Newly inducted Show Hunter Hall of Famer Jenny Karazissis has been notably absent from the show ring this year, after being sidelined by an injury in January.
“It was quite a setback for me, so I didn’t really plan or have any big goals for this year because I just wanted to give myself time to heal,” said the Calabasas, CA native.
Upon returning to the ring, she wasted no time jumping to the top of the leaderboard again, however. In her second show back, the Blenheim June Classic I in San Juan Capistrano, CA, Karazissis and Really took the win in the $35,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Friday.
Fifteen competitors contested the two-round class. Karazissis and the 2009 Warmblood gelding held the top spot at the end of the first round with a combined score of 182 from the two judging panels. It gave her a two-point lead ahead of Michelle Morris (180) and Lykke Li-Terma Z and 5.75 margin ahead of Skylar Wireman and West Port (176.25).
When Wireman and West Port returned for the handy round and delivered a 184 to take over the lead on a total score of 360.25, Karazissis knew she had her work cut out for her.
“Skylar did really well, so I knew I couldn’t just take it easy and still expect to win,” said Karazissis. “I planned to go in and give it my all, and Really was right there ready for me.”
Taking all the high options, the pair received a second-round score of 95 from the first panel and a 93 from the second panel for a grand total score of 370.
“Really is so special,” continued Karazissis. “He’s a catch ride for me, but he’s a horse I’m very familiar with and have ridden for a few years now. It’s fun to be back on him. I haven’t shown him since April where we finished second, so I was glad to get the win today.
“I’m really pleased that I’m still able to feel confident, and Really does that for me.”