Weeden and Croquet are Victorious in $15,000 ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby

May 11, 2009

Lexington, KY – May 11, 2009 – Caroline Weeden and Croquet rode to their first ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby victory at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show on May 9, 2009. The $15,000 class took place at the Kentucky Horse Park and attracted 26 horse and rider combinations from around the country.

Weeden of Lake Forest, Illinois has ridden the 12-year-old warmblood owned by Karen Lackinger in five previous derbies. The pair finished second at last year’s Evergreen International derby and fifth at the 2008 Kentucky Summer Horse Show derby. The prestigious hunter class features a two-round format comprised of a classic round and a handy round that is designed to test the athletic ability and bravery of horse and rider. Saturday’s course designer, Bobby Murphy, set two challenging courses for riders that featured natural obstacles, brush jumps, tall verticals and height options set at 4’.

Weeden and Croquet were one of only eight horse and rider combinations to go clear in the first round. They finished the classic round in second place with a score of 169. The class attracted some of the top placed horses in the Derby Final Standings including Linda Sogard’s Concerto with Louise Serio in the irons, Alta Basaldua’s Argentum ridden by Peter Pletcher and Skara Glen Stables’ Skara Glen’s Corsani also ridden by Pletcher.

The top 12 riders from the classic round were invited to ride the handy course and compete for overall honors. Murphy’s second course included a steep bank jump that proved challenging for the horses and riders. After galloping up a bank, horses had to jump a vertical at the top of the hill and then canter down the opposite side. Weeden and Croquet had no trouble negotiating the obstacle and finished the handy round with a score of 194, 13 points ahead of reserve champions Serio and Concerto. The win puts Croquet in eighth place in the Derby Final Standings.

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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