Wellington, Florida – February 28, 2019 – As the nation’s top hunters prepared for action in the beautiful grass arena at Deeridge Farms, the young jumpers completed their second day of classes at the Deeridge Derby, the final leg of the 2019 Palm Beach Masters Series®.
Khaleesi, owned by Ariel Grange and ridden by Hyde Moffatt (CAN), garnered top honors in the $12,000 7-Year-Old Jumper class. The hotly contested event saw 10 horse-and-rider combinations go clean in the first round over Phil DeVita’s (USA) course. Eight of those 10 combinations went clear again in the jump-off, with the top of the leaderboard changing with each combination that entered the arena. Khaleesi and Moffatt were the last to go over the shortened track, and they crossed the finish in a blistering time of 35.592 seconds to take the win.
Klee Hellerman’s Helianthus H and rider Aidan Killeen (IRL) earned second-place honors with a time of 36.150 seconds, while two-time Olympic veteran Daniel Bluman (ISR) took over the ride on Parrandero for owner/rider Enrique Gonzales and finished in a time of 36.225 for third place.
“I just started riding this mare at the beginning of [the winter] circuit,” said Moffatt. “She is a real winner and rises to the occasion in the classes that matter.
“She had a little less energy today because of the heat,” he added, “and I felt like I was driving with the yellow gas light on, but she pulls through when it counts. She is for sale, and it is always a shame to have to sell good ones like her, but it is all part of the game. I am just so happy to be here at Deeridge; it is such an amazing place.”
BP Wakita and rider Aidan Killeen (IRL) handily won the $7,500 6-Year-Old Jumper class with a double-clear performance and a jump-off time of 36.576 seconds. BP Wakita (Pacino x BP Masterpiece), owned by Trefoil Farm LLC, displayed a length of stride that allowed the beautiful grey mare to float quietly across the ground, yet shave precious seconds off the clock. Second place went to Irebellini (Bernini x Zabelle S) and owner/rider Sydney Shulman (USA), who went clear in the jump-off in 37.061 seconds, while Daniel Michan (MEX) and Ibsen DN finished third. That pair was also double clear, completing the jump-off in 39.480 seconds.
“She is one of the first young horses I have ever owned. I bought her last year as a five-year-old in Ireland,” said Trefoil Farm’s Klee Hellerman. “She was second in Dublin and qualified for the Young Horse Finals, and she was amazing. She has been such a good girl all along. She is such an easy horse to work with, tries so hard, is so smart and just seems to know.
“The first time we showed her, she just seemed to know what she was doing. It is really fun to watch her grow up,” she added. “Her sire, Pacino, was such an amazing horse and died so young; it is fun to see a little bit of him in her. You can really see her growing up every day and growing into herself.”
Bradley, ridden by Sarah Sturges (USA), and Out of Sight, with David Powers (IRL) in the irons, both produced clear rounds in the $5,000 5-year-old Jumper class. The performance was especially gratifying for Sturges, who not only owns Bradley; she also bred the Warmblood gelding. The bay is out of the young professional’s retired junior jumper, the Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve mare Warone, and by the stallion VDL Emilion.
“My mom and I started breeding some hunters and jumpers, and they’re just getting started. The oldest ones are about [Bradley’s] age now,” Sturges said. “This is the first jumper we’ve done, out of my old junior jumper, and it’s been really easy. [Bradley] has only shown three times or so, and he just likes to do it.
“I was really happy for him to walk off the trailer here and not blink an eye,” she added. “I was just really impressed with his mind more than anything else. To me, he’s a little ahead of the curve, brain-wise, already. We’re going to let him enjoy growing up.”
Competition continues Friday at the Deeridge Derby, as the hunter divisions get underway with the Green Incentive and Derby Warm-Up.
About the Palm Beach Masters Series®
The Palm Beach Masters Series® hosts top international equestrian competitors from across the U.S. and abroad. Beginning with one elite competition in 2016, the series has grown into one of the sport’s most reputable events, hosting the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Wellington, the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ USA, and the Deeridge Derby. The show grounds are located at the spectacular Deeridge Farms, situated in the heart of North American equestrian sport in Wellington, Florida. Award-winning landscaping surrounds the custom-built show grounds and the facilities that host the series. The events’ picturesque location, unrivaled hospitality, and world-class facilities guarantee a on-of-a-kind experience for competitors and spectators alike.
The 2019 Deeridge Derby is a USEF nationally rated show, where the nation’s most elegant show hunters take center stage, along with young jumpers. They’ll compete in prestigious classes, highlighted by the highly competitive $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.