Rinehart-Ridden Primera Takes Gulf Coast Winter Classic

April 5, 2010

Lexington, KY.- Primera, a 10-year-old Holsteiner, owned by Helen Gilbert and riden Catherine Rinehart, won the $10,000 Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by Dietrich Insurance March 6 at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic at the Harrison County Equestrian Center in Gulfport, MS.

A talented mix of 45 professionals and amateurs jogged before a panel of four judges—Sue Ashe, Betsy Perry, Alice Cook, and Carl Hansen. The horses and riders began with a first round course of 12 obstacles from the design of Paul Jewel, comprised mostly of natural materials such as logs, brush, and gate planks. Within the track, the riders encountered six options with height choices of 3’6 pr 4’ as well as bending and broken lines throughout. Only the top 12 scores were invited back for the handy round two.

“Primera handled everything really well. There were some difficult spots, but he was so solid,” said Catherine in release from Classic Company. “I rode Primera in maybe three shows as a first-year Green horse and that was probably four years ago. His regular rider could not be here so I got to ride him. I was lucky.”

In moving to round two, Jewel designed a handy 11 fence layout that included four options, one of which came at fence number five where riders whose between a sweeping track right to trot over a small log at number six or a broken line with a sharper turn. The biggest challenge came at the number 10 obstacle, a gate to be opened while mounted, walk through it and pick up a hand gallop to the final oxer.

Catherine said her strategy for the final round included going inside after the first obstacle and choosing the low to high options because “that was a nicer line, the low to low was really abrupt. The option set you up with a little more room to get to the next big oxer,” she said in a release from Classic Company.

When asked if she practiced the gate with her mount, Catherine said, “We didn’t really practice, in the schooling area I just lean off either side and pretend that I’m reaching for something and he didn’t bat an ear so I thought he’ll be fine.”

The Top 12 finishers include:
1—Primera (owned by Helen Gilbert and ridden by Catherine Rinehart)
2—Dubari (owned by Gayle Cox and ridden by Will Roberts)
3- Blackstone (owned by Lynn Rice and ridden by Thomas Brennan)
4—Dolce (owned and ridden by Sue Takata)
5—Bruce (owned by Twin Oaks Farm and ridden by Pamela Deslauriers)
6—Apparition (owned and ridden by Jordan Siegel)
7—Fun & Games (owned and ridden by Lindsey Roberts)
8—Argentos (owned by Jennifer Ruffolo and ridden by Amanda Forte)
9—Rex the Wonder Horse (owned and ridden by Moral Masuoka)
10—Davinci (owned and ridden by Lindsey Farrell)
11—Daily Devotion (owned by Valinda Moore and ridden by Colleen Acosta)
12—Abercrombie (owned and ridden by Brooke Kennedy)

The 2010 $100,000 The Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals will be held August 20-21 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

The 2009/2010 USHJA International Hunter Derby Series is supported by the following sponsors: The Chronicle of the Horse – Title Sponsor; Dietrich Insurance-Presenting Sponsor; Charles Owen & Co.-Major Sponsor; Dover Saddlery-Major Sponsor; Essex Classics-Award Sponsor; The Clothes Horse-Award Sponsor.

A complete Derby schedule and more information can be found on the USHJA Derby website.

Contact: Melanie Frasen mfrasen@ushja.org

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