Temecula, Ca. – April 25, 2021 – Hunter competitors flocked to the Grand Hunter Arena at Galway Downs Sunday morning for the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by ShowMD, during the Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National Premier I, presented by Interactive Mortgage. A total of 33 professional, junior and amateur riders showed their best in contention for the top honors in the class, but it was professional rider Peter Lombardo and Camelia who would dominate the large field and reign supreme.
By the conclusion of the first round, it was Hope Glynn aboard Hero, owned by Marnell Sport Horses, who sat atop the leaderboard on a score of 96 after taking four of the high options in the first round, adding four points to her initial score of 92. Sitting just two points behind the frontrunners, owner/rider Gable Gering and Decklin were hot on their heels with a total of 94 points after adding four high option points to their original score of 90.
Sitting in the third place position going into the handy was Peter Lombardo aboard Paige Clarke’s Camelia after receiving a score of 88 from the judges and adding four bonus points for high options taken throughout the course, giving them a cumulative score of 92. Adding her name to the top five yet again, Gering and her second mount, H De Revel, earned a total first round score of 88, which was good enough to place the duo in fourth going into the final round of competition. Not to be counted out of the running, Lindsay Ransom rounded out the top five in the fifth place position with the Mountain View Farms, LLC’s entry Celebration thanks to a first round total score of 87.
For the handy round, the qualified top 12 returned to demonstrate their skill and style over the handy course, which featured four high option fences, a trot fence and several rollback turns. With such tight scores separating the qualified riders, riders had the opportunity to show off and steal the lead, making the win truly anyone’s for the taking.
An unfortunate turn of events in the handy would push Glynn and Hero out of contention for the top prize, leaving the lead up for grabs. Eager to secure the win, riders put forth their best effort across the shortened track with all 12 qualifiers opting to take all four high options on course to earn those much-needed bonus points. Victoria LaCagnina and her own Positano were awarded an 88 by the judges, giving them an impressive second round score of 92 with the addition of their high-option bonus points. Added to their first-round total of 83, LaCagnina and the nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding sat on an overall score of 175 which momentarily held the leading position.
Ransom and Celebration returned to the ring, eager to improve upon their score and move up in the rankings. Their smooth track and the ten-year-old Warmblood gelding’s effortless jumping style were highly rewarded by the judges, giving them a second round total of 90, sliding them up on the leaderboard with a total score of 177.
Knowing his first-round score put he and Camelia at an advantage going into the handy, Lombardo and the eight-year-old Holsteiner mare delivered a brilliant performance earning the highest handy score of the day, an 89, which when added to his four bonus points for high-options taken and his first round score guaranteed the duo the win in Sunday’s showdown. Ransom and Celebration would don the red sash, while LaCagnina and Positano would end the morning with a third place finish.
Competition during the Temecula Valley National Premier I, presented by Interactive Mortgage, wraps up Sunday, April 25. Horse showing will resume at Galway Downs with the kickoff of the Temecula Valley National Premer II, presented by Interactive Mortgage, on Wednesday, April 28.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
“[Camelia] is an eight-year-old mare that I show in the 3’3” Pre-Greens. Her owner is from Seattle and she just moved to California to be able to ride and show in California. I have been training her since last fall. She is very, very good in the derbies, so I always try and do the derbies if I think it is not too much for her. Even though she is really green, she loves the derbies and the importance of them. She really jumps better than ever and she has gotten a lot more skilled in the handy portion of the class. This is her first big win, but we have been close before. We have been climbing up in the ribbons and this is our first win, so it is very exciting! She’s a lovely horse, she moves well and she jumps well and has a great temperament.”
On future plans with Camelia:
“We go home now for a few weeks, but I always like to do the derbies if it works into our schedule. I think that derbies are definitely in her future!”
On showing at Nilforushan Equisport Events (NEE):
“I have been in derbies [hosted by NEE] before, they are always really nicely run. I love the new ring. I loved the old ring too, but this is really nice with the new footing. Every time I come here the show is better and better!”
$15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, sponsored by Desert International
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Score / R2 Score | Total
1. Camelia / Peter Lombardo / Paige Clarke / 92.00 / 93.00 | 185.00
2. Celebration / Lindsay Ransom / Mountain View Farms, LLC / 87.00 / 90.00 | 177.00
3. Positano / Victoria LaCagnina / Victoria Lacagnina / 83.00 / 92.00 | 175.00
4. Einstein / Aeden Mooney / Brannon Loomis Mooney / 84.75 / 88 | 172.75
5. H De Revel / Gable Gering / Gable Gering / 88.00 / 80.00 | 168.00
6. Decklin / Gable Gering / Gable Gering / 94.00 / 73.00 | 167.00
7. Soloist / Danielle Park / Danielle Park / 84.50 / 82.00 | 166.50
8. Haute Couture / Jessica Smith / Jessica Smith / 79 / 147.00 / 176.00 | 163.00
9. Compliment / Peter Lombardo / Ann Adams / 85.50 / 76.00 | 161.50
10. Hero / Hope Glynn / Marnell Sport Horses / 96.00 / 54.00 | 150
11. Narrative / Marisa Metzger / Laurie Jueneman / 88.00 / 49.00 | 137
12. West Port / Kate Parker / Kate Parker / 86.00 / 42.00 | 128