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Gardner and Maldini show scope, skill in Hunter Derby win

Special to the Horsetrader - April 21st, 2016 - Show & Event News

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Katie Gardner and Maldini, owned by Starlane Farms, edged Buddy Brown on Finally Ours by a half-point to capture the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on April 15 at the Blenheim Spring Classic IV.

“Maldini was amazing today,” Gardner said of the 2007 Swedish Warmblood. “His main job is the adult hunters with his owner, but we have brought him along from the baby greens to the big derbies. He is so brave and honest. I’m thrilled with the win.”

Twenty-nine entries took to the Grand Prix grass field under judges Timmy Keyes, Rob Gage, Brian Lenehan and Frank Willard presiding in two panels. Alan Lohman of Poolesville, Md., was course designer.

New this season, generous sponsor awards recognized other top rides and participants. The Arthur B. Hawkins Award of Excellence went to trainer Philip Cillis of Westwood Show Stables in Rancho Santa Fe for his numerous years and success as a professional rider and trainer. Nick Haness was awarded the Romfh Leading Professional Award for the Spring Series. Top class awards included the Equitex Trainer Award to James Hagman of Elvenstar, the Balmoral Farm Owner Award to Starlane Farms, and the Best Turned Out Award, presented by Shapley’s, went to Legacy and groom Sergio Garcia. The Plaid Horse High Score Junior Hunter Rider Derby Award went to the up-and-coming Elli Yeager, and the One K Helmets High Score Amateur Hunter Rider Derby Award went to Kaitlyn Van Konynenburg.

MORE ONLINE: Htp://bit.ly/604B_Hunt

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