Twenty-seventeen will go down in horse history as The Year America Won.
Three-time Olympic medalist McLain Ward finally captured the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping title.
Kent Farrington became the #1 ranked show jumper in world.
And a new 11-show USHJA National Hunter Derby Series was born between not one but two stunning showgrounds.
You could also say it was the year America won more prize money.
Because that Derby Series? It marked a significant injection of prize money and rider bonuses into the hunter industry within the neighboring states of Ohio and Kentucky.
The unprecedented collaboration, forged between the World Equestrian Center (WEC) and Kentucky Horse Shows, featured eleven USHJA National Hunter Derbies held at the Kentucky Horse Park and WEC between May and October. The Series culminated with a $30,000 National Derby at the World Equestrian Center Invitational in October and a $30,000 Series Finale Rider Bonus.
The masterminds behind the concept: WEC General Manager, Brandon Saxton and Kentucky Horse Shows Manager, Robby Murphy, who set out to reward all categories of riders, whether professional, amateur or junior.
“I’m excited about this Hunter Derby series collaboration because I have a lot of respect for Hugh (Kincannon) and Robby, and I truly believe that by working together we will create something very special for the industry,” said Saxton.
“Whether you are a professional, an amateur or a junior rider, this series recognizes the many nice horse and rider combinations at the three-foot level who want to compete at beautiful venues for some really nice prize money.”
In 2017, the pro title went to Ohio’s own Jeff Gogul, who won the lionshare of the events to earn more than 2,000 points and the $20,000 Professional Rider Bonus. Nicole C. Lyvere won the $5,000 Amateur Rider Bonus and MacKenzie E. Hogan, the $5,000 Junior Rider Bonus.
Come 2018, history will repeat itself when the Derby Series starts all over again with the Kentucky Spring show in May. Learn more at www.wec.net.
Premier Horse Show Venue: The Sanctuary at the World Equestrian Center
Southwest Ohio’s premier equestrian venue! This World Equestrian Center, in Wilmington, OH is the full-service environment for both the horse and rider.
Very few equestrian event venues offer amenities like those at the World Equestrian Center. With three beautiful, state-of-the-art, climate-controlled indoor arenas, heated walkways, premium footing, and family-friendly atmosphere what is not to love. Enjoy showing with the convenience and comforts of home!
Their Winter Series kicks off November 29, 2017. Prize list available and entries now open online at http://www.horseshowing.com