Isabelle Lapierre Captures $25K Knightwood Hunter Derby Victory at the Royal Horse Show

Isabelle Lapierre of Lévis, QC, rode Carrera S to victory in the $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby on Tuesday, November 6, at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

Isabelle Lapierre of Lévis, QC, riding Carrera S won the $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby on Tuesday, November 6, at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ONPhoto by Ben Radvanyi Photography

The win marked the pair’s second major hunter derby victory of the Royal Horse Show as they also topped Sunday’s $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby. With riders contesting Tuesday night’s hunter derby finale in reverse order of their standings in Sunday’s class, Lapierre and Carrera S, an eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Johannie Légaré, were the final entry to navigate the course designed by Rob Carey in the Coca-Cola Coliseum. Judges Kitty Barker and Rob Bielefeld awarded Lapierre an overall score of 109, including a base score of 93 coupled with handy and high option bonus points, to place the pair at the top of the leaderboard. For the win, Lapierre was awarded the Paddy Ann Burns Trophy.

“With my first horse, I did one less stride everywhere,” said Lapierre, referring to her additional entry in the class, Excellent Balou. “With Carrera S, I added a stride everywhere. That’s why I like the derbies: it’s not just about the numbers, it’s about the way that your horse goes. He was very relaxed, and he jumped super. I think he gave 100 percent.”

Isabelle Lapierre, pictured aboard Carrera S, is presented with the Lorna Jean Guthrie Trophy following her win in the $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby by Margaret ‘Muffie’ Guthrie and Jeff Brandmaier and their daughter, Liza Jean. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography

As the highest scoring pair in both the Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby and the Knightwood Hunter Derby, Lapierre and Carrera S were presented with the Lorna Jean Guthrie Challenge Trophy as the Canadian Hunter Derby Champion.

“Maybe the best thing is to retire from doing hunter derbies!” joked Lapierre of winning Canada’s highest hunter derby honour. “To win, it’s like a dream.”

Finishing second in Tuesday night’s class with an overall score of 107 were Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON, and Enchanted, owned by Christel Weller. Not far behind with a score of 103 was Kristjan Good of Campbellville, ON, riding Chantilly Lace for owner Shannon Walter, while Ballard also picked up fourth place with a score of 96 aboard ‘Round Midnight, owned by Knightwood Stables.

The Eastern and Western Canadian Hunter Derby Series champions were also recognized on Tuesday evening, with the $10,000 Prince of Thieves Go West Trophy, presented by Jump Canada, awarded to Lapierre and Carrera S as the Eastern Canadian Champions and the $10,000 Represent the West Championship, also presented by Jump Canada, given to Kassidy Keith and Carivero, owned by Miranda Lebeuf, as the Western Champions.