Liza Boyd Carries on Tradition with Victory in the $15K USHJA International Hunter Derby Hunt & Go

Liza Boyd of Camden, SC, and Tradition were victorious in the final week of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) as the pair captured the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Hunt & Go on Friday, March 29, at Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The “Hunt & Go” derby was one of three major events for hunter riders during Week 12.

Liza Boyd and Tradition. Photo © Sportfot

Thirty-five horse-and-rider combinations contested Ken Krome’s course, which was designed in the newer Hunt & Go format, on the grass. The Hunt & Go format was only introduced several years ago as a way to shorten the original derby format while still offering a classic and a handy round. Instead of all riders competing through the classic and then returning at a later time for a handy, the course is designed as half classic and half handy. Riders are therefore able to highlight their horse’s strengths in both formats.

Krome’s course consisted of four high option fences, a trot fence, and a ‘bounce’ line in the ‘handy’ portion of the course. Judges panels included Otis Brown and Ann Braswell in panel one, and Robert Crandall and Rob Bielefeld in panel two.

Kelley Farmer and Larry Glefke/Aizlynn Radwanski’s Closing Statement were the first pair to head into the ring and took the early lead with a combined score of 333.00 points. She and the six-year-old Warmblood gelding (Mr. Blue x Ursula) finished in the fourth place position.

Ten trips later, Havens Schatt and the SHP Barn LLC’s 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Cachas x Varese), Spectacular, produced a flawless round including all high options to total 340.50 points combined from both panels for second place. Schatt later returned with Caroline Moran’s 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Lawito x Palmagora), Mostly Sunny, and earned the third place position with 339.75 points.

As the seventeenth entry into the ring, hunter veteran Liza Boyd piloted Maggie Hill’s Tradition to the new lead after totaling 357.00 points with a classic score of 179.00 and a handy round producing 178.00 points. Boyd and the eight-year-old Westphalian gelding (Cornet’s Stern x Larix) are no strangers to success in the derby classes as Tradition’s second time in a derby was at the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships, where he placed third.

Alberto Ramirez with Tradition and ringmaster Steve Rector. Photo © Sportfot

“He was made to be a derby horse I think,” Boyd explained. “We purchased him from Scott Stewart as a junior hunter mount for his owner Maggie Hill, but Scott had been telling me for a long time that he had a great horse that would be able to do both the junior hunters and the bigger derbies. Clearly, he was right because he does well with his owner in the juniors, but he is also super brave and can jump the bigger tracks which is exactly what we look for in a derby horse.”

Boyd plans to compete the gelding in the weekend’s $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby but said she enjoyed being able to use the Hunt & Go format as a way to introduce her horse to his surroundings.

“We haven’t had the Hunt & Go for very long in the International Derby Program but I think it’s nice to have it once in a while like this,” she said. “I think it’s so special to be able to have the second round in the bigger derby classes where you are able to come back with a new strategy, but for a day like today it was quite nice because you got to give your horse a tour of the venue and practice both classic and handy round fences.”

“It sets both horse and rider up quite nicely for tomorrow’s class,” she added.

Jennifer Hannan and Uppercut. Photo © Sportfot

The $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby was also featured on the Derby Field on Friday. The class was split into a Professional section with 23 entries and a Junior/Amateur section with 38 entries. Jennifer Hannan and Patricia Fulchino’s Uppercut took the top honors in the professional division with a high score of 181.00 combined points for their effort. Havens Schatt once again earned second and third, this time aboard her own Salt Creek for second and Caroline Moran’s Happy Thought in third.

In the junior/amateur section, Coco Fath and Take the High Road, LLC’s  Havana came away victorious on a total of 166.00 points. Lanie Walkenbach piloted her own Kennan to second with 165.00 points, and John Yozell and his own mount, Aiden came away with third on a  score of 163.50 points.

Coco Fath and Take the High Road. Photo © Sportfot

Final Results: $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Hunt & Go
Horse / Rider / Owner
R1 Score / R2 Score | Total

1 Tradition / Liza Boyd / Maggie Hill
179.00 / 178.00 | 357.00

2 Spectacular / Havens Schatt / SHP Barn LLC
172.00 / 168.50 | 340.50

3 Mostly Sunny / Havens Schatt / Caroline Moran
167.25 / 172.50 | 339.75

4 Closing Statement / Kelley Farmer / Larry Glefke & Aizlynn Radwanski
162.00 / 171.00 | 333.00

5 Probable Cause / Keri Kampsen / Quail Run Partnerships
170.01 / 162.00 | 332.10

6 Diamante / Patricia Griffith / Callie Seaman
164.05 / 168.00 | 332.05

7 No Doubt / Victoria Colvin / Mark Woods
159.00 / 173.00 | 332.00

8 Namely / Kelley Farmer / Larry Glefke & Oakmont Stables
165.00 / 165.00 | 330.00

9 Corallo Z / Greg Crolick / Renaud Farm, LLC
166.00 / 162.00 | 328.00

10 Confetti / Sara Taylor / Sherri Crawford
166.50 / 161.50 | 328.00

11 Fig Street’s Duchess / Chaz Harpman / Cynthia Hallman
161.00 / 162.50 | 323.50

12 Carson / Nikko Ritter / Kathryn Haefner LLC
156.60 / 165.00 | 321.60