Hampton Green Farm at the Palm Beach Derby
What a difference a year makes. The Derby has always been one of the most competitive shows in the Florida winter circuit, bringing out the best horses and riders who are down for the season. The judging at the Derby is always the most critical, as the show is a national qualifier for a number of championships. In the past, HGF has found the Derby to be an especially difficult venue at which to show the PRE well, however this year HGF was in the ribbons in every class we entered , bringing home 3 Firsts, a Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth.
Ana Gilmour was the rider to beat at Third Level with Camaron. Her consistent scores of 68% maintained their winning position against a number of top riders and fancy horses at Third Level Tests 2 and 3. In her warm-up class on day one, Ana decided to do a Fourth Level Test 1, and scored a respectable 66.7 for Fifth Place in a class that fielded, among others, four Team riders for various countries. We are very proud of our own little Camaron and his heart of gold!
We reported last time that Adelante was not sure he wanted to be ridden inside of that white box with a scary tent at the end. At some point over the last two weeks, his rider Maria Lithander was able to change his mind and they entered the Training class as if they were old pros, instead of a young horse in only his second show. With ears pointed forward and maintaining his gait and frame throughout, Adelante floated around the ring at both Training 1 and Training 3, scoring a 70.4 on day one (Third Place) from judge Uwe Mechlem, and a 72 on day two (First Place) from MariLynn Griffin. (The 72% also garnered Maria the coveted and hotly contested USPRE Open High Point Award for the show--edging out the valiant efforts of both Ana and the ever-competitive Janne Rumbough on JR.)
We also presented Bolero who, like several of our other young horses in the past, found the Derby to be particularly challenging with its blowing tents and arenas bordering on deep ravines. With Ana, he brought home a Second Place and a Fourth, however the distractions prevented him from scoring in his usual range.
Courtney decided not to show Grandioso at the Derby this year, and his next show is the upcoming High Performance show at Equestrian Estates.
Although all the PREs (including Janne and JR) at the Derby last weekend were showing in the lower levels, they were clearly the horses to beat in each of their various classes and many people commented to us how things have changed for our breed and our various programs. Holding High Point Award competitions adds another level of challenge and fun to these shows and continues to highlight the competitiveness of the PRE horse. In fact, it has been said that PREs will only score well at higher levels where more collection is demanded, however this year's Derby has proven that the basic gaits and trainability of the PRE are competitive against the top warmbloods in the country at every level.
Congratulations Ana, Maria and Janne and see you all at the Gold Coast Finale!
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