Will Roberts and Dubari Capture First Derby Win

April 6, 2009

Lexington, KY – April 6, 2009 – Will Roberts rode Gayle Cox’s Dubari to her first ASG/USHJA International Hunter Derby win at The Spring Gathering in Katy, Texas. Held at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center on Friday, April 3, the derby managed by Guillermo Jorge, Manuel Esparcia and Patrick Rodes attracted a highly competitive field.

Roberts of Kingwood, Texas and Dubari bested 26 entries over two courses to ride away with the $4,500 first place prize money. The Spring Gathering was Dubari’s first derby attempt. Cox of Adkins, Texas imported the chestnut mare from Ireland three years ago and has been competing on her in the Amateur/Owner division since 2007. Roberts has been showing the 12-year-old Westphalian mare in the Second Year Green Division. “We’ve talked about doing the Derby at several shows,” Cox said. “I told Will it was up to him to decide when. When I walked out of the Amateur ring on Thursday, Will stopped me and said, ‘By the way, I entered her in the Derby.’”

Each Derby features a classic course and handy course consisting of natural jumps and options for riders to showcase their horse’s ability. Roberts and Dubari proved to the crowd that gathered Friday evening why the class has gained instant popularity throughout the industry. The pair finished the classic round in third place behind two Peter Pletcher ridden horses, multiple Derby winner Argentum and Skara Glen’s Corsani. A solid performance in the challenging handy round earned Dubari and Roberts overall champion honors.

“Will rode so well,” Cox said. “I love riding her, but it’s as much fun to watch her go around as it is to show her. She’s all about the job at hand and you definitely have a lot of horse underneath you.”

The 18 month derby series will culminate at the 2008/2009 ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals on August 21-22, 2009 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. The top 75 money earning horses will be invited to compete for international recognition. For up to date standings, click here.

Visit USHJA.org for a complete schedule and more information. Questions concerning the Derby can be directed to Melanie Fransen, USHJA’s Director of Programs and Education, at mfransen@ushja.org or 859-225-6960.

The 2008/2009 USHJA International Hunter Derby Series is supported by the following sponsors: ASG Software Solutions-Title Sponsor; Dietrich Insurance-Presenting Sponsor; Walsh Harness & Saddlery-Featuring Sponsor; Charles Owen & Co.-Major Sponsor; Dover Saddlery-Major Sponsor; Essex Classics-Award Sponsor


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