Friday, May. 24, 2024

What You Need To Know About The USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships

When? The first round kicks off with the opening ceremonies at 8 a.m. EST on Friday, Aug. 14 with the first horse on course at 8:15 a.m. There will be a challenge round for those who didn't make it to the handy round on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 3:00 p.m. A mimimum of 20 horses will qualify for the handy which starts with opening ceremonies at 6:00 p.m.

Where? The USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships will take place at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

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When? The first round kicks off with the opening ceremonies at 8 a.m. EST on Friday, Aug. 14 with the first horse on course at 8:15 a.m. There will be a challenge round for those who didn’t make it to the handy round on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 3:00 p.m. A mimimum of 20 horses will qualify for the handy which starts with opening ceremonies at 6:00 p.m.

Where? The USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships will take place at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

The format: All qualified and entered horses compete in the first round over a classic hunter course including derby-style fences with four height options. A bonus point is added by each judging panel for every high option jumped. 

For the second round, or the handy round, riders are grouped into two tiers based on lifetime derby winnings. Any rider standing in the top 30 on the International Hunter Derby Money Won List as of Dec. 1, 2014 is classified as a Tier I rider. All other riders are classified as Tier II.

Because of the tier system, two handy rounds will be offered. Qualification is based on performance in the classic hunter round. At least 20 horses from the classic round will compete in the Section A Handy Hunter Round for 80 percent of the total prize money. The horse with the highest combined score from both rounds will be named the 2015 USHJA International Hunter Derby Champion. Section A will include the top horses from the class round regardless of whether they are Tier I or Tier II.

Section B will have a minimum of 20 Tier II horse-and-rider combinations from the classic round based on standings. If a pair qualified for the Section A, they will compete in the Section A, but their points will carry over to the Section B, and they will be eligible for prizes in both sections. The remaining 20% of the prize money will be awarded to the Section B riders.

Derby Challenge: Formerly the Consolation Round, the Derby Challenge is open to all horses not qualified for either the Section A or Section B handy rounds. The horses start with a clean slate with no previous scores carried forward. They will compete for $10,000 in prize money.

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Who are the players? Kelley Farmer will be the busiest rider with six horses (So To Speak, Taken, Symbolic, Mindful, Point Being and Dalliance). She’s the top-ranked derby money winner and is looking to finally get her first derby win. Both Jen Alfano and Liza Boyd are returning with previous derby winners Jersey Boy (2012) and Brunello (2013 and 2014). West Coast rider Hope Glynn will be looking for a piece of the championship with Carson; while this will be her first derby finals with him, he’s a proven competitor with other riders.

USHJA President Bill Moroney weighed in with the Chronicle in our Aug. 10 Hunter Derby Championships Preview issue on who he thought would be a contender. Jennifer Bauersachs (For Love), Jennifer Berol Bliss (Poker Face) and Amanda Steege (Zidane and Loxley) and Carl Weeden (The Spy) all got nods as riders for whom the derby has fostered confidence. Don’t count out the juniors, Tori Colvin (Valliero and Agsburg), Vivian Yowan (Character) or Kelli Cruciotti (Monterrey).

Will there be live streaming? Yes. EQSports.net will have all of the derby action on their website. You do have to create an account to watch the feed live, but an account is free. 


Check back afterwards at ww.coth.com for all the first round action.

 

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