We’re back for another round of “Ride of the Week” brought to you by our friends at Hallway Feeds, where we feature the absolute best rounds the H/J universe has to offer. These clips are not only a thrilling spectacle of the world’s very best competitors at the top of their game, but also a valuable learning tool.
If you’re in search of exactly what the perfect Hunter Derby round looks like, where better to look than the winner of the International Hunter Derby Championship? With all the talent in the world present at the Kentucky Horse Park this past weekend, the victory was claimed by a pair who not only surprised many of the old guard, but who only came together a few short weeks ago: Kristy Herrera and Miss Lucy, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Helen Lenahan.
The pair moved up from third place after the classic round by taking all the available options to add 25 bonus points to an already marvelous score, giving them the win at 587 points.
Kristy got the ride of Miss Lucy just a few short weeks ago; Miss Lucy’s longtime partner, Jennifer Alfano, injured her knee in a fall from the mare at the Devon Horse Show in May, and for several weeks was sorting out whether she could be back in time to ride in the Derby herself. That timeline proved impossible, and Jennifer instead placed the mare in the hands of one of her former students, Kristy.
The round is everything you might hope it would be. The relaxation and fluidity of a hunter round, but the scope and forwardness necessary to tackle larger obstacles. Truly, it’s the sort of win that a chestnut mare was born to win.
And when we say bigger obstacles, we do mean big: The final wall on the course was 1.57 meters, the tallest fence in Derby history!
Special thanks to EQSportsNet for making the winning round available. You can see a full replay of the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship with a subscription to their site.