Liza Boyd of Camden, SC, and Brunello, owned by Finally Farm, Inc., upheld their reputation as the pair to beat in today’s $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, topping a field of nineteen entries in front of a supportive hometown crowd on The Grass Complex at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Moving into the handy round, Boyd and Brunello amassed a total first round score of 184, which placed them atop the leaderboard. The duo earned a total score of 192 in their handy round effort, adding up to a final score of 376. The final tally solidified the win, amassing another historic and impressive victory for the duo. Kelley Farmer of Wellington, FL, and Kodachrome, owned by Nina Moore, finished in a close second place with a total score of 374 points, while Erica Quinn of Maineville, OH, and Celtic Fire, owned by CF Partners, scored a total of 362, to take third place honors.
Today was the second time that Boyd and Brunello have competed together this year. On a crisp fall day at TIEC accompanying a beautiful derby track set on the Grass Complex, Boyd was feeling positive about showing with her veteran partner and three-time USHJA International Hunter Derby Champion.
|Liza Boyd and Brunello. PC: Sportfot|
“Today I just had fun. I enjoyed every moment and I really just enjoyed this horse. I actually wasn’t really even nervous. I was also really pleased with how the footing held up,” said Boyd.
After the first round, Boyd held an 11-point lead ahead of Kelley Farmer, which she used to her advantage when deciding how to approach the challenging handy track. Knowing that Brunello always has a knack to win, Boyd cantered onto the field for her final round with a dedicated plan to take home the blue ribbon.
|Kelley Farmer and Kodachrome. PC: Sportfot|
“I think in these derbies you really have to strategize the final round and know what you have to do. I thought the handy rode quite nice and presented us with some really good options. I knew I could take one low option and I knew there was one inside turn I didn’t have to do,” Boyd added.
With another successful handy round under her belt, Boyd shared her tricks of the trade, opening up about her competition routine with derby mounts, who she competes in the jumper classes ahead of the highlighted hunter class.
|Erica Quinn and Celtic Fire. PC: Sportfot|
“I do it for the horses but I also do it for myself as a rider,” Boyd explained. “It just gets me back in the groove of bending lines and turning, instead of the typical hunter round of inside, outside, inside outside. Doing the jumper classes with the more technical and advanced tracks sharpens me up, as well as sharpens the horses.”
Boyd was thrilled with the opportunity to compete on the grass field with Brunello and her second mount, Shamrock, who earned tenth place honors on in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Boyd continued on to thank the Bellissimo family and Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP) for allowing hunter riders and horses the opportunity to show on the new Grass Complex.
|Liza Boyd and Brunello in their presentation ceremony with Jack Towell, groom Alberto Ramirez, alongside Boyd’s daughter Ellle. PC: Sportfot|
“If this class hadn’t been on the grass field, Brunello probably would not have shown. It’s really great for our sport and our industry. It was so much fun riding out there and it felt really special” she elaborated.
Receiving the loudest of cheers throughout the day, Boyd talked about riding Brunello in front of his home crowd, commenting, “Janet Peterson, Brunello’s owner, lives here and the Breyer celebration that was held in his honor took place here. He has a lot fans at TIEC and this class was calling his name.”
Boyd mentioned the talk surrounding Brunello’s retirement, but said, “I selfishly cannot retire him yet. Brunello makes me feel like a really, really, really good rider,” she smiled. “He makes it so easy, nothing ever looks big or hard when I am riding Brunello.”
The 2016 Tryon Fall Series presented by Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District offers six weeks of hunter and jumper competition, including three weeks of internationally recognized FEI show jumping featuring two FEI CSI 3* weeks and an FEI CSI 5*. For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and surrounding amenities please visit www.tryon.com.
For full results of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby click here.