Monday, May. 27, 2024

Hunter Derby Demonstration Will Take Place During WEG

The hunter derby will make its debut on the world stage at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. The International Hunter Derby demonstrations will be held daily Oct. 4-10 at the dressage complex at the park.

Jennifer Alfano, 2009 USHJA International Hunter Derby Series champion, will participate in the demonstrations, as well as John French, 2009 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals winner. Bobby Murphy will design the course.

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The hunter derby will make its debut on the world stage at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. The International Hunter Derby demonstrations will be held daily Oct. 4-10 at the dressage complex at the park.

Jennifer Alfano, 2009 USHJA International Hunter Derby Series champion, will participate in the demonstrations, as well as John French, 2009 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals winner. Bobby Murphy will design the course.

A selection committee will choose three additional riders to participate. The committee is reviewing a list of riders based on their standings in last year’s Derby series and finals, as well as what horses they are eligible to ride in the demonstration and their current standings in the Derby series.

Ron Danta, chairman of the USHJA high performance hunter committee, said the committee’s goal from the inception of the Derby was to have it get recognized on an international level.

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“Our dream is to get hunters recognized so that they will part of WEG, and this is the first step in doing so,” he said. “It is an incredible opportunity for the American Hunter system to be shown to the world. All of us on the committee are all working to get the other countries to begin the trend of American Hunter going throughout Europe and other continents. We hope the world becomes excited by it.”

Alfano, who will ride her lead Derby horse Jersey Boy in the demonstration, said she’s excited to participate in the WEG and believes the inclusion of the event is a positive step for the hunter discipline. “I hope that someday it will be an international sport,” she said. “It takes a special horse, a true athlete that is brave and scopey because the jumps keep getting bigger.”

The Chronicle is following the Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA Hunter Derby Series, which culminates in the Final in Lexington, Ky., Aug. 20-21.

 

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