“Emerald Bay” Wins the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

The $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by the Heisley Family Foundation, kicked off the Triple Crown Derby Day in the Sandy Gerald Arena.

As the second horse and rider team to go out of a field of twenty-six, Anne Oliver’s Emerald Bay, ridden by Katherine Schmidt Butler of Richmond, Virginia, set the bar with their combined score of 180. 

According to hunter judge, Tammy Provost, “The winning round was great. They went so early in the order, and everything about them was so smooth. She’s an excellent rider, and it was one of those rounds that you can kind of watch, and you don’t have to write anything till the end because it was so good. She set the mark high.”

Schmidt Butler said, “I really liked my hunter round. I thought we were really smooth, and everything was exactly the same. If I had to pick on myself in the handy round, I thought I got a little slow in one or two places. But Tahoe [Emerald Bay] jumped amazingly well, really stepped up, and was as handy as he could be. He just performed beautifully.”

Second place was awarded to Lynn Rice’s Absolutely, ridden by Miranda Scott of Silver Spring, Maryland after earning an overall score of 175. CR Sonador, owned by Aspen Colins and ridden by Ashley Foster Worthington of Brookeville, Maryland, placed third after earning a combined score of 171.5. Abby Cole’s On Your Mark, ridden by Kasey Evans of Chesapeake, Virginia, finished fourth with a combined score of 170.5.

Junior rider Carleigh Carter of Virginia Beach, Virginia and her own Bon Voyage, finished with a combined score of 169 and earned a fifth placing along with the Hollins University Leading Junior Rider Award. 

Doug Longest’ Diaro, ridden by Peg Seals of Carrollton, Virginia, finished in sixth place with a combined score of 168.5 and EMO Stables’ Avila, ridden by Jason Berry of Verona, Virginia, earned seventh with a combined score of 168.

Eighth place was awarded to Final Four, owned and ridden by Caroline Booker of Charlottesville, Virginia for their combined score of 164. The pair also won the EMO Leading Amateur Rider Award.

 EMO Stables’ Sidenote, ridden by Jason Berry, finished in ninth for their combined score of 162.5. My Style, owned and ridden by Joelle Sedlacek of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, placed tenth with a combined score of 154 and Music Man, owned by Marilyn Richmond and ridden by Gace Long of Middleburg, Virginia, finished in eleventh.

Paperboy, owned by Brighton Farms and ridden by Anna Tyler of Raleigh, North Carolina, wrapped up the class with a twelfth placing for their combined score of 152.

Schmidt Butler commented, “We leased Tahoe about a month ago. We got him from Casey Evans, who developed him and did a beautiful job bringing him along, and he made my job so easy today. My client has been very generous letting me ride him in the derbies, and everything I asked him to do, he was there for it.”

“The footing and course were beautiful,” continued Schmidt Butler. “The course rode really nicely, and the Triple Crown hospitality this morning was lovely. The weather was perfect, and it was just a beautiful morning here at the Horse Center.”

Hunter judge Tammy Provost has not visited the Virginia Horse Center in more than twenty years. She commented, “There were some nice horses here today and some excellent riders. It was a very pleasant day, and the jumps were beautiful, and the courses were great. I thought Nancy Wallis designed the courses well, and they had plenty of options. They tested your ability to go forward to long runs and make some inside turns that were a little harder, but the riders had an option to go around and make it nice too.” 

She continued, “The place looks spectacular. The rings are nice, and I think it’s fantastic. Allen Rheinheimer does a great job running this horse show, which is top-notch.” Provost, who resides in Indianapolis, Indiana, said, “I would bring people to show here. It’s a fantastic show facility, and the town of Lexington is very cute.”

For more information, please visit horseshowsonline.com.

Katie Wimer of Triple Crown presents the awards to Anne Oliver’s Emerald Bay, ridden by Katherine Schmidt Butler, in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by the Heisley Family Foundation. Pepe Flores was awarded the Champion Shavings Groom’s Award.
Photo credit: Teresa Ramsay

The Heisley Family Foundation was created as a legacy to the Heisley family and is deeply rooted in Virginia equestrian tradition and sport.  

Mr. Heisley’s deep and enduring love of Virginia and his family is why the The Heisley Family Foundation supports the Virginia Horse Center and The Festival of Champions.  

The Heisley Family Foundation is committed to the promotion of the care and well-being of our equine partners, and the history of the equestrian sport tradition. 

The Virginia Horse Center Foundation appreciates their support!

Champion Shavings is the sponsor of the Champion Shavings Groom’s Award in the $5,000 USHJA Hunter Derby, presented by the Heisley Family Foundation.

As the Official Shavings Supplier to the Virginia Horse Center, Champion Shavings is pleased to provide dust-screened, kiln-dried pine shavings.

Champion Shavings is committed to the highest quality standards and is pleased to offer delivery anywhere in the lower 48 United States from any of its 10 operating facilities.

For more information, please visit them online.

Caroline Booker Wins the EMO Leading Amateur Rider Award

Katie Wimer presents Caroline Booker [pictured with her own Final Four] with the EMO Leading Amateur Rider Award in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by the Heisley Family Foundation.
Photo credit: Teresa Ramsay

The EMO Agency is the sponsor of the Leading Amateur Rider Award in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derbies, presented by the Heisley Family Foundation.

Not every business or company can claim they have stood the test of time.

It means continuing to serve with dedication over many years if not decades. It means making a commitment and always staying the course through thick and thin.

The EMO Agency has stayed the course for 3 decades, thirty years, making sure the finest coverages from the best companies are made available at competitive prices and delivered rain or shine 24/7/365.

When you ride with the EMO Agency you can be confident that you are safely riding with the leaders. The EMO Agency offers worldwide coverage for the equine industry. Visit them online for more information.

Carleigh Carter Wins the Hollins University
Leading Junior Rider Award

Junior rider Carleigh Carter of Virginia Beach, Virginia was awarded the Hollins University Leading Junior Rider Award in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by the Heisley Family Foundation. [Pictured above: Carleigh and Mederise Carter and her own Bon Voyage.] According to Carter, who is trained by her mother Mederise, she has ridden since she could walk. “I was really happy with my rounds and scores,” she said. The thirteen-year-old plans to pursue a career in riding but wants to stay close to home. 

Photo credit: Teresa Ramsay

The Leading Junior Rider Award is sponsored by Hollins University.

Located in Roanoke, Virginia, Hollins University unites excellence in liberal arts education with experiential learning opportunities and career preparation to help students lead lives of consequence. 

With decades of individual and team National titles and amazing horses, coaches, and staff, the university’s riding program has long earned its standing among the nation’s best. 

The riding facilities are only a short walk from the center of campus, making it easy for students to pursue academic and athletic excellence. Riding at Hollins is a life-changing opportunity for undergraduates with any level of experience. To learn more, visit hollins.edu or follow Hollins University Riding on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok.

Kestrel Wins the $1,000 2’9″-3′ Hunter Derby

Erin Hastings on “Kestrel”, Photo © Teresa Ramsay

Kestrel, owed by Jennifer Eccles, and ridden by Erin Hastings of Reston, Virginia, won the $1,000 2’9”-3’ Hunter Derby, besting a field of twenty-two horse and rider teams with a score of 177.

Second place was awarded to Kiltubrid Rhapsody, owned and ridden by Michele Trufant of Aldie, Virginia, for their score of 174. Calypso Dream, owned by Lauri Garret and ridden by Erin Hastings of Reston, Virginia, earned a third place for their score of 172 and Waterlily, owned and ridden by Kirsten Tillotson of Roxboro, North Carolina, placed fourth with a score of 170.

Fifth was Monopoly, owned and ridden by Sarah Thompson of Richmond, Virginia, with a score of 167 and sixth went to Streett Moore’s Uptown, ridden by Selina Petronelli of Churchville, Maryland, for their combined score of 158.

Sigh, owned by Ava Brugger and ridden by Alexandra Koscelnik of Kensington, Maryland, finished in seventh with a score of 152.2 and Marcus Aurelius, owned and ridden by Jessica Knight of Reston, Virginia, wrapped up the class with an eighth placing with their combined score of 147.

For more information, please visit horseshowsonline.com.

Hollywood’s Eleven Wins the $1,000 2’3″ -2’6″ Hunter Derby

It was an encore performance for Hollywood’s Eleven, owned and ridden by Gruschenka Mojicasanchez of Pasadena, Maryland on winning the $1,000 2‘3” -2’6” Hunter Derby for a second week in a row at the Virginia Festival of Champions.

Texas Moonshine, owned and ridden by Emerson Kelly of Virginia Beach, Virginia, finished in second place and Nicole Roberts of Lynchburg, Virginia, aboard her own Castlegate, placed third.

Delinquent JX, owned and ridden by Alexis Phaup of Virginia Beach, Virginia, earned a fourth placing and First Klasse CR, owned and ridden by Samantha Bohn of Charlottesville, Virginia, finished fifth.

Sixth was awarded to Enchanted Knight, owned and ridden by Claire Whitmore of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Avery Hillhouse of Durham, North Carolina, piloted her own Banks Channel to a seventh overall. Delta Blues, owned and ridden by Ashley Nokes of Owings Mill, Maryland, wrapped up the class with an eighth place.

For more information, please visit horseshowsonline.com.

Triple Crown is an Official Feed of the Virginia Festival of Champions and title sponsor of Triple Crown Derby Days, held each Friday during the three weeks of competition.

Looking for a competitive advantage? Then you can’t compromise when it comes to your horse’s nutrition. The inclusion of cutting-edge technology has been central to Triple Crown Nutrition’s formulas for over 25 years. Pre and probiotics, digestive enzymes, organic minerals and now ButiPEARL, are just a few of the products found in every bag of Triple Crown feed. 

Find out how Triple Crown products can help with leaky gut for nutrition that goes beyond compare. Visit triplecrownfeed.com for more information.

Showcasing the Young Horses

Photo credits: KMK Photos

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