Traverse City, Mich. – Aug. 9, 2020 – The final $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby of the six-week Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors LLC, took place Sunday in the Polk Family Main Hunter Ring, offering a final shot at the tricolors to 31 hopeful entries. Turning in two high-scoring rounds that showcased rideability and handiness, Lourdes de Guardiola and Over The Top Stables LLC’s Ferrari edged out the talented pack of challengers to come out on top.
The classic round of the morning competition saw all 31 horse-and-rider partnerships take their turns around the track, with the top tier of performers separating themselves from the pack with exemplary efforts. By the end of the first phase, the cut-off score for the returning 12 duos was 78 and 12 points separated first position from the twelfth spot. Leading the way was Layla Kurbanov on Calberon B with a score of 90, giving them a small buffer from the 86 points earned by Jacob Pope and J’Adore in the runner-up position. Tiffany Morrissey and Baron Z sat third in the standings with 85.5 points, and Lourdes de Guardiola rode Ferrari to a first-round tally of 85. Pope managed to secure two mounts in the handy round, the only rider to do so, with fifth-ranking Athos Van Het Poeleind Z garnering marks of 83.75.
Whittled down to the top point-earners, the remainder of the field jumped the new handy course that featured a trot fence and a number of high-low option fences. Jumping up from fourth to the first spot with only a handful of pairs left to ride, Ferrari carried de Guardiola to a 90-point score, only the second to hit the nineties threshold thus far, to finish on a total tally of 175. Moving up in the order, Kurbanov and Calberon B rode second-to-last, even though they had been the classic round winners, in order to allot more time to Pope to prepare his second mount. The partnership laid down a respectable trip, but could not catch the new leaders, leaving de Guardiola and Ferrari at the top with only a single team left to contend. Last to go, Pope and J’Adore navigated the course seemingly with ease and were awarded 87 points for their trip, which would put them on a cumulative score of 173, just two shy of the lead.
With a two-round score of 175 and as one of only two combinations to hit 90 points, de Guardiola and Ferrari were named the victors in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. For their win, de Guardiola and Ferrari were presented with the final Platinum Performance Hunter Horse of the Week honors. Pope and J’Adore, owned by Team Rakowsky Equestrian LLC, finished in the reserve spot, followed by Morrissey and Heidi Chase’s Baron Z in third place overall with a total of 171.5 points.
Week Six’s hunter action wrapped Sunday at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors LLC. Equestrian action will return to Traverse City with the Adequan/USEF Junior Hunter National Championships East Coast from Aug. 23 – 25, followed by the Traverse City Fall Horse Show, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, beginning Aug. 26.
$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Score / R2 Score | Total
1. Ferrari / Lourdes De Guardiola / Over The Top Stables LLC / 85 / 90 | 175
2. J’adore / Jacob Pope / Team Rakowsky Equestrian LLC / 86 / 87 | 173
3. Baron Z / Tiffany Morrissey / Heidi Chase / 85 / 86 | 171.5
4. Con-grande / Nicholas Pongracz / Victoria Herran / 82.5 / 84 | 166.5
5. Breaux / Kaitlin Porath / Kaitlin Porath / 83.5 / 82 | 165.5
6. Calberon B / Layla Kurbanov / Layla Kurbanov / 90 / 74 | 164
7. Iwan / Megan Ghere / Madison Rauschenbach / 82 / 81 | 163
8. Life Is Good / Avery P Hinson / Alexa Stiegler / 83 / 79 | 162
9. Lambruska Balia / Katie Rankin / Katie Rankin / 78.5 / 80 | 158.5
10. Maximus L/ Jennifer Nadalin / Owen Gajoch / 78 / 76 | 154
11. Arendelle / Anna Pemble / Anna Pemble / 80 / 72 | 152
12. Athos Van Het Poeleind Z / Jacob Pope / Michelle Caroli / 83.75 / 44 | 127.75