USHJA International Hunter Challenge Derby to be Staged by WEF
WELLINGTON, FL, Feb. 18--
The CN Winter Equestrian Festival presented by Zimmerman Advertising will stage a $25,000 U.S. Hunter Jumper Association International Hunter Challenge Derby on Friday night, March 21.
The event will be held under lights in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC (ESP) that manages WEF announced Monday.
The International Hunter Challenge Derby at WEF is one of a series of classes to be held around the country throughout the year designed to help return the hunter class to its roots. The 2008/2009 series is sponsored by ASG Software Solutions and Dietrich & Co.
It includes fences set in a hunt-field type space with banks, stone walls, hedges and coops. The height of the fences range from 3ft. 6 ins. to 3 ft. 9 ins. with several options of 4 ft.
The decision by ESP to host the class at WEF was praised by prominent trainers.
Geoff Teall, of Wellington, an A-circuit trainer and co-founder of the American Hunter-Jumper Foundation, said: "I think the course will be fantastic here. The new Grand Prix field is so amazing, especially at night under the lights. I do not think the course will be too hard. The point is to make it different and challenging, not difficult."
Louise Serio, of Kennett Square, Penn. co-founder of the American Hunter-Jumper Foundation, award-winning rider and trainer and highly respected judge, said: "This is a good thing to have at WEF because there are great horses and riders here. It is so nice to have this for the hunters. We can now save our top horses for these special classes and have the opportunity to win lots of prize money."
The class format provides for a first round of a Hunter Classic Course to be judged for style and brilliance and a second round Handy Hunter Course judged for style, brilliance and handiness. There will be a jump-of if there is a tie.
There is no limit to the number of horses a rider can compete in the class and there is no requirement to have shown in any other hunter classes at the show. Horses may cross enter from the jumper division.
The 2008 CN Winter Equestrian Festival attracts the best horses and riders from around the world to Wellington and offers more than $5 million in prize money. For more information, visit www.equestriansport.com