The $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby saw Liza Boyd of Camden, SC, guide the Finally Farm Inc.’s Clemens through two rounds in Tryon Stadium at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) on Friday night, scoring a 383 to take the lead in the class for the second year in a row ahead of 20 additional entries. Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, AL, took second place honors aboard Triompf, owned by Loretta Patterson, with a score of 373, while Boyd also rounded out the top three, this time piloting Leonardo Aljure’s Easter to capture third on a score of 366.
The highlight class of the World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) week showcased top hunter talent under the lights in the iconic Tryon Stadium, with a course designed by Andres Christiansen.
Boyd commented, “I thought that the first rounds were nice for both of the horses today. It was raining quite hard on my first horse, but she was great in it. Clemens won this class last year, so I know he likes this arena and he just jumped amazingly. It was a nice course and a fun class!”
The course design made eloquent use of the space provided within the large arena, featuring several turns and a variety of options, Boyd explained, “It rode pretty much like it walked, which was nice. The one bending line was a little tighter than I realized, but that’s the beauty of having two horses. In the handy, I did one inside turn, but did not do both because I was pretty far ahead. It’s like that factor if you’re in a jumper class, do you really go for it or do you just try to go double clear? In the handy I tried to be under the time allowed and bright enough so that it still reflected well for the judges, but wasn’t extremely risky.”
Boyd has the Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships in Kentucky on her list, and credits TIEC and the venue for being the perfect place to prepare for the prestigious competition. “Easter, she was ridden by Roberto Teran before she came to me. She’s for sale and an amazing Derby horse. This is just a great venue to come to because it sets them up nicely with the lights to be prepared for Finals,” she said.
Boyd will also make several more visits to TIEC throughout the coming summer months to make use of the Tryon Summer Series that is so close to her home base of Camden, SC. “We come back here for the summer shows,” she continued, “we are really looking forward to that. There’s a big $50,000 class, so hopefully we make the cut for that.”
With 35 entries presented earlier in the day on the Derby Field at TIEC for the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, Sara Taylor of Sherborn, MA, piloted Eight Oaks’ So Fun, to victory on a two-round score of 184, scoring 90 and 94. Wakefield, RI, native Jennifer Hannan rode Cynthia Sulzberger’s Coeur de Leon to second place on a score of 180.5, and Mary Antonini of New Orleans, LA, secured third place aboard her own MTM Making Waves, their two round score totaling 178.5.