In his second big win in just as many weeks, Nick Haness utilizes HH Elmo’s former jumper experience in the Handy Round of the $65,000 Butet USHJA International Derby Regional Championships to claim the top spot.

Prior to becoming a hunter, HH Elmo travelled the world competing in the 1.40m Grand Prix and Amateur Jumpers with owner Lindsay Maxwell. Haness says “that background comes in handy in a class like today where the jumps were built very large.

“Having that ability and jumper knowledge makes him extremely fun, especially in the handy rounds where we can challenge him and angle the jumps.”

Taking the high scores in both the classic round (189) and handy round (205.5), Haness and HH Elmo, a 13-year old Dutch Warmblood, couldn’t be beat. Moving up seven spots from the first round, second place honors went to Nicole Bourgeois of Wilsonville, OR and McQueen with a total score of 563.

After close to two years together, Haness can’t say enough good things about the horse.

“He has all the things you’re looking for in a hunter—stride, scope, the looks, the movement and perfect technique over the jumps.”

Knowing what he was up against going into the second round already in a commanding lead, Haness only took the two high option verticals. Instead, he opted to demonstrate a bold pace and gallop to secure the win in a challenging course set by course designer Thomas Hern of Plymouth, MA.

“I particularly loved that the last jump of the round was a long run away so I could really gallop to it,” Haness remarks.

From the first time he sat on the horse, Haness says HH Elmo has been a joy to ride and “always rises to the top.”

Coming off last week’s $100,000 WCHR West Coast Hunter Spectacular win, these two have been on a roll. Haness and owner Maxwell strategically plan HH Elmo’s schedule around balancing big money classes with Maxwell’s Amateur Owner classes. They have their sights set on the International Hunter Derby Finals in Lexington, KY in August 2023 and look to be successful in the derbies during the Desert Horse Park Winter Circuit.

Owner Lindsay Maxwell shows her appreciation to HH Elmo. Photo by Megan Giese/DIHP

Third place honors went to Chelsea Brittner on Berry De Mailett with a score of 564 while Bourgeois claimed the 4th place honors on Wayfinder.

Full results of the $65,000 Butet Regional Derby Championships, can be found here.

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