USHJA National Hunter Derby Celebrates World Championship Hunter Rider Week at the Desert International Horse Park

by | Mar 20, 2021 | Hunters, Press Release | 0 comments

Jamie Krupnick and Conux won the A section of the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Photo ESI Photography.

For Immediate Release

THERMAL, Calif. – March 19, 2021- It was an exciting day for hunters at the Desert International Horse Park as hunter riders showed off their skills in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby sponsored by Platinum Performance. Sixty-six entries participated in the derby, which was California split, producing two winners.

Claiming her second Friday derby win was Jaime Krupnick and Conux. Her goal was to ride in as may derbies as possible and she is thriving.

“This is just amazing, said Krupnick. “I’m off to a good start!”

Jaime Krupnick and Conux. Photo ESI Photography.

Krupnik (West Lake Village, CA) explains “He’s an everything horse, he does it all. He‘s circuit champion in the equitation ring and then comes over and lays it down in the derby ring, then he’s going to go in the Hunter Spectacular. He wears all the hats.”

Krupnick talked about how lucky she was to be able to compete with such a high caliber of horses and compete in the West Coast Hunter Spectacular. The amateur rider, who rides with Archie Cox, keeps her horses at home and meets up with Cox at the shows. Krupnick recently won the California Professional Horseman’s Association (CPHA) Adult Medal Finals in 2020. On a roll, she already won two Adult Equitation classes this week as well. She plans to show in the Amateur Owner 36 and over division this weekend.

Mary Cate Duke and Understudy won the B section of the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Photo ESI Photography.

Winning the B section was the impressive young horse, Understudy, and Ella Cate Duke, 15, of Oswego, OR. Understudy is only five-years-old and this was only his second derby, yet he managed to earn high scores from the judges.

“We bought him a year ago and he’s perfect!” said Duke.  “I love his personality, he’s so sweet in the barn. I don’t know him that well yet so I tried to play it a little bit safe in the handy. It was such a fun course.”

Duke added that this is her favorite horse show and she loves everything about it. She rides with Jeff and Shelley Campf at Oz, Inc. She shows the horse in the Large Junior Hunters along with her second horse, Galan.

Ella Cate Duke and Understudy. Photo ESI Photography

Second place finishers in both sections were Fanciful and Emma Townsend and Einstein with Aedan Mooney in the tack.

Violet Tatum and Caravaggio 12 was third as was Decklin and Gable Gering.

Hunter competition Saturday features another evening of fun with a Groom’s Class and the highly coveted R.W. Mutch Equitation Championship under the lights in the grand prix arena. Junior and Amateur riders will jump for WCHR honors in their respective divisions.

Catch the action live at and click the “Watch Live” tab.




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.