French and Crown Affair Score Another Derby Win

May 19, 2010

John French and Crown Affair continued their winning roll by taking the $10,000 The Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA International Hunter Derby held during the Ranch and Coast Tournament horse show May 14 at Showpark Ranch and Coast in Del Mar, CA.

Keri Kampsen aboard On Top took reserve honors, with Jenny Karazissis and Forbes finishing third.

Thirty-eight horses hunted around the Derby course designed by Scott Starnes, which included three 4’ options and a diagonal line across the field with two verticals and two oxers. The early part of the line rode easy in five strides then continued to flow in four strides and finished with three strides.

The top scores in round one went to Yellow Dog Farm’s stallion Crown Affair with French in the irons. Literally earning points for their style, the pair earned a 93 plus five bonus points and a 91 plus three bonus points for a total of 192.

The handy round required a hand gallop to an oxer, an uphill ride to a trot jump and a downhill gallop to the last line. Kampsen and On Top mastered the handy course, earning five bound points from each judge, and moving up to second. Although second in scores for the handy round, Crown Affair couldn’t be beat and led the victory gallop gallantly as he did in Thermal for the same event.

“It was great to be able to show on the grand prix field at Showpark, the footing is so good,” French told Belnheim EquiSports after the competition. “It was a hard class to win, a lot of horses jumped well. The interest and enthusiasm from the crowd made it even a more special win.”

With the qualifying period for the 2010 The Chronicle of the Horse /USHJA Hunter Derby Finals coming to a close after The Devon Horse Show (June 1), horses, riders, and owners are making their plans to head to Kentucky in August.

French won the inaugural Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA Hunter Derby aboard Rumba last year.

“Crown Affair is another horse like Rumba who knows when it’s a special event and rises to the occasion,” French said to Belnheim EquiSports. “I’m really looking forward to going to Kentucky twice this year, for the Derby finals in August and for the hunter demonstration on Crown at the World Equestrian Games in October. It is such an honor to have been chosen to ride a demonstration at the WEG.”

The Top 12 finishers include:
1—Crown Affair (French, Yellow Dog Farm)
2—On Top (Kampsen, Laurel Ridge Sport Horses)
3—Forbes (Karazissis, Tonia Cook Looker)
4—Querido (John Bragg, Heritage Farm)
5—Best Man (Melissa Doddridge)
6-- Cunnhingham (John Bragg, Mary Slouka)
7—Catani (Georgia Hunt, Ann Lindwall)
8—Over the Moon (French, Victoria Komisar)
9—Relentless (Teddi Mellencamp, Artisan Farm)
10—Azlan (Gabbi Langston, Fastball Farm)
11-- Catwalk (Nick Haness, Kendall Perrin)
12—Landmark (Tracy Baer, Emily Winkler)

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

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.

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