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Dyanna Rucco and Watch Hill

Ava Stearns and Dreamland

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Dyanna Rucco and Watch Hill Win $2,500 Fieldstone 29 Hunter Derby at Plymouth Rock Hunter/Jumper Classic

Written by: Kendall Bierer
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG) http://www.stadiumjumping.com/sj/index.cfm
Release Date: 2013-06-21

Halifax, MA – June 21, 2013 – Today the attention at the Fieldstone Show Park turned to the Grand Prix Arena as the hunter competitors took center stage for Derby Day at the Plymouth Rock Hunter/Jumper Classic. Posting two fantastic rounds for the winning score of 179 points in the $2,500 Fieldstone 2’9” Hunter Derby was Dyanna Rucco and Watch Hill. It was a day of first for the pair as they both tackled their first derby course with nothing short of true dexterity and finesse. Earlier in the day Ava Stearns and Dreamland took the win in the $2,500 Fieldstone Pony Classic.

Phil DeVita of Apopka, Fl, designed today’s intricate derby courses, which included four high options, many inside turn options, a jump on a table, and a daunting vertical in the grob. Riders were also faced with a tight two-stride combination, as well as unrelated distances, bending lines and natural obstacles reminiscent of a traditional hunt field. The top 12 in each derby returned to showcase their talent over a handy course.

Sara Kelly and her own Cherish were the first to be seen out of the top 12 to return. They laid down a consistent round, and paved the way for other riders to take their turn at the derby course. Rebecca Clawson of Halifax, MA, and Freeport set the bar high as they earned an 81 upon their return. Each consecutive rider seemed to only best the next as they posted rounds earning scores well into the high 80’s. $2,500 Fieldstone 2’9” Hunter Derby was filled with anticipation as it came down to the final riders.

Jennifer Tate navigated Floresten, owned by Barbara Kravetz of Sharon, MA, to the third best score from the first round results. She returned to the arena with her eye on the prize, and although she chose to take all four options, Dyanna Rucco pulled ahead as the penultimate rider, pushing Tate into the second place position.

“My plan for the second round was to have more of hand gallop, and to do much neater, tighter turns,” Tate said. “Floresten jumped fence two great, and he was very good up on the table. He takes a lot of leg, and a really soft hand. I definitely feel that our success in the Pre-Green Hunter division earlier this week gave us an edge in the derby today. It really got him focused.”

It was the first time Rucco had ever ridden in a hunter derby, and she was joined by Watch Hill, owned by Susan Amelotte of Providence, RI. The scores reflected the truth—they were ready to face the new challenge. Rucco came back as the last but one rider, ready to enter the field for the handy course. Her first round score of 88 points proved solid, and she duplicated the effort with the highest second round score of 91 points.

“This is his first derby, his owner, Sue, has done him in the Adult Equitation and has just done a really good job with him, really taken the right steps. He’s always had a great brain—he’s brave, he just never lets you down and he didn’t today either, he was awesome,” Rucco stated. “He’s a quiet horse so he is definitely a bit of a push ride. He’s even quieter at a horse show, but it was nice because I have never done a derby either and it was just a nice feeling to keep galloping. It was really fun, and one of my students did her first derby today on her new horse.”

Rucco continued, “Since I’ve never done a derby before, I don’t know really how to compare it, but it was fun and I thought it gave us some options for interesting turns and galloping and using the natural obstacles, it was great. I have all the faith in the world in that horse, he never lets me down. I felt like I could be brave because he was just right there.”

Sarah Tyndall and Huckleberry Finn, owned by Susan Huyett of Concord, MA, tackled all of the high options, but her final score of 168 points earned the pair the third place prize today. Tricia O’Connor and Carla, owned by Cloverlea Farm, Inc. of Wellington, FL, were presented with the fourth place award, while Kirsten Malacarne and Shocolata, owned by Beth A. Ford of New Milford, CT, earned the fifth place. Luella Lopresti returned to the ring aboard Centesimo D’Ive Z, bringing back a first round score of 85 points. She completed the second round with true hunter style, taking home the sixth place finish with a final score of 169 points. Rucco trains Lopresti, and she followed in her trainer’s footsteps, ribboning for her efforts in her first hunter derby.

Rucco concluded, “I love Fieldstone, I’ve been showing here since I was 6 years old. It was always a nice facility, but the improvements they’ve made are amazing and it is a really fun place to horse show because it is close for us. We will be returning in August and I wouldn’t be surprised if his owner Sue does the derby on him then. I hope she will do it on him, and I would love to have a horse to do it on as well. I want to thank his owner Sue and everyone from the barn who stuck around to help out and watch.”

Earlier in the day, ponies and their riders were given the opportunity to compete on the prestigious derby field in the $2,500 Fieldstone Pony Hunter Classic. The class was an enormous hit, drawing in a large field of entrants, and showing fierce competition as riders contended for the coveted blue ribbon.

Phil DeVita’s course asked many questions of both pony and rider, and the two rounds of competition proved challenging for many, but Ava Stearns and Dreamland, owned by Linda Evans of S. Hadley, MA, stole the show. Stearns held the lead aboard Dreamland from start to finish. They led the first round with the high score of 85, and returned during the handy round to dominate with the high scoring 87-point score. Stearns was nothing but smiles as she led the victory gallop with the blue ribbon flying alongside her pony’s bridle.

Ellie Ferigno and Clovermeade Bunny Side rode to the second place finish with an overall score of 156 points. The young Sophia Lathrop rode Bonner Farms’ Maverick to the third place finish, racking in a second round score of 74.5 for a total score of 155.5. Cameron Glassmen and Hidden Galaxy were presented with the fourth place ribbon, while Ava Stearns also collected the fifth place award with Loafer’s Lodge Darling Edwin, owned by Kimi Hochstein. Skyler Fields and Silly Putty rounded out the top six, coming from behind with a strong second round score to take control and stand for the presentation shot.

The Plymouth Rock Hunter/Jumper Classic will continue tomorrow, where riders will go neck to neck for the lion’s share of the $25,000 Fieldstone Grand Prix earnings. The Grand Prix will take place tomorrow afternoon at 2 pm. Juniors and Amateur-Owner riders are also looking forward to the High and Low Jumper Classics to take place on the all-grass field this approaching Sunday morning. For more information on Stadium Jumping and the approaching Fieldstone Summer Showcase, please visit www.showfieldstone.com. You can also follow the Fieldstone Horse Shows on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/fieldstone.equestrian

 

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