Congratulations are in order to Buddy Brown, winner of the Grand Prix Hunter Derby held last Friday night at the Del Mar Equestrian Festival. Buddy topped a field of 30 horse and rider combinations to win the class.
Buddy, a veteran of the sport, and his mount Sue Sadlier’s Balio Z executed two flawless rounds over a 3’3″ and 3’6″ course that featured several options, including higher jumps and a stacked hay bale jump out of the Del Mar Arena into the adjacent San Diego Arena. Judges ranked the horses based on soundness, manners, suitability and performance (brilliance, efficiency, handiness and ability against the clock).
The class was made possible thanks to sponsorship from Fleeceworks, a huge supporter of hunter derby events.
In addition to popular events like Del Mar, Fleeceworks has championed the expansion of hunter derby events into uncharted territory, such as the AQHA’s new derby series.
The Huntfield AQHA Derby Series is modeled after the USHJA program. Still in its inaugural year, the series was founded by Lainie Deboer and David Walker in the hope that a Hunter Derby program might have a similarly reinvigorating effect on the AQHA hunter horse, as it did for the hunter/jumper world at large.
The series is held at multiple shows throughout the year, with a final to be held at the AQHA World Championship show, November 10th, at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City. This is will be a first for the AQHA offering a “special event” during the World Show, and it should be a real draw with over $40,000 in cash and prizes.
Good luck to all the Huntfield AQHA Derby competitors as they begin their final preparations, and thank you, Fleeceworks, for your continuing support of these great series!
Go Fleeceworks, and Go Riding.