2004 American Grand Prix Association Year End Awards Honor Derek Petersen

Derek Petersen, Legacy Farm, home based in Archer, FL, completed his “dream season” to win the AGA Rookie of the Year title this year.

For Petersen, originally from Durban, South Africa, the dream began almost twenty years ago while attending the 1985 AGA Awards dinner.

“We had just fled South Africa with only pennies to our name,” recalled Petersen. “I had gotten a job on the jump crew for Stadium Jumping and Gene Mische invited us to the awards dinner. I got to see Katie Prudent (then Katie Monahan) win the Horse of the Year Award with the Governor and I thought to myself how spectacular this all was,” said Petersen. “Little did I think that one day I’d be at that podium.”

Aboard his 10 year old German bred gelding, Promised Land, Petersen won $36,750, more prize money than any rookie in AGA history. The runner up in this year’s rookie race, Pablo Barrios bankrolled $15,000. “God blessed me with a great horse,” Petersen said.

Photo: Lili Weik Photography
Derek and "Promised Land" winning the 2004 $100,000 KING SHAVINGS Grand Prix Finale at HITS OCALA

Petersen’s AGA success this year came at Grand Prix events at Charlotte, Devon, Upperville, Jacksonville, Kentucky and in Tampa.

Tampa had always been part of Petersen’s dreams since those days on the jump crew years ago. This year, two events in Tampa helped make his dreams a reality. “I had set jumps there a few times and had always dreamed of one day riding in the Budweiser American Invitational at what was then Tampa Stadium,” remembered Petersen. In order to qualify for the Invitational money won list, Petersen would need a good finish in the $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa. Promised Land was spectacular and the duo wound up second, taking home a prize money check of $16,500, more than enough to make the big show at the new Raymond James Stadium.

A top twelve finish at the Budweiser American Invitational earned Petersen an additional prize money check for $8,000 and pretty much sealed the deal on Rookie of the Year honors very early in the 2004 season.

Petersen, who sold Promised Land this summer, says he hopes that one of the seven he recently purchased in Europe will get him back to his “field of dreams.”

“I credit my support staff for all of their help,” said Petersen. “My wife, Anita, and my two sons, Jared and Joel, have been by my side the entire time,” Petersen said, fondly. Petersen also says that he hopes to be part of the first father-son team to win rookie honors. “Jared is winning on pony hunters right now, so one day, who knows? Maybe this dream can happen again.”

AGA Rookie of the Year Standing:
Standing - Rider - Total Money
1 Petersen, Derek - $ 36,750
2 Barrios, Pablo - $ 15,000
3 Barone, Kim - $ 8,800
4 Wordley, Sharn - $ 6,600
5 Kroff, Allison - $ 6,000
6 Dlin, Darrin - $ 3,000
7 Raether, Cara - $ 3,000
8 Aron, Aimee - $ 2,500
9 Leone, Andrea - $ 2,400
10 Farrington, Kent - $ 2,241

For more information on the American Grandprix Association, visit the AGA website at: http://www.stadiumjumping.com/aga/index.cfm

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