After a year break due to the pandemic, the Platinum Performance USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship has returned to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Following the jog on Thursday, Aug. 19, the action will kick off on Friday, Aug. 20. There are 103 horses currently entered, but that number still could change before the start of competition.
While only one former winning duo will vie for the title—2019 champions Tori Colvin and El Primero—several other winning riders have new mounts they hope to see atop the leaderboard on Saturday including John French (Queen Celeste), Hunt Tosh (Cannon Creek), Liza Boyd (Carento, Cassico and Ferrari), Jen Alfano (Translation Please). Colvin also bring forward Dynamo, Gabriel and Ipso Facto. She is the only rider to win the championship three times on three different horses. (Boyd also won it three times, all on Brunello.)
Here’s what you need to know:
Friday, Aug. 20
8 a.m. Opening ceremonies
8:15 a.m. First horse on course in the classic round
Saturday, Aug. 21
3 p.m. Derby Challenge round, open to any horse that didn’t advance to the handy round.
6:30 p.m. Handy round.
Where: The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
How You Can Watch: Horse & Country TV will be live-streaming all day every day. A subscription is required ($9.99 per month) to watch live; a gold annual subscription ($249.99 per year) is required for watching on-demand videos. Note: Gold Annual includes the live and on-demand coverage of both USHJA championships this week.
Results: Live results can be found on Equestrian Live.
How You Can Follow Along: The Chronicle will be on-site with a reporter bringing you gorgeous photos, great interviews and behind-the-scenes stories. Make sure to follow along at www.coth.com, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @Chronofhorse
Useful links and information:
- All the Chronicle’s Platinum Performance USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship coverage, with behind-the-scenes stories, lovely photos and more!
- The complete schedule
- Live streaming from Horse & Country TV
- The USHJA International Hunter Derby official website, where you can find orders of go and the course map
- Don’t forget to follow the Chronicle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @Chronofhorse
- We will have a full analysis of the competition in the Sept. 6 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse magazine
Format: All entries will complete the classic round, and then things get a little tricky. Riders are grouped into two tiers based on the amount of derby money they’ve won in the past three years, as of Dec. 1, 2020. Any rider standing 40th or higher on that list is classified as Tier I.
The top 20 combinations from the classic round will advance to the handy round as part of section A. They are competing for 80 percent of the prize money and the championship title. The top 20 horses ridden by a Tier II rider will also advance to the handy as part of section B and are eligible to win the remaining 20 percent of the prize money. If any of those Tier II combinations are in the top 20 overall after the classic round, they are eligible to receive prize money from both section A and B.
No Tier II rider has ever won the overall title, but many have come close. Geoffrey Hesslink was second in 2017 on Cadoretto in section A and won section B.