Last year, the nine-year-old gelding Private Practice was working his way up the jumper ranks at Eduardo Menezes’ H5 Stables.
Last month, he changed owners and professions.
Purchased by Brad Wolf, the chestnut gelding made his derby debut under Victoria Colvin at the Deeridge Derby in Wellington, FL on Friday.
“We just got Peter two weeks ago so I didn’t know what to expect,” said Colvin. “He used to be a jumper and probably didn’t have the scope needed to jump 1.60m so they sold him to Brad [Wolf]. I think he is going to be a very special horse, especially for the derbies.”
Scored by two panels of two judges, the pair earned a cumulative score of 177.50 points over the Steve Stephens designed course. It was enough to gallop away with the victory in the $5,000 SBS Farms International Hunter Derby Welcome Stake.
“Our plan was to go a little slower and smooth, just to make sure he didn’t convert back to his jumper days, but he was just great,” said Colvin. “His jumps were nice and smooth. All the lines rode nice and forward so we were able to just stroke right up the lines easily because he has such a big stride.”
The Loxahatchee-based rider will contest this weekend’s $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby with Private Practice. But she and the horse’s owner already have their sights set on Derby Finals.
“When we first got him I thought, ‘Wow, this is a really nice horse and he might be able to win Derby Finals.’ How often do you get a hunter who is careful and can jump 1.40-1.45m easily. Brad used to own Cuba, who won the Finals last year. Brad sold Cuba right before the Finals, so he is very excited about this horse because he has always wanted a Derby horse. Seeing that this was his first attempt at anything Derby, I think Brad might get his wish.”
Tune in this weekend for wall-to-wall Derby Jumping coverage on HorseNetwork.com/live!