Wellington, Florida – March 6, 2019 – The nation’s top hunters took center stage at the 2019 Deeridge Derby, the third and closing event of the world-class 2019 Palm Beach Masters Series®. The European-style event, which ran February 27–March 3 at Deeridge Farms in Wellington, Florida, received glowing reviews for its world-class facilities, phenomenal footing and spectacular amenities for horse, rider, sponsor and spectator alike.
The third annual Deeridge Derby, a USEF premier-rated show, was highlighted by four separate derby events— the $2,500 USHJA International Derby Welcome Stake, $5,000 USHJA National Derby, $5,000 USHJA Junior/Amateur Derby, and the week’s featured event, the prestigious $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby—which were all held in Deeridge Farms’ magnificent grass arena. The program also featured three Green Hunter Incentive Stake classes and divisions for young jumpers.
Victoria Colvin put in another spectacular performance to clinch her second straight $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, this time aboard Meralex Farm’s El Primero. The top 25 entries from the original 42 that contested Saturday’s Classic Round returned for Sunday’s Handy Round over the Phil DeVita-designed course. Judges Linda Hough, Susie Schoellkopf, Walter T. “Timmy” Kees and Chance Arakelian gave El Primero and Colvin the highest two-round total score of 378.75. Tracy Fenney and MTM Farm’s MTM Outbidput in an exceptional handy round, moving them up from fourth place into the runner-up spot with a total of 377.50 points. Kelley Farmer and Christel Weller’s Enchanted also jumped from original fifth place to take third with a 372.75 total score.
“I think it’s beautiful here,” said Colvin, who has also ridden to the past two USHJA International Derby Championship titles. “It’s amazing with the grass field and the tents—there’s a bit of a European vibe. It’s really gorgeous.”
Farmer and Enchanted claimed victory earlier in the week, winning the $2,500 USHJA International Welcome Stake.
“This is just an incredible horse show,” said Farmer. “How could you not like showing here? We, as exhibitors, are so grateful to the Jacobs family for putting on a show like this. They do a great job with everything. The horses love the change of venue and the ability to show on the grass. It is so special, and the horses respond in a positive way. I am very thankful that there are people like the Jacobs family who put on these types of shows. I wish there were more.”
In the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, Patricia Fulchino’s Uppercutand Jennifer Hannan emerged victorious. The veteran pair held the lead throughout the competition, finishing on a total score of 186 following first and second round scores of 94 and 92, respectively. Havens Schatt rode Caroline Moran’s Happy Thought to a round-high score of 96 in the handy to claim runner-up honors.
“I just love these showgrounds,” Hannan said. “It is such a pleasure to ride in the arena. It gives us a totally different venue. It is so beautiful here, and the horses are as into it as we are. The Jacobs family really put on a first-class show.”
“It is so wonderful of the Jacobs family to give us this opportunity to compete in a ring and a setting like this,” added Schatt. “Thanks to their generosity, we hunter riders get to experience what the jumpers experience every week of the year!”
Sixteen-year-old Stella Propp and Aquitaine Equine’s Inquisitive won the $5,000 USHJA National Junior/Amateur Hunter Derby after producing two consistently brilliant rounds worthy of identical scores of 92. That gave the duo a total score of 184.
“I am so happy right now; you have no idea!” Propp exclaimed post-victory. “I haven’t done a Derby since I was in ponies, so going in the ring was very scary for me, especially since I was against such amazing amateur and junior riders, but I had so much fun. I went in for the experience, and it ended up better than I ever could have imagined!”
Deeridge Derby president Katie Jacobs Robinson, who co-founded the Palm Beach Masters Series with her brothers Lou and Charlie Jacobs, expressed her pride in how the competition played out.
“Hosting a derby like this has always been a dream of ours,” she said. “My father and I have always had a passion for hunters, and it makes us so happy to welcome these hunters and give them a chance to compete in a stand-alone show in a ring like this. We really appreciate their being here.”
Alex Granato (USA) and Carlchen W kicked off the 2019 Palm Beach Masters Series® with a win in the CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Wellington. Photo by Kathy Russell Photography
Over the course of the last four years, Deeridge Farms has established itself as a world-class competition venue, welcoming the sport’s biggest names in a boutique setting with unrivaled hospitality. The first event in the 2019 Palm Beach Masters Series®, the CP Palm Beach Masters Winter Classic CSI4*-W Presented by Suncast, was held January 31–February 3, and had a star-studded lineup of riders that included Olympic veterans and FEI World Cup™ Champions. Alex Granato (USA) and Carlchen W beat two former FEI World Cup™ Champions to win the $208,200 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Wellington, the culminating event and penultimate east coast qualifier for the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Granato will long remember his time at Deeridge Farms. “It’s a beautiful venue; I can’t say enough nice things,” he said. “It’s so great of [the Jacobs family] to open their facility for us to come over. It’s an energizer in the middle of the circuit for us as riders and for the horses to get to jump at this kind of venue.”
The CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States of America, the second event of the 2019 Palm Beach Masters Series® lived up to its promise as one of the top events of the year, as the historic team challenge made a glorious return to Wellington, February 14-17. The event showcased 60 Olympic-caliber athletes from 13 countries, who competed with 115 horses for $716,500 in prize money. Teams from six nations went head-to-head in the $290,000 CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ USA, the only qualifier in the country for the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona, Spain, next fall. A thrilling win by Team Mexico set off a celebration that will long be remembered for its spirit and enthusiasm. Nations Cup week also featured 53 horses in competitions for Young Riders, Juniors, and Children, showcasing the next generation of elite show jumping talent.
All of the riders and chefs d’equipe praised the event at Deeridge Farms, and Mexico’s Chef Stanny van Paesschen summed it up best. “It’s a beautiful venue; the ring is absolutely fantastic,” he said. “It’s like a home garden, as it’s really well kept. It’s beautiful. We are not used to places like this in Europe. In Mexico, they also have great places, but this is a great venue that is among the best in the world.”
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 prestigious events. The show grounds are located at the spectacular Deeridge Farms, situated in the heart of North American equestrian sport in Wellington, FL. Award-winning landscaping surrounds the custom-built show grounds and the facilities that host the series. The events’ picturesque location, unrivaled hospitality, custom-built jumping rings and world-class facilities guarantee a one-of-a-kind experience for riders and spectators alike.