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Derby In The Field


First place in Hunter Derby: Katie Ramsey and Wat Tyler of Fiesta Farm in Knoxville, Tennessee

Alexandra Sawinski and Long Story Short in Hunter Derby (over fence in front of judge)

Lauren Sorah and Silver Slippers in Hunter Derby (over orange flowers)

Shelby Williams and Armani (over log); photo by Jason Randall
By Tisha Clapp; photos by Laurie Wilson

Sonny Brooke Stables in Knoxville, Tennessee hosted its annual “Derby in the Field” on June 22-23, 2019. The show is sanctioned by the East Tennessee Hunter Jumper Association (ETHJA). Local riders and spectators enjoyed the spirit of competition, followed by a community shrimp boil.

The owner and head trainer at Sonny Brooke, Krystle Bridges, wanted to provide the Knoxville community with a unique experience. As a junior rider, her fondness for horse showing grew out of her experiences at large shows with featured classes. She especially loved the parties following the shows, and she wanted to pass on the gift of memorable times to other riders and spectators.

Hunter classes took place on Saturday, followed by Jumpers and Equitation classes on Sunday. The shrimp boil was a highlight at the conclusion of the Derby. Thunderstorms and heavy rains slowed the events schedule but didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the riders.

The show offered Hunter Classes from ground rails through 3’3” Jr/Am Owner Hunters and Jumpers .7m through 1.10m. The Equitation classes offered a range from ground rails through 3’ and also included Junior, Adult and Pony medal classes.

The two featured classes were the Tadpole Derby (at 18” and 2’) and the $1500 Hunter Derby (at 2’, 2’6”, and 3’)
Riders from Knoxville and the surrounding areas, many of them ETHJA members, competed for the Derby prize. Due to weather and field conditions, the Derby was moved to the main arena. Judging was Matt Piccolo from Arrow Hill Farm in Franklin, Tennessee.

The first round was a classic hunter round, offering single jumps as well as combinations and bending lines. Next was the handy round which gave participants the opportunity to really exhibit their skills. Options included a height option in both rounds and options for trot jump and hand gallop in the handy round. The order of the riders in the handy round was reversed, allowing them to take notes as they observed how the others rode the course.

Katie Ramsey and Wat Tyler of Fiesta Farm in Knoxville, Tennessee took First Place in the Derby. Other entries placed as follows:

2 - Grace Roberts, Don LaRouge
3 - Lizzie Keek, Heartthrob
4 - Parker Tigner, TheBluh Mountie
5 - Alex Sawinski, Long Story Short
6 - Audrey Stapleton, Kiss Me Kate
7 - Jordan Ayers, Oliver
8 - Katie Ramsey, Hollister
9 - Shelby Williams, Armani
10 - Annie Owen, Lost My Sock
11 - Lauren Sorah, Silver Slippers
Claire Hutchinson, Hennessey
Louisa Wright, Dakota Snow

Krystle says, “This event offers a ‘big show feel’ to the Knoxville area by allowing exhibitors the opportunity to win money for the derby and hosting a dinner afterwards.  I enjoy bringing the ETHJA community together as we all celebrate the sport that we love so much.”

The show offered a full array of hunter, equitation, and jumper classes.

Hunter Classes:
Beginner Rider Hunter
Mini Hunter
Pleasure Hunter
Short Stirrup Hunter
Long Stirrup Hunter
Schooling Hunter
Pre-Child Adult
Children’s Hunter
Adult Amateur Hunter
Low Hunter
Green Hunter
Junior/Amateur Owner
Featured Classes:
Hunter Derby
Tadpole Derby
Jumper Classes:
Low Jumpers
Puddle Jumper 
Hopeful Jumper
Green Jumper
High Jumpers
Schooling Jumper
Modified Jumper
Open Jumper
Equitation Classes:
Ground Rail Equitation
Cross Rail Equitation
Beginner Equitation
2’ Equitation
Equitation 14 & Under
Equitation 15-17
Adult Equitation
ETHJA Pony Medal
ETHJA Junior Medal
ETHJA Adult Medal

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