Traverse City, Mich. – Sept. 6, 2020 – Inaugural hunter competition at the American Gold Cup, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors LLC, also featuring the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament, presented by the Davis McCullough Foundation, concluded the first week of the 2020 event with the highlight hunter class, the $25,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Split between professional and non-professional competitors, the Polk Family Main Hunter Ring saw 74 talented riders and their mounts tackle Kevin Giblin’s course for a shot at the lion’s share of the prize money. Emerging victorious in the $25,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Professional class was Daisy Farish aboard Ravello, while August Iwasaki and Small Occasion topped the $25,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Non-Professional class to conclude Sunday’s hunter competition.
By the conclusion of the first round of riding in the Professional class, veterans Samantha Schaefer and In The Know sat in a familiar position at the top of the scorecard with a classic phase score of 92 to lead the way. Just one point off the frontrunners, Abbygale Funk and Asteri were right on their tail with 91 points, but Schaefer kept her chances of victory high as the bookend of the top three aboard Trademark, another mount that has proven to have a winning track record. Daisy Farish and Ravello were still in the running with an initial tally of 89 to claim fourth position, and Didgereedoo VDL carried Kelsey Epperson to the fifth spot with a score of 88.50. All told, only 3.5 points separated the top five challengers as they returned for the handy portion of competition. Collectively, the professionals proved themselves more than capable of turning in a solid classic round as 21 of the 32 entries earned scores of 80 or above.
For the handy round, the qualified top 12 returned in reverse order of the standings over the new pattern, which featured four high option fences, a trot fence, several rollback turns and a total of nine obstacles. The tight scores between the class leaders meant the win was anyone’s for the taking, and the leading spot continued to shift hands throughout the handy round. Farish and Ravello, owned by Summit Farms LLC, were awarded the highest score of the class for their smooth and effective efforts around the handy track, earning a 95 from the judging panel. Sitting with a total score of 184 for their efforts, Farish set the bar high for the few competitors that followed.
Though round one leaders, Schaefer and Funk, laid down impressive rounds aboard their seasoned mounts, it was not enough to take over the lead from Farish, ultimately lending her top honors. Schaefer walked away with both second and third place honors riding Trademark, owned by Take 3 LLC, to a total score of 183, and In the Know, owned by Madeline Schaefer, to a total score of 182.5, respectively.
The Non-Professional $25,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby saw even more interest as 42 starters challenged the classic track for a shot at the lead spot in the victory gallop. With six horses entered in the division, junior rider Iwasaki had multiple chances to claim the blue. Following the first round, it was in fact Iwasaki sitting in the first place position aboard her veteran mount Small Occasion, owned by Reilly & Iwasaki, with a score of 96. In addition to her leading spot, Iwasaki rode three other mounts to scores high enough to earn additional spots in the second round.
Following the same format as the previous class, the top 12 junior and amateur riders returned to the arena in reverse order in an attempt to unseat Iwasaki’s lead. Heading into the final few riders, Iwasaki crept into the lead aboard a different mount, Ashland Farms’ Attendu De Lannois Z, returning with a first round score of 88.5 and earning a handy score of 89.
Iwasaki and Small Occasion entered as the final duo to tackle the tricky course, and the win was theirs for the taking. Coming off of the Adequan/USEF Junior Hunter National Championship-East Coast overall grand championship, the pair is no stranger to the winner’s circle. They laid down a textbook round, ultimately taking over Iwasaki’s own lead, earning a handy score of 94 and a total score of 190. In the end, Iwasaki also took second place aboard Attendu De Lannois Z with a total score of 177.5. Layla Kurbanov and her own Calberon B rounded out the top three with an overall score of 177.
The derbies wrapped the first week of the American Gold Cup, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors LLC and featuring the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament. Equestrian competition will resume Wednesday, the first day of the final week in Traverse City and the CSI4* week of the 50th American Gold Cup.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Daisy Farish – $25,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Professional winner
“Ravello was fantastic today. I have to say today is a very chilly day and there is a lot of wind so I think that caused some issues for a lot of horses. But him being a seasoned horse he had no problem with it! I want to thank the Hill family for letting me ride him today, and also Ashland Farms and Ken and Emily Smith for the opportunity.”
On the courses:
“The first round Ravello was great. The round was great. There were a few people that were above me going into the handy round, I was in fourth place. I just went in thinking I should risk it and was super handy. I gave him a good gallop at the single jumps and he landed every lead. He was perfect at the trot jump and it worked out!”
On competing at the American Gold Cup:
“It’s very fun for me. This week I am actually taking a break from the FEI and the jumper ring and I am showing my jumper next week. This week was more of a focus on the hunters for me so that was perfect. I got to take this week for the hunters and next week I will focus on the jumpers.
Augusta Iwasaki – $25,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Non-professional winner
On Small Occasion:
“She was amazing today. She really likes this horse show and she has been really good since we’ve gotten here. She felt ready to do whatever I asked her to today. For the first round with her, she has a really traditional beautiful hunter jump, so my plan was just to ride a nice, smooth and steady course all the way around.”
On the handy round:
“I was leading on a horse I’ve been riding lately, his name is [Attendu De Lannois Z], and I love him. So that was exciting. But with Small Occasion I just tried to keep it really smooth. I didn’t do anything crazy and let her jump and wow the judges.”
On Attendu De Lannois Z:
“I have been riding him for almost one month. I first started riding him in Kentucky and Daisy Farish and Ken [Smith] have been helping me a a lot with getting to know him and I love riding him. He is super smart and he got a lot better at following me in this class, even compared to last week when I showed him, so I was really happy with him.”
On competing in the hunter divisions at the American Gold Cup:
“I love showing here! I think the jumps and the venue are beautiful and I really enjoy it.”
$25,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Professional
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Score / R2 Score | Total
1. Ravello / Daisy Farish / Summit Farms LLC / 89 / 95 | 184
2. Trademark / Samantha Schaefer / Take 3 LLC / 90 / 93 | 183
3. In the Know / Samantha Scahefer / Madeline Schaefer / 92 / 90.50 | 182.50
4. Didgereedoo VDL / Kelsey Epperson / Julia Szasz / 88.50 / 92.50 / 181
5. MTM Outbid / Brian Moggre / Marnell Sport Horses / 85.5 / 92 | 177.50
6. Screenshot / Michael Murphy / Esperanza Imports LLC / 87 / 90 | 177
7. Asteri / Abbygale Funk / MMK Equestrian LLC / 91 / 84 | 175
8. Carluca / Megan Ghere / Donald Stewart / 85 / 89 /174
9. Braavos / Greg Crolick / Renaud Farm LLC / 86 / 86 | 172
10. Hero / Brian Moggre / Marnell Sport Horses / 88 / 82 | 170
11. On Your Mark / Tiffany Morrissey / Lisa Berger / 86.50 / 64 | 150.50
12. Small Social / Kate Conover / Reilly & Iwasaki / 84.5 / 49 | 133.50
$25,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Non-professional
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Score / R2 Score | Total
1. Small Occasion / Augusta Iwasaki / Reilly & Iwasaki / 96 / 94 | 190
2. Attendu De Lannois Z / Augusta Iwasaki / Ashland Farms / 88.500 / 89.000 | 177.5
3. Calberon B / Layla Kurbanov / Layla Kurbanov / 91 / 86 |177
4. Exclusive / Hallie Grimes / Isalou Inc. / 94 / 82.50 | 176.50
5. Catori / Bella Clemente / Bella Clemente / 88 / 88 | 176
6. Black Label B / Owen Gajoch / Owen Gajoch / 87 / 83 / 170
7. Hero / Alliy Moyer / Moyer Farm Llc / 85 / 84 | 169
8. *Cash* / Alexander Alston / Alston Alliance Llc / 89 / 79 | 168
9. Alajolie / Augusta Iwasaki / Farber Farms Llc / 86 / 81 | 167
10. Luminary / Devon Degen / Degenmoor Farm Inc. / 83 / 81.5 | 164.5
11. Lawrence C / Jordan Allen / Ashland Farms / 84 / 80 | 164
12. Rolo / Augusta Iwasaki / Ariya Nathu / 92 / 49 / 141