Temecula, Calif. – May 30, 2021 – Capping off a week full of top competition at Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National II, presented by Interactive Mortgage, the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby sponsored by Rusty Brown Jewelry kicked off in the venue’s Grand Hunter Arena. Out of the field of 33 competitors, it was Jamie Taylor and Ever So Often who took home the grand prize for their stellar performance.
Taylor and Ever So Often, a 7-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Ava Peck, entered the Grand Hunter Arena with the blue on their mind, navigating effortlessly around the derby field to earn a base score of 86 in their first round. With the addition of four points for the high fence options on course, the pair was awarded a score of 90, sitting pretty before the second round.
Not far behind Taylor in the first round, Temecula native and frequent winner in the hunter arena, Nick Haness, took to the course with Reddington, a 7-year-old Warmblood gelding, for their first round. Earning a base score of 85, plus four for the high options, Haness sat in the second place position prior to the handy round with a score of 88.
Hot on Haness’ heels, young competitor Shiloh Roseboom on Likely Story, a 13-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Enchantment Farms LLC, was awarded a base score of 84.5, plus four for the high options, to give the pair an 88.5 going into the handy. Peter Lombardo and Camelia, an 8-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by Paige Clark, earned a base score of 84 in the first round for their finesse and style on course. Also taking the high options on the field, an additional four points were added to Lombardo’s score to give them an 86 in the first round.
Going into the second round, the top twelve competitors were called back to the derby field to give the handy course their all. Designed to challenge horse-and-rider combinations to adjust their strides with ease and ride through rollbacks and technical combinations, the handy course did its part in offering an aspect of difficulty to test the remaining competitors. Shining out on the derby field once again, Taylor and Ever So Often rode a smooth, faultless round in style, earning an impressive base score of 88. With four more points added for the high options, the pair took home a handy round score of 92 and a total combined score of 182 to claim the class’ top honors.
Although Haness and Reddington started out strong in their first round effort, the pair was not able to hold onto their second place position following the handy round, earning a base score of 77, plus four for the high options. Although the pair finished with a combined total of 170, Haness rode two more of his mounts, Notorious, a 7-year-old Hanoverian gelding, and Morrison, a 6-year-old Warmblood gelding, both owned by West Coast Equine Partners LLC, around the handy course well to claim two higher placings in the class. Notorious, who earned a base score of 81.5 in the first round, plus four, returned to the hand to be awarded a base of 82, plus an additional four to give them a total combined score of 171.5 and a sixth place finish. Jumping up in the ribbons, Haness rode Morrison to a score of 84 around the handy course, accumulating an additional four points for high options. With a combined score of 173.5, the combination went home with the fourth place ribbon.
Peter Lombardo and Camelia, remaining consistent in their finesse and style around the arena, returned for their second round to earn a base score of 86. With four more points taken into account for high options, Lombardo and the talented mare finished with a handy score of 90 and a total of 178 to settle into second place in the prestigious class. Taking third place honors was Skylar Wireman aboard West Port, a 6-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Kate Parker, the pair earning a total combined score of 175.5 after a stellar handy round that was awarded a total of 89 with high options accounted for.
Competition at Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National II, presented by Interactive Mortgage returns on Monday, May 31, with a Memorial Day celebration featuring the highly anticipated, $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. After a short break, hunter competition will resume at the Temecula Valley National III, presented by Interactive Mortgage, on Wednesday, June 2, with the beginning of the Green 3’9” Hunter division.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Jamie Taylor – $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby sponsored by Rusty Brown Jewelry Winner
On Ever So Often:
“She is really an incredible horse, you really just try to stay out of her way the best you can and let her do her thing. Luckily the mare is amazing and nothing bothers her and she does her best to make you look good.”
On winning her first derby of the year:
“I have been more focused on the jumper ring this year. I have been minimally riding hunters, so this morning I went to look at my shadbelly and realized it had ripped a long time ago and I haven’t used it in a while so I forgot about it! So I have my whites on and was feeling like, ‘Oh, I haven’t done this in a while,’ when I went in for the handy. I don’t know why I was nervous but I was!”
On riding in Grand Prixs and Hunter Derbies:
“Riding in the jumpers does and doesn’t [help]. It definitely helps with being comfortable with the turns, but it doesn’t because you know it goes wrong on all those turns and you know the room for error is so small. In the hunters, you get to do it at a much slower speed, but that can add its own difficult dimension. I think it is helpful for the most part though.”
On her plans for the rest of the summer:
“I am here next week for the horse show and then we are trying to figure out summer plans. Ever So Often goes to Blenheim, hopefully for the [USHJA/WCHR Summer Spectacular] and now the [USHJA National Hunter Derby Regional Championships] which is what we were practicing for today.”
On Nilforushan Equisport Events:
“It is such a beautiful showgrounds, especially this beautiful hunter ring with these trees. We don’t have anything quite like this in Southern California that I know of. It is just such a nice experience for the horses to do something a little different. I like coming somewhere where it is fresh.”
$5,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, sponsored by Rusty Brown Jewelry
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Score / R2 Score | Total
1. Ever So Often / Jamie Taylor / Ava Peck / 90 / 92 | 182
2. Camelia / Peter Lombardo / Paige Clark / 88 / 90 | 178
3. West Port / Skylar Wireman / Kate Parker / 86.5 / 89 | 175.5
4. Morrison / Nick Haness / West Coast Equine Partners, LLC / 85.5 / 88 | 173.5
5. Celebration / Lindsay Ransom / Mountain View Farms, LLC / 87 / 86 | 173
6. Notorious / Nick Haness / West Coast Equine Partners, LLC / 85.75 / 86 | 171.75
7. Reddington / Nick Haness / West Coast Equine Partners, LLC / 89 / 81 | 170
8. Fascination / Lindsay Ransom / Mary Drake / 84 / 76 | 160
9. Compliment / Peter Lombardo / Ann Adams / 83 / 72 | 155
10. Likely Story / Shiloh Roseboom / Enchantment Farms LLC / 88.5 / 66 | 154.5
11. Top Story / Shauna Pennell / WJC Farms, LLC / 86 / 50 | 136
12. Inkwell / Jenny Karazissis / WJC Farms, LLC / 85 / 49 | 134