Jennifer Bauersachs of Frenchtown, NJ, rode Overjoyed to her second consecutive $5,000 3'3” NEHJA Hunter Derby, presented by Eastern Hay, on July 28 at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT. The Vermont Summer Festival runs for six consecutive weeks from July 5 through August 14 at Harold Beebe Farm.
Forty-nine horses jumped the first round course in Thursday's derby, designed by Doug Russell of Ocala, FL. The courses spanned two rings and incorporated regular hunter fences as well as traditional derby obstacles.
Bauersachs and Overjoyed, owned by Courtney Carey, advanced to the handy round among the top twelve and turned in an impressive performance to take the win. Her first round score of 80 combined with an 85 to settle her and the eight-year-old Rheinlander gelding on a total score of 165.
Robbie Burroughs of Hackensack, NJ, and Allure, owned by E.K. Equestrian, LLC, led the first round with a score of 84 and returned to collect an 80 and finished in second just one point shy of the lead with a 164.
Claire Kenna of Wakefield, RI, boasted the highest score over the handy course with an 86 aboard her own Corice Z. The high score of the day combined with a 76.5 from the first round to settle Kenna on a 162.5 and third place.
Gillian Galvin of Norwalk, CT, and her own Easy B were consistent with a pair of 81s in both rounds to take fourth with a final score of 162. Margot Peroni of Califon, NJ, rounded out the top five with her own Encore B on a 161 after jumping to scores of 79 and 82.
Sixth-place honors were awarded to Amanda Steege of Bedminster, NJ, and Zidane, owned by Susan Darragh, on scores of 76.25 and 84 for a 160.25 total. Steege's performance earned her the Kastel Denmark Ladies Style of Riding Award.
After Bauersachs won the week three derby in Vermont in the irons of Cleaveland, she returned on Thursday to win again.
“This was a little harder course than last week,” she said. “You can't take anything for granted. There is always great competition here and we always see great riding. I am really impressed with all the riders here. It's never easy and a very humbling sport.”
Bauersachs has had the ride on Overjoyed for nearly two years after his owner imported the gelding from Germany. She maintains that he is aptly named saying, “he is super confident and sometimes he squeals even when he is calm just because he is happy to do his job. The hardest part about him is that the jumping is very easy for him, so he loses his focus sometimes.”
Overjoyed has jumped in four derby events now and has been knocking on the door of a win with several top placings.
“I feel like every derby I have done with him I kept him from winning, so I am so happy that he won today,” said Bauersachs. “He is coming along and is still so young. He is entered at Derby Finals in Kentucky and he is a great derby horse, but he will also make a great amateur horse in the divisions as well.”
In addition to her share of the prize money and a commemorative scrim from Mona's Monograms, Bauersachs was presented with a Land Rover Experience Driving School off-road excursion from Ann Jamieson, representing class sponsor, Eastern Hay.
For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont for great competition in an ideal summer setting. Outside the show ring, exhibitors enjoy the charm of Vermont's shopping, dining, and outdoor activities.
Competition at the 2016 Vermont Summer Festival runs weekly from Wednesday through Sunday, beginning each day at 8 a.m. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children from Wednesday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $9 for adults and $5 for children with 100% of all gate proceeds benefiting the Manchester Community Library, Dorset Equine Rescue, and Meals on Wheels.
Please e-mail or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com for more information about the Vermont Summer Festival.
$5,000 3'3" NEHJA Hunter Derby, presented by Eastern Hay - Thursday, July 28
Rider Hometown Horse Scores
1. Jennifer Bauersachs Frenchtown, NJ Overjoyed 80/85=165
2. Robbie Burroughs Hackensack, NJ Allure 84/80=164
3. Claire Kenna Wakefield, RI Corice Z 76.5/86=162.5
4. Gillian Galvin Norwalk, CT Easy B 81/81=162
5. Margot Peroni Califon, NJ Encore B 79/82=161
6. Amanda Steege Bedminster, NJ Zidane 76.25/84=160.25
7. Kyla Makloghi Sherborn, MA Firatostha R 77/78.5=155.5
8. Martin De Leyer Smithtown, NY Coming Home 76/79=155
9. Elizabeth Ekberg Westford, MA Rio Mio 75/76=151
10. Jackie Macdonald Sherborn, MA Crackerjack 75.5/67=142.5
11. Merry Harding Ridge, NY Conrido 79.5/60=139.5
12. Katie McVeigh Mount Kisco, NY Carmo 74.5/64=138.5