Atherton, Calif.—Aug. 10
John French has been attending the Menlo Charity Horse Show for almost 30 years, so he was delighted to top the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby there, claiming the blue with Skyhawk and the red ribbon on last year’s winner Center Court.
“They were both really good and it was nice in the second round that I knew going in with Skyhawk that I was already in the lead with Center Court, so the pressure was off,” Franch said. “Skyhawk went around super relaxed, and I think the judges knew that. There was one tricky turn after the trot jump and Jamie Sailor dared me to do it, so I did it. It is great because both horses are leaving Monday for the USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals in Kentucky.
“Menlo is such a great show; this is a nice way to go into the Derby Finals. I can go there and not worry about things that just happened, instead I can concentrate, try to be great and do the same thing we did today.”
Skyhawk’s owner, Laura Wasserman was delighted with Skyhawk. a horse she has only owned for exactly a year. “I also compete in the adult amateur hunters and it’s been great. He’s just been getting more and more amazing, I can’t explain it—and we are just getting better and better together,” she said.
“I honestly want to thank John because I loved the horse and John said, ‘You have to buy this horse because I promise he is going to be an amazing match for you.’ He reminded me so much of a horse I bought from John a long time ago named Overseas, who was my horse of a lifetime.”