Erica Quinn of Maineville, OH, rode Celtic Fire, owned by CF Partners, to the win in Sunday’s $50,000 United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby at the Chicago Hunter Derby, presented by Canadian Pacific (CP).
The ninth annual event, held at Annali Farm in Antioch, IL, not only awarded many of the country’s top hunter riders and horses with winning honors and prize money, it successfully raised funds for the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation, the USHJA Foundation, and Horsefeathers Therapeutic Riding.
“We had another beautiful day. Mother Nature is always so kind to us,” said Carl Weeden, co-founder of Chicago Equestrians for a Cause, the organization behind the Chicago Hunter Derby. “I thought the horses went great on the field today. The course really tested the horses’ scope and their endurance. It’s a really long way around the field; you really have to have your horse pretty fit to do this event.
“It looked like everybody was having a great time under the tent watching as well,” Weeden continued. “It really takes a group effort. Everybody really pulls together. We have a great group of ladies that organize all of this, so we’re extremely happy with how everything went this year, and we’re excited to see how much money we were able to raise for the beneficiaries this year.”
For Quinn, this year marks her first visit to the Chicago Hunter Derby, and she is going home far from disappointed.
“The atmosphere here is amazing,” said Quinn, who rides for Lane Change Farm. “Winning my first time here is a little overwhelming! It feels great though, and I’m just very happy to get the opportunity to show here. I have to say how thankful I am for Larry [Glefke] and Kelley [Farmer] to have given me this opportunity because without them I would not be here; I would not be competing here.”
And while Quinn and Celtic Fire would end up with the win, it was Lane Change Farm’s Kelley Farmer who gave the duo the closest run for their money aboard Kodachrome. Following Saturday’s opening round of competition, Farmer and Kodachrome, owned by Nina Moore, came into Sunday as the front runners with a score of 184, but Quinn and Celtic Fire were only one point off with a 183.
Riders returned in reverse order of their standings on Sunday, and Quinn and Celtic Fire quickly shot to the top of the leaderboard with scores from the two judging panels of 80 and 86. Those scores, coupled with high option and handy bonus points, gave the pair a second round total of 184 and set the overall cumulative score to beat at 367.
“Need I Say is the other horse that I show, owned by Danielle Brown Swanston,” Quinn said. “I went first on him so I got a feel for the course, and I decided to just take the smooth route and go around in a few places. I didn’t need to make the inside turns, and it really worked out great.”
As the last pair to return, Farmer and Kodachrome would come extremely close to holding onto their lead, but with a second round total of 181 would fall just two points shy for a score of 365 and second place honors.
Farmer took over the ride on the eight-year-old Warmblood gelding earlier this year following the tragic passing of rider and trainer Russell Frey. Since then, the pair have proved to be a consistently top partnership, and while they came just shy of the victory on Sunday, Farmer is happy with how the relationship continues to progress.
“Kodachrome really wants to be a great horse,” said Farmer. “He’s starting to feel like a Mindful; he’s really getting to be a bit for me like Mythical or Mindful, where every time I walk in the ring I can count on him.”
For Quinn, Celtic Fire is a relatively new mount as well The nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion just recently made the transition from the jumper to the hunter ring, and the Chicago Hunter Derby marks his seventh horse show as a hunter. When not competing with Quinn, Celtic Fire stays with and is trained by Rachel Kennedy, one of the individuals making up the CF Partners ownership group.
“I got a call to tell me he won, and I was jumping up and down,” Kennedy said. “I was standing on my balcony, and I could have jumped right off the balcony I was just so excited!”
Preceding the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, the Chicago Hunter Derby hosted its inaugural $2,500 Pony Hunter Exhibition Class. Taking top honors from the field of 16 ponies were Natalie Jayne, of Elgin, IL, and Exquisite, owned by Two Point Equestrian. Finishing in second were Olivia Markman and her own Glynhafan Red Kestral, while Elise Stephens and Rockefeller, owned by Charlotte Novy, rounded out the top three.
To view full results from Sunday’s competition, visit www.horseshowsonline.com, and to learn more about the Chicago Hunter Derby and this year’s charitable beneficiaries, please visit www.ChicagoEquestriansForACause.com.
Results: $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Canadian Pacific
Rider Hometown Horse 1st Rd. 2nd Rd. Total
1. Erica Quinn Maineville, OH Celtic Fire 183 184 367
2. Kelley Farmer Keswick, VA Kodachrome 184 181 365
3. Erica Quinn Maineville, OH Need I Say 177.5 186 363.5
4. Meagan Murray Highland Park, IL Editorial 172 189 361
5. Tommi Clark Agoura Hills, CA Black Jack 158 189 347
6. Kelley Farmer Keswick, VA Clever Conversation 135 199 334
7. Caroline Weeden Antioch, IL Corvine 177 152 329
8. Serah Vogus Antioch, IL Bonfeuer 162 163 325
9. Mindy Coretz Tulsa, OK Happy Hour 165 155 320
10. Rush Weeden Antioch, IL Oak Grove 164 145 309
Results: $2,500 Pony Hunter Exhibition Class
1. Natalie Jayne Exquisite
2. Olivia Markman Glynhafan Red Kestral
3. Elise Stephens Rockefeller
4. Skyler Hendricks True Religion
5. Alexandra Miller Vermont Ruby Fox
6. Natalie Jayne Brownland’s Last Call
7. Alexandra Rewiako English Princess
8. Clayton Martines Fox Creek’s Curious George
9. Anna Kennedy Look Who’s Talking
10. Allison Sinclair Somekindawonderful
ABOUT CANADIAN PACIFIC
Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP)(NYSE:CP) is a transcontinental railway in Canada and the United States with direct links to eight major ports, including Vancouver and Montreal, providing North American customers a competitive rail service with access to key markets in every corner of the globe. CP is growing with its customers, offering a suite of freight transportation services, logistics solutions and supply chain expertise. Visit www.cpr.ca to see the rail advantages of Canadian Pacific.
ABOUT THE CHICAGO HUNTER DERBY
Founded by Chicago Equestrians for a Cause (CEC), the Chicago Hunter Derby returned to the beautiful Annali-Brookwood Farm on Saturday, September 10, and Sunday, September 11. The ninth annual stand-alone USHJA hunter derby event featured a $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, a $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, a $2,500 Pony Hunter Exhibition class, and two Welcome Stake classes, all while raising funds for the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation, the USHJA Foundation, and Horsefeathers Therapeutic Riding. Since its inception, the Chicago Hunter Derby raised more than $500,000 in support of these charities, and the unique and popular spectator event continues to grow each year. Visit www.chicagoequestriansforacause.com to learn more.