with knees a bit low and pulling the front feet towards his belly-but that is not in all of them. And he does look a little crooked in a couple of them but it's not over a big solid fence and he is being held more snug then a Hunter would, may just be a little evasiion and not his basic style.

He is cute but a video of how he moves would really be better able to answer that basic question for you as Hunter are really all about the canter.

But he is not a bad jumper so maybe you should think about that pro evaluation.

In the meantime, try softening your ride a little, stay closer to the saddle and see if you can put a loop in the reins so he can really use that front end, something like a long crest release (a PROPER one) if you like and feel comfortable with it.

See what happens. If he can take the soft ride, some extra rein and stay reasonably quiet over the solid Hunter type fences off a good pace, it may be worth serious thought.

Oct. 5, 2009, 12:42 PM
He displays the best form in the first picture...if he will jump like that consistently, you could have the start of a derby horse. The rest of the pictures (there's 11 or so up there right?) show that he doesn't consistently jump like the first posted picture, possibly because the jumps look smaller, possibly how he's being ridden, etc.

Form isn't the only think you're going to need. The horse needs to be able to canter in a slow, relaxed rhythm down to a 4' fence (possibly an oxer as wide as it is tall) on a 13' stride and produce that form. He needs to be able to open up the stride for a gallop fence, while still maintaining the relaxed way of going.

I would start there to see if a 5 hour trailer drive is worth it.

Oct. 5, 2009, 12:49 PM
To findeight and others: I also don't like leaving my email to look at photos so I have discovered a trick.

You don't need to leave your email, it just needs to LOOK like an email. All you need is a letter, an @, and a .

So w@x.com will work to get you into a site without leaving an email.

Oct. 5, 2009, 01:16 PM
I disagree with those who feel its important for him to be a good mover to do well in the Derbies.

The Towells have a horse they do in the Derbies named Costello, he is my favorite horse to watch in those classes as he has an incredibly powerful, beautiful jump and he's extremely handy. However, he's a not a good mover at all.

OP, I think your horse is cute. I'd consider pursuing the Derbies (with the help of a trainer), as long as he's quiet enough and "rideable."

Oct. 5, 2009, 01:22 PM
Well, if you can ride the perfect trip and the horse has a perfect jump, (and you have decades of well known winners in your resume) they do not need to move perfect.

But if you are in with the other 99.99999% of us, you need a good mover.;)

Oct. 5, 2009, 01:22 PM
many things might be clearer after a few rounds in the hunter ring prior to laying down that derby entry or spending alot on training for the wrong goal.

Oct. 5, 2009, 02:03 PM
First, LOVELY horse! Like others said, its hard to judge without seeing him move, but you have a couple of things in your favor. 1: At Intermediate, he's already jumping around 4' in the showjumping, and with room to spare, so scope probably won't be an issue. 2: He has good form in a couple of those photos, and I'm betting if he was gotten to a consistent distance with a light contact, he'd really jump up and around. 3: Aluminum shoes will flatten out a lot of that knee.

Definitely worth going for an eval.

Oct. 5, 2009, 02:55 PM
Id like to see a video. Cant tell off the at all. Hes very cute thats for sure and he sure has lots of potential.

You certaintly dont want him cantering around the course with lots of knee. His jump is really nice. Like i said id like to see a video and for now, try softening the ride at home. If he can calmly hand-gallop a course of big jumps with good lead changes, relaxed, but effortlessly; i think he'll do fine. try doing som ehuntery courses on him relaxed, in a softer hunter bridle and bit and see how it goes. i dont know the horse's temperment or way of going to its very hard to judge. HE IS LOVELY THOUGH!

Oct. 5, 2009, 03:30 PM
but you have a couple of things in your favor. 1: At Intermediate, he's already jumping around 4' in the showjumping, and with room to spare,

wanderlust, I thought Intermediate was 3'11" and advanced at 4'1"? (not that this horse looks like that would be terribly difficult.

Oct. 5, 2009, 03:35 PM
He shows quite good form in most of those pictures. If the parts between the jumps are good, he could have potential for the hunter derbies, especially if you're thinking about doing them for your own enjoyment.

If you're asking if he could win next year's $100,000 derby final, that's a little harder to answer from a few photos. ;)

Oct. 5, 2009, 03:47 PM
As someone who takes her eventers in the hunter ring on occasion, I can tell you that the biggest issue is "slow off the ground" and getting the same jump every time. Good eventers do the footwork and are generally "quick" off the ground. My older horse has beautiful form, great shoulders, huge stride and tons of scope, but we really have to work to slow he whole picture down and keep him from accelerating on the landing. Just one off going in a hunter class is a waste of money for me. I need to spend some time in that "program" to make it worth it. (At the rated shows in good company.)

You many have to take him to that pro to see if the derbies are a niche for him. I find that as an event rider it is very hard for me to sit quiet and resist the urge to "make something happen". You will get a much better appraisal of his potential if someone who can find the distance and sit quiet and give that nice release gives it a try. They can also estimate how much training would be required to really perfect the ride.

Cute horse. I would be happy to pay board on him.

Oct. 5, 2009, 03:51 PM
wanderlust, I thought Intermediate was 3'11.

Isn't 3'11" "around 4' "?

Oct. 5, 2009, 03:56 PM
wanderlust, I thought Intermediate was 3'11" and advanced at 4'1"? (not that this horse looks like that would be terribly difficult.

Intermediate: X-C fences 3 ft 9 in (1.1 m), 28-32 efforts, ditch 10 ft 6 in (3.2 m), drops 5 ft 11 in (1.8 m), 550 m/min; Stadium fences 3 ft 11 in (1.2 m), 12-14 efforts.

On XC, an extra 3 inches or more can be added to brush jumps for obvious reasons.

Oct. 5, 2009, 04:27 PM
Scope is not in question at all. It's how he'll look with that softer ride and more release over more solid and Hunter type fences. He can get over the 4'. Probably pretty easy. Bet he's no stopper either.

Oct. 5, 2009, 04:34 PM
Isn't 3'11" "around 4' "?

It is...but my stickler-for-details personality goes 'huh?' rather easily. :winkgrin:

Just like it bothers me that because of the jump cups we use at home (paperchase cups), the 2'9" jumps really aren't quite 2'9"...they're slightly lower.

It's just me. :D

Oct. 5, 2009, 08:25 PM
In eventing we use what seems to be rather odd fence heights because the fences can be set on undulating ground. Gives a little leeway when the standard is drilled for 3'9" but you have to set one standard on ground that is a little higher than the other or there is a divot in the ground underneath the rails, etc.

Oct. 5, 2009, 08:33 PM
I think your horse is very cute and it would be worth your while to take him to a pro to see what they think when they see the whole picture. Good luck and keep us posted on what the pro says!

Come Shine
Oct. 5, 2009, 08:38 PM
Dumb question: Do you need to qualify to go in a Derby?

Tha Ridge
Oct. 5, 2009, 08:43 PM
Dumb question: Do you need to qualify to go in a Derby?

No. You only need to qualify for the Finals.

Oct. 5, 2009, 10:15 PM
It really depends on a couple factors outside the horses basic ability; the training he gets, and how the Derbies evolve.

Regardless of the type of hunter class, your horse’s success is going to be dependent on the style of jump. For the hunters that are going to be square and tight up front. In some of the pictures your horse is square and tight but in others he is tight but not square. Your horse will have to get those knees above the vertical, and keep them square as can be to be a top hunter. It is not a requirement but it can't hurt if your horse wants to get a little round over a fence either, your pony tends to be scopeier than round in the pictures.

Those are the basics, now when it comes to the actual Derby classes, currently they are nothing more than glorified hunter classes, which means the same modern type of hunters are probably going to win the classes. However if they do evolve in to what they are supposed to be, on grass, sloping surfaces, fences hung out there with no defined stride to them, 4'3" and up, then your horse definitely has the back ground and the jump for the Derby classes. As well if they do evolve you will see movement become less of a determining factor in Derby classes. The horses that will win these type of Derby classes are going to have to gallop and hunt fences, no more pitty-patting around, and they are going to have to be scopey to handle 4'3" on a incline or decline, and they are going to have to be brave enough to gallop down to a 4'3" or a solid fence sitting by itself in the middle of a field.

An example, when my father used to put on shows the first fence of the derby class was part of the fields outside fence, solid, 4'+ paddock fence, with some spruce trees on either side and some brush at the bottom for a ground line. Today a fence like that would eliminate 50% of the best hunters going.

As far as training goes your horse is going to have to learn to go like a hunter, more impulsion, and less speed than he is showing in the pictures. I don't doubt for a minute that he would adjust to this easily with consistent rides of this type.

Another advantage for you, the rider, is that eventing teaches you to ride the way you will need to for derby type classes, they eye, the heart, the style all will transfer to a traditional Derby class well. Unfortunately a lot of hunter riders, even the good ones, will end up lawn darts with all their climbing up the neck, lack of impulsion, and counting strides.

I say work with a good hunter trainer and you should be fine with this guy for traditional Derby classes.