Ripley Erlich and Catch a Kiss Capture the Win in the 2’-2’3” Child/Adult Hunter Derby, Sponsored by Horse Pilot

by | Mar 7, 2021 | Hunters, Press Release | 0 comments

Photo © ESI Photography

For Immediate Release: 

THERMAL, Calif. – March 7, 2021 – Sunday competition began in Hunter Six with the 2’-2’3” Child/Adult Hunter Derby, sponsored by Horse Pilot. Thirty-two horse and rider pairings challenged the natural obstacles and aimed to impress the judges with their horses’ precise jumping form. After the first round, the top twelve riders returned to the handy course and ultimately it was Ripley Erlich aboard Catch a Kiss who would emerge victorious.

Round one consisted of ten fences made up of singles and long lines. Riders aimed to show off their horses and ponies big strides in an effort to impress the judge. In the handy round, riders took tighter turns and showed off their technical skills across eight fences. They were also asked to demonstrate a trot fence over the final jump in the handy round. 

“I think the last jump was my favorite. It was an oxer. It was a very fun course. I always go in and just try my best,” explained Erlich. “Round two, I had planned to make specific turns but they didn’t end up working out. It was still really fun. The middle line, I think was my best. It was really fun galloping down that line.”

Photo © ESI Photography

Erlich has been paired with Catch a Kiss, better known at Tinkerbell around the barn, for a year and a half. The pair just recently moved up and now compete in the Childrens Pony Hunter divisions. 

“I got her a year and a half ago. She was a Christmas present and I had started leasing her a little bit before. Her barn name is Tinkerbell but her show name is Catch a Kiss,” narrated Erlich. “She just turned 16 and she has been a very good pony to me. My favorite thing about her is just how sweet and kind she is. I love riding her.”

Second place was awarded to Julie Heider and Klondike. Lauren Free aboard Special Gift took home the third place ribbon.

For full results, visit Showgrounds Live.


About the Desert International Horse Park

With nearly 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 multiple weeks of world-class equestrian competition from October through March, 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.