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Jenny Karazissis, Martel top $10,000 USHJA Hunter Derby

Special to the Horsetrader - July 1st, 2010 - Show & Event News

Flying Horse photo

Jenny Karazissis and Martel win the $10,000 USHJA Hunter Derby on June 12 in San Juan Capistrano.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — The hunters were stellar on a surprisingly cool afternoon June 12when 41 competitors galloped around the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby course with 14 returning for the Handy Round.

Jenny Karazissis piloted Martel (Star Lane Farms, owner) with poise, winning both rounds for the top prize. The first round included 11 efforts, with four 4-foot options. The course flowed smoothly without many trouble spots, although quite a few rails fell and knocked out several top horses from the ribbons.

Since this was a 2010-11 qualifying class, new rules were in effect. Each 4-foot option jumped resulted in a point awarded, so up to four points were added to both sets of judges’ scores.

Young amateur Melissa Doddridge, who had three entries in the class, went early on Best Man and scored a total of 179 and the lead until reigning champion, Crown Affair with John French in the irons, went 12th and scored 181. Several horses tied in points. Forbes (Tonia Cook Looker, owner), a top Derby mount piloted by Jenny Karizissis, tied with Doddridge and Best Man at 179. Bentley, also ridden by Doddridge, and Two Goals Farm’s On Top with Keri Kampsen both earned 178.

Then came Martel, trotting in 32nd in the order, The handsome chestnut, ridden by Karazissis, wowed the crowd and the judges with his style. With scores of 96 and 95, the pair totaled an impressive 191, 10 points beyond the leading score to that point. French also beautifully rode his first year green hunter, Truman, to the second highest score, a 184.

The handy round included a trot jump, four 4-foot options, a hand gallop to an oxer option, and a bounce at the end by the in-gate. Fourteen horses returned, since the 12th spot was shared by three horses with a 166 score.

Shadows on the jumps and the long gallop to the oxer caused some surprising rails and refusals in this round. Although certainly talented hunters, Forbes, Best Man, Bentley and Catani moved down in placing due to challenges on course. However the top three remained strong and their scores reflected the solid rides. French was third on Crown Affair with a total of 369 and second Truman with 371.

If French is the king, Karazissis is the queen of the Hunter Derby. She earned her crown on Martel, topping the class with a grand total of 397.

“It was amazing,” beamed Kosti, Jenny’s husband and partner. “Like watching Touch The Sun and Bernie Traurig. Kudos to her for coming back after the ride on Forbes didn’t go well.”

“Kosti reminded me to let it go,” Jenny said of her ride on Forbes and subsequent win on Martel. “This was Martel’s first start in a Derby. I’m thankful that trainer Jim Hagman and the Horrigan family let me ride him.”

The Blenheim Racing Festival at Del Mar Horsepark in late July offers yet another $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Blenheim EquiSports produces more than 30 events per year in three locations: San Juan Capistrano, Del Mar and Las Vegas. The events include 18 USEF “A” or “AA” rated hunter-jumper shows featuring several World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix, USHJA International Hunter Derbies, Pony Finals, Medal Finals and more.

More results: http://www.showpark.com

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