August 25, 2010 - Hunt Tosh dominated the first round and after a powerful second round August 21 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, he thought there was a chance the night could be his. But it wasn't until the scores went up that he knew he'd become the winner of the second annual 2010 $100,000 The Chronicle of the Horse/U.S. Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby Finals.
Those who placed in the top 25 after the qualifying round held August 20 battled it out in a Classic Hunter round to determine the top 12. The Winner of the qualifier, Scott Stewart, second place Jennifer Alfano and third place Liza Boyd were among the few showing. The high scores these riders obtained in the previous round would not help them here, at the start of the second round all points were erased. Everyone started with a clean slate.
Louise Serio, of Kennett Square, Pa., kicked off the first of two final rounds, riding Rock Star, a 12-year-old bay Warmblood. Serio navigated Rock Star, owned by Bright Star 158, LLC, through a beautiful course, earning a 348, but it was the 10th spot rider, out of Camden, S.C., Liza Boyd and Brunello who stole the show early on bringing in an incredible 384.
Three rides later, however, Hunt Tosh, of Alpharetta, Ga., did what was thought impossible; he upped the bar a whole 10 points earning a 394 on Lone Star.
After all 25 navigated over the hedges, through the circle of hay bales, under the arch and around the gazebo a winner was announced. Hunt Tosh and Lone Star, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, could not be beat out. Scoring an unbelievable 394 left a comfortable margin between Tosh and the rest. Coming in close were Liza Boyd on Brunello (384) and Scott Stewart on Summer Place (375).
Those that made the cut didn't have long to rest before the next round. The third and final round was a Handy Hunter-type class and took place right after the completion of round two. The scores from the both classes were added together to come up with a final winner.
Exceptional hunter riding was showcased throughout the class starting off with Maggie Jayne, Elquin, Ill., and Sander, owned by Pony Lane Farm, who had a final score of 736. However, it was 12-year-old Victoria Colvin, who really won the crowd over, on her trip with World Time, getting a score of 403, which when combined with her other round gave her an overall score of 756. However, Tosh and partner Lonestar managed to stay on top, becoming the 2010 International Hunter Derby Finals Champion.
Coming in second was the winner from yesterday's qualifying round, Scott Stewart on Summer Place. "I just had to go for it," said Stewart, which in fact worked for him. He took all the high options and didn't play it safe.
The third-place title went to Liza Boyd on Brunello, who only had one thing she would change about her ride. "I would have ridden him to the base of the one fence a little more, but who knows, then something else could have happened," she said.
Year two of the Derby Finals brought many thousands of spectators to the Finals both onsite and online. As a result of the popularity and the excitement generated by the Finals, the online viewing provided by EquestrianLife.com had over 10 times as many viewers as the inaugural year. USHJA and Equestrian Life apologize for any delays members and enthusiasts may have experienced accessing the live feed of the Finals. Visit EquestrianLife.com/derby to view a replay and Practical Horseman'sFacebook page for photos from the event.