Samantha Schaefer & Gone Country Close Out Brandywine Horse Shows with $5k USHJA Open National Hunter Derby Win

Brandywine Horse Shows concluded on Sunday, July 8, crowning its champions in the hunter and jumper divisions. The week’s feature class, the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, was split into two sections – open and junior/amateur, with Samantha Schaefer and Gone Country taking home the win in the open section.

Samantha Schaefer and Gone Country. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography

Schaefer and Gone Country, owned by Morgan Kazerman, led the class with a total overall score of 178. Dominique Damico and Ramble on Farms’s Rockette finished in second place with a score of 175. Rounding out the top three was Maria Rasmussen Sunset View Farm LLC’s Hobbs Lane with an overall score of 170.

“We bought him in the spring and she started showing him in the 3’3” Juniors, and he has had quite a bit of success already. I showed him the week prior when I won on her other horse, Nino Nacho, I showed him as well and he was third. Morgan was traveling and wasn’t able to make the second Brandywine, but they said to go ahead and take the horse and get him more experience under the lights in that ring, so that when it’s time for her to do the 3’6” Juniors at Devon he’ll have more experience. It was great, it worked out perfectly. I wanted to have another horse to show in the class on Saturday night and it all worked out,” shared Schaefer.

In the junior/amateur section of the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, it was Ashley Vogel and Legacy that bested a field of 27 riders to win the class. The pair led with an overall score of 176. Second place went to Claire Campbell riding Samantha Schaefer’s Stallone with a total score of 167.5. Third place was awarded to Caroline Bald and Vondel DH Z, owned by Maarten Huygens Horse Sales, Inc, with an overall score of 166.


The Grand Amateur Hunter Champion was won by Mia Latran and her own mount Rockwell. The pair was also awarded the West Chester Hunt Perpetual Trophy in memory of Caroline “Cookie” Brown. In the Junior divisions, the Grand Junior Hunter Champion was Kaitlyn Williams riding Ramble on Farm’s Rockette. Williams also received the Grand Junior Owner award. Sydney Hamel and O Henry received the Grand Children’s Hunter championship award as well as the Oberkircher Family Award.

In the $5,000 High Junior/Amateur Jumper Hall of Fame Classic, Chloe White and her own Miss Understood II rode to the first place finish. The pair tied with Caroline Ratigan and Gotham Enterprizes LLC’s Washington Square for the overall Grand Jumper Championship title.

Ashley Vogel and Legacy. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography

In the pony divisions, it was Grace Debney and Rivers Edge’s Upside that brought home the win in the USHJA Pony Hunter Derby. Debney and Upside received a total score of 172 to secure the win. The pair was also awarded the Grand Pony Hunter championship title for their leading performance in the Large Pony Hunter division.

Several other awards were given out during the weekend. The leading hunter trainer award was presented to Dominique D’Amico with Ramble On Farm, and the $2,500 Mike Rheinheimer Equitation Trainer Award was presented to Amanda Lyerly. Emma Kurtz was awarded the Brandywine Equitation Hunter Cup aboard Carl, owned by Betsee Parker.

The Regal Sullivan Memorial Sportsmanship Award was presented to Clementina Brown, and Barbara Brungess received the Barry G. Balmer Memorial Horsemanship Award. The Bill Rube Style Award was presented to Nancy Prant Hooker and the National Horse Show $1,000 Braider’s Award was won by Krista Hunter.