The first day of competition at the 2022 Marshall & Sterling Insurance/USHJA National Championships at The Las Vegas National CSI4*-W culminated in Katie Taylor-Davidson taking the top two spots in the $25,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby open section. In Bocca Al Lupo walked away with the champion tricolor, while Charismo earned reserve.
Taylor-Davidson, Mission Viejo, California, performed well enough in the classic round of the night’s top hunter competition at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa’s Arena & Equestrian Center in Las Vegas to return for the handy round on all three of her mounts. Sitting in second was Theodore Flash with a 92, followed closely by Charismo in third with a 91, then eventual winner In Bocca Al Lupo in fourth with 90.5.
The top 12 returned to the ring for the second round, where the leaderboard shuffled significantly. Tacking on a 92 to In Bocca Al Lupo’s first-round score, Taylor-Davidson and the 7-year-old German Sporthorse gelding (Vulkato—Askada B) owned by Mare Eyfee LLC claimed the class with a 182.5 overall.
“He’s pretty spectacular. He will jump anything from anywhere, and he loves to perform,” Taylor-Davidson said of her winning mount. “For the first round, I made sure to open his stride up a little bit because he wants to get a little bit behind the leg. I got a little gallop going, then got him on his rhythm. Then for the handy, I practiced some tight turns and a couple of trot jumps before I went in.”
Moving up a spot and securing Taylor-Davidson the top two in the class was Charismo, a 7-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Casiro I—Ontario I) owned by Iverness Ridge. The duo posted a 90 in the handy round, finishing with a 181, 1.5 points behind her top placing.
Third place went to Skylar Wireman on Kaliman, who posted a 91, the second-highest score in handy round, to finish third on a total score of 177. Taylor-Davidson’s final ride, Theodore Flash, also owned by Mare Eyfee LLC, finished ninth.
The 2022 Marshall & Sterling Insurance/USHJA National Championship continues through Nov. 20 with live streaming coverage of all classes on USEF Network. Live results are available on ShowGroundsLive.