Marshall & Sterling Hunter Derby Program Week III
Week III brought a total of three Hunter Derbies to the Desert International Horse Park. This week, we welcomed the $7,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby Pro and JR/AM Divisions, sponsored by Far West Farms. A new derby was also added to the lineup this week: the 2’6”/2’9” Child/Adult Hunt and Go Derby, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.
Nick Haness and Reese’s Taste Sweet Victory in the $7,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by Far West Farms
Nick Haness (Temecula, CA) and Reese’s, owned by West Coast Equine Partners, LLC, earned top honors in the $7,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby- Pro sponsored by Far West Farms, receiving a total score of 181 after two rounds. Katie Taylor (Tarzana, CA) aboard L’con Reyes was awarded Reserve Champion with a final combined score of 177.5.
Forty-two pairs challenged the first round of the derby. “I thought the course was really nice; it allowed us to demonstrate a lot of galloping which is one of my favorite things to do on course,” Haness commented. “My strategy in the Handy was to have a successful trot jump because that’s where we can make a mistake but Reese’s, per usual, listened excellently today!”
Haness started Reese’s as a baby and has been his main rider for the past three years now. “What’s not to love about Reese’s? He is an awesome horse, through and through. We’ve had a great partnership for the last few years,” shared Haness about his partner, “he is now a first-year horse in the 3’6” Greens and dabbling in the International Derbies, as well as continuing his reputation in the National Derbies.”
“We’re ready to Rock ‘n’ Roll! We are here to support the Marshall and Sterling Hunter Derby Program and enter our horses in them,” Haness shared. “We have a few horses that have been developing throughout the season so far to get ready for the derby, so that’s what our goal is next week,” Haness concluded.
Natalie Rae Medlock and Luciano Top the Class in $7,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby – JR/AM, sponsored by Far West Farms
Natalie Rae Medlock (Orange, CA) and her own Luciano earned Champion title in the $7,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby – Jr/Am, sponsored by Far West Farms. The pair earned scores of 90 and 91 respectively in the Classic and Handy rounds for a total of 181 points. In second, Grace Belmost (Watsonville, CA) rode her own Quirin, receiving scores of 90.5 and 87.
“I imported him when he was seven,” noted Medlock, “he’s just my forever boy.” Medlock was second going into the Handy round of the Derby. Her strategy was “To just go for it – leave nothing on the table.” She aspires to compete in National Derbies this year and aims for the International Derbies the following year.
Audrey Daucher and Prophecy Receive First Derby Win in the 2’6”/2’9” Child/Adult Hunt and Go Derby, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim
Audrey Daucher (Irvine, CA) and Prophecy, owned by Natalie Templeton, rode for Champion in the 2’6”/2’9” Child/Adult Hunt and Go Derby. The Hunt and Go Derby format consisted of Jumps one through six judged as a Classic round and Jumps seven through eleven judged as a Handy round. It was a special moment for Daucher to not only experience her first victory gallop, but to also be leading it: “It [the course] was really exciting because I’d never done a derby before; it was something new for me and I really enjoyed it.”
Daucher, who is newly paired with Prophecy, hopes the partnership lasts awhile. “He’s owned by Natalie Templeton but I am hoping to lease him this year. I started riding him a few months ago but I really love him and he really takes care of me,” commented Daucher.
About the Desert International Horse Park
With about 1.3 million square feet of competition and riding space, the Desert International Horse Park is one of the largest equestrian facilities in North America. Offering 10 weeks of world-class competition, eight during the Desert Circuit from January – March and two during the Sunshine Series in November, the facility is a destination location for thousands of equestrians, their horses, family and friends for several months annually. Competitors from all over the world travel to Thermal, CA to not only compete but to enjoy everything the desert has to offer.