Tyler, TX - November 7, 2008 - It was another gorgeous day at the Texas Rose Horse Park in the beautiful Tyler, TX countryside today. Set to clear blue skies and sunshine, the Dallas Harvest Horse Show proudly hosted its first official ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby this afternoon. Peter Pletcher and Camira won the class over 19 other entries as the sun set on an exciting day of competition.
The $15,000 ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby class was presented today by Dietrich Insurance, featuring Walsh Harness and Saddlery with sponsors Charles Owen and Company, Dover Saddlery, Vista Grande Dairy, and the Dallas Harvest Horse Show's generous sponsors The Texas Rose Horse Park and the Brunson Family.
Horse show manager Patrick Rodes designed today's Hunter Derby course. According to the USHJA rules, the types of obstacles used must simulate those reminiscent of the hunt field and the course should offer a variety of jumps with different appearances. The course Rodes designed fit the description perfectly and even offered a challenging in and out combination that had the horses and riders jump out of the ring to finish their second round handy course. The unique exit challenged many of the competitors and really showed who was on top.
Shawna Dietrich was here in Tyler today as one of the presenting sponsors of the class. Dietrich was very happy that the Dallas Harvest Horse Show was hosting its first official Hunter Derby and was impressed with the venue and the course that was designed for today's competition. The International Hunter Derby program is in its inaugural year, so Dietrich has enjoyed being involved and seeing how it has grown. "It is just nice to be involved with something where there is so much excitement with the exhibitors and the trainers," she said. "It is a unique experience."
Two separate panels of judges score each round of competition in the derby today and the scores were then combined to place the overall winner. Round one, which is to be judged on style and brilliance started out with 20 entries, and narrowed the field down to the top 12, who then competed in the second round handy course, which is judged on style, brilliance and handiness. The two panels of judges included Betty Oare and Ginger Black on panel one and Mindy Darst and Mike Lowery on panel two.
After the first round of competition, Peter Pletcher of Magnolia, TX was leading the class on Becky Gochman's As Always, but the handy round proved to be a little too challenging for the green horse, and he ended up dropping down to seventh place. It was Camira, another one of Pletcher's three rides in the class, that really stepped up in the second round to earn the big win. Pletcher rode the young mare through the challenging course beautifully and other than a slight hesitation at the in and out, had a flawless course that topped the class according to both panels of judges.
Pletcher was very proud of how Camira, a first year green horse, rose to the challenge in the higher-level class. "She is really good," he said. "She is brave and really honest. She took a little look at the in and out leaving, but you squeeze her enough and she is going to try anything."
"The in and out was definitely the toughest spot. We teach our horses to stay in the ring, not to go out," Pletcher continued. "But for the most part I think it went pretty well."
Pletcher has won three other Hunter Derby classes in the past year including a win in the test run of the derby class here in Tyler last year. As a very experienced and distinguished hunter rider who has been in business for over 30 years, Pletcher praises the class and everyone who helps make it happen. "I think it is a good, exciting class," he said. "It is definitely the most excitement that the hunter ring has had for a while."
As a representative and generous supporter of the International Hunter Derby program, Shawna Dietrich was very happy with the outcome of the class and was impressed with how the horses and riders handled the difficult course.
"The course was very demanding," Dietrich stated at the conclusion of the class. "That handy class really got them there at the end, but it was a beautiful course and I think everybody tried really hard and had a good time, and that's what counts. We are really pleased to be a part of it."
There are just two days left of the 2008 Dallas Harvest Horse Show here in Tyler, TX. The forecast calls for another beautiful, sunshiny day tomorrow as the hunters continue their championships with the conclusion of the Adult Amateur Hunter division. The competition will also feature the USEF/Pessoa Medal and ASPCA Maclay classes.
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HUNTER DERBY RESULTS
$15,000 USHJA INTERNATIONAL HUNTER DERBY
1 $4,500.00 CAMIRA PLETCHER, PETER
2 $3,300.00 MAESTRO GOLDMAN, AMANDA
3 $2,250.00 AVA LANG, KATELYN
4 $1,500.00 DRESS UP RODES, JANA
5 $900.00 NLF ALMELO SIMS, SHERRE
6 $750.00 MTM OFF THE CUFF, FENNEY, TRACY
7 $600.00 AS ALWAYS PLETCHER, PETER¬
8 $450.00 UNIKAT WILLIAMS, EMILY¬
9 $450.00 PARSIFAL BARBER, ANGELA
10 $300.00 UNDERCOVER GOLDMAN, AMANDA
Photo Credit: Peter Pletcher and Camira Won the $15,000 ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby at the 2008 Dallas Harvest Horse Show. Photo (C) 2008 Lauren Fisher/PMG. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/peter-pletcher-dallas-harvest-horse-11-08.html">Peter Pletcher Lands Another Victory at the 2008 Dallas Harvest Horse Show</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com