Jenny Karazissis and Legacy Land Another USHJA International Hunter Derby Victory

July 31, 2016 – Del Mar, CA – After a victory on this same field in May at the Showpark Ranch & Coast Classic, Jenny Karazissis and Legacy, owned by Emily Sukert, continued their winning streak in this weekend’s $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. On a gorgeous Saturday at the Showpark Racing Festival in Del Mar, the honorable Michael Page and Robin Swinderman judged as Panel One, with Carol Dean Porter and Andrea Meek sitting together as Panel Two.

 Legacy and Jenny Karazissis. PC: Captured Moments Photography

The first round track, designed by Joe Lombardo, included four solid high options, with ten efforts in total. The line from fence seven to eight was a challenging white wall to a hay bale option of 4’0″ or 4’3″. Seven of the entries took all four options, including Karazissis on her first mount, Briana Sukert’s Nonchalant. This pair led the class with a score of 167, until Karazissis came in on Legacy, finishing with a 169 total. After the Classic Round, Karazissis was sitting pretty in first and second place on horses owned by the Sukert sisters. She also piloted Pam Stewart’s Durango to third and Amy Gallagher’s Zion to eighth, returning with four for the Handy Round.

Joining Karazissis were professional riders Kelly van Fleck, Jamie Taylor, Michael Leon, Gretchen Lof, Lexi Wedemeyer and Hannah Brown, plus junior rider Elli Yeager and amateur Maile Brutech.

The Handy Round was a winding track with ten challenging obstacles, beginning with a bending line of options – an oxer at fence one and the hay bale jump as fence two. Next, riders galloped up the hill to the trot jump, back down the hill to a barrel fence off a left turn, a U-shaped rail vertical off a right turn and then a rollback left turn to a fan oxer. The final option was a vertical-vertical combination set off a right turn followed by a gallop down to the final square oxer.

Almost every horse shifted positions in the Handy Round, with the exception of Legacy, who led every step of the way.
Several moved up in the order, earning high handy scores. Jamie Taylor and Naomi Houillon’s Captain 33 moved up from fifth to second, and Michael Leon’s Nil Du Buffant Rouge jumped from sixth to third after their Handy Round.
2014 Onondarka Medal Final Champion Elli Yeager also illustrated Copperfield 39’s handiness to move from seventh to fourth in the final standings.

 Captain 33 and Jamie Taylor. PC: Captured Moments Photography

 Nil Du Buffant Rouge and Michael Leon. PC: Captured Moments Photography

Legacy lived up to his name when Karazissis showed how beautifully handy he can be, earning the top score yet again in the second round.

Karazissis complimented the handsome dapple gray gelding. “I know he can make every turn that I need to make. He changes his leads on his own. He is super brave and very adjustable, so he is just lovely to ride.”

Congratulations also go to the other award winners recognized after the International Hunter Derby. The Equitex Trainer Award went to Mary Morris of Ivy Gate Farm, and the Balmoral Farm Owner honors were awarded to Emily Sukert.

Premier grooming company Shapley’s presented the Best Turned Out Award to Hannah Brown’s mount Epic and groom Ivan Alverado.

Elli Yeager earned The Plaid Horse High Score Junior Hunter Rider Derby Award. And the One K Helmets High Score Amateur Hunter Rider Derby Award went to Maile Burtech aboard Portrait.

 Copperfield 39 and Elli Yeager

 Portrait and Maile Burtech

Karazissis is looking forward to taking Legacy to Lexington, Kentucky, for the USHJA International Derby Championships in less than three weeks. “What a confidence boost to go back East with a win,” she noted.

 Legacy and Jenny Karazissis. PC: Captured Moments Photography

The Showpark Racing Festival highlight classes conclude today with the $40,000 Racing Festival Grand Prix, presented by EquiFit, inc. this afternoon. Next week’s Showpark August Festival, the last of a superb three-week series, offers a $25,000 Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix on Friday, a $10,000 CardFlex 1.35m Jumper Classic on Saturday, and a $20,000 EVet 1.40m Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic on Sunday.


$15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
Place – Entry Number – Horse – Rider – Owner – First Rd/Second Rd/Overall Score

1. 793 – Legacy – Jenny Karazissis – Emily Sukert – 169/190/359

2. 132 – Captain 33 – Jamie Taylor – Naomi Houillon – 158/185/343
3. 750 – Nil Du Buffant Rouge – Michael Leon – Michael Leon – 156/183/339
4. 672 – Copperfield 39 – Elli Yeager – Elli Yeager – 149.5/184/333.5
5. 297 – Stanley F – Kelly Van Vleck – Linda Freeman – 159/164/323
6. 119 – Zion – Jenny Karazissis – Amy Gallagher – 149/163/312
7. 507 – Verona – Gretchen Lof – Lanie Walkenbach – 137/162/299
8. 136 – Durango – Jenny Karazissis – Pam Stewart – 160.5/119/279.5
9. 665 – Epic – Hannah Brown – Michelle Cobb – 145/133/278
10. 791 – Nonchalant – Jenny Karazissis – Briana Sukert – 167/99/266
11. 553 – Pandora – Lexi Wedemeyer – Teton Farms, LLC – 143/117/260
12. 532 – Portrait – Maile Burtech – Maile Burtech – 133/Elim/133