Cannon Creek Scores A Sentimental Win In The $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Mar 27, 2022 - 7:46 AM

Ocala, Fla.—March 26

Cannon Creek’s win Saturday in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at HITS Ocala meant a little something extra to Hunt Tosh. Exactly 366 days ago the Wheeler family purchased the horse from Redfield Farm for Tosh to ride in a handshake deal, but Redfield Farm rider Cassandra Kahle asked if she could ride him in the class.

“We were like go ahead and do it, and I think that [Redfield Farm trainer] Emil [Spadone] was panicking, saying ‘What if he doesn’t go well?’ ” recalled Tosh. “But he ended up winning his first derby, which was this class last year, so it’s kind of special.

“This is obviously her horse,”  he continued.  “She wanted to keep him; I made Emil sell him to me. I stole him from her, so I owe Cassie a lot for all the success he’s had.”

WEB Cannon HIT_4564
Hunt Tosh and Cannon Creek earned matching base scores of 94 in Round 2 of the USHJA International Hunter Derby. Mollie Bailey Photos

After his win Tosh took a picture from the saddle of Cannon Creek’s ears and sent it to Kahle, who is recovering after a serious head injury from a fall in January.

Tosh scored a wire-to-wire win on “Cannon,” with judges Joe Dotoli, Jeanne Marrie Miller, Jay Mullen and Irving Evans rewarding his stellar performance with massive scores that didn’t dip below 90, not counting the bonus points. In the end he claimed the win over Kristen Bumpus and Diadora by 34 points. Kimberly Mulligan piloted TBS Rolls The Dice to third.

web1 Cannon Creek HIT_4723
This marks the second year in a row that Cannon Creek won the USHJA International Hunter Derby during the final week of HITS Ocala.

Course designer Rian Beals set a flowing track with few related lines. It wasn’t easy, with seven of the 19 competitors ticking rails out the cups. One of those competitors was Tosh’s first ride, Autograph.

“There were a lot of hind rails today,” said Tosh, Milton, Georgia. “The breakaway [cups] were pretty soft, so light rubs end up turning into 4 faults really easily. Autograph has done one derby before; he hadn’t done one in a while. He looked out of the ring just for a minute and got a little distracted and had a little rub.”

WEB Maddie and Cannon HIT_4801
Hunt Tosh’s daughter Maddie Tosh gave Cannon Creek some love after his win.

For the handy class Tosh came back first on Autograph and sliced all his turns to pick up 10 handy bonus points from both panels of judges and finish an eventual 10th. When it came time to ride Cannon, however, Tosh took a different strategy, playing it “medium safe” to secure the win without risking a mistake.

Watch their round here:

“He is a phenomenal horse, and you talk about confidence with him; he just gives that to you because he’s so scopey.” Tosh said. “He’s so talented; he does it so easily; you really have to tell him to put effort in. You can showboat a little bit. You can turn inside [to] the last jump and put a little pressure on him, and all he does is go higher. He handles it so well that he just tries harder. You get a wow factor out of him, kind of like [at Platinum Performance USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship (Kentucky)]— when you want extra he does it.”

WEB 2 Diadora Kristen Bumpus HIT_4528
Diadora and Kristen Bumpus jumped to second.
WEB 3 TBS Rolls The Dice HIT_4710
TBS Rolls The Dice and Kimberly Mulligan looked picture perfect on their way to third.
web 4 Capriati HIT_4739
Carly Campbell-Cooper was thrilled to finish fourth with Capriati.
web 5 Frosted Blue HIT_4641
Kaitlin Campbell had two mounts in the class, and she finished fifth with Frosted Blue.
web 6 Balveneur Z HIT_4466
Balveneur Z and Linda Radigan earned sixth place.
web 7 Verdant HIT_4439
Shane Pope and Verdant galloped to seventh.
web 8 Castle Rock HIT_4544
Castle Rock and Jennifer Ritucci picked up eighth.
web 9 Pen and Ink Daniel Geitner HIT_4612
Pen And Ink showed off beautiful form on his way to ninth with Daniel Geitner.
web10 Autograph Hunt HIT_4397
After a rail in the first round, Autograph laid down a spectacular handy to finish 10th.
WEB v11 Long Game Ilana Halpbern HIT_4697
Ilana Halpern and Long Game finished 11th.
web 12 Inferno HX David Wilbur HIT_4655
David Wilbur rode Inferno HX to 12th.

Results

  1. Cannon Creek/Hunt Tosh
  2. Diadora/Kristen Bumpus
  3. TBS Rolls The Dice/Kimberly Mulligan
  4. Capriati/Carly Campbell-Cooper
  5. Frosted Blue/Kaitlin Campbell
  6. Balveneur Z/Linda Radigan
  7. Verdant/Shane Pope
  8. Castle Rock/Jennifer Ritucci
  9. Pen And Ink/Daniel Geitner
  10. Autograph/Hunt Tosh
  11. Long Game/Ilana Halpern
  12. Inferno HX/David Wilbur

For full results visit the HITS website. Check back at coth.com this weekend for more from HITS Ocala.

 

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