Over fences enthusiast have a lot to look forward to next March. The 2019 Sun Circuit and Greenway Saddlery are teaming up once again to offer Jumpers two prestigious Derbies on March 5th with loads of cash and great prizes.
The Open Hunter Derby has $5,000 added along with 65% of the entry fees. The Champion also will receive an embroidered dress cooler, and reserve will be awarded an Intrepid Triple Stitched halter with brass name plate. The Greenway Saddlery Non-Pro Hunter Derby rewards the champion handsomely with a prize pack that includes a Marcel Toulouse Desiree Genesis Saddle with stirrup leathers, Sprenger German stirrups, and a fancy padded leather girth. The non-pro champion horse will also be sporting an embroidered dress cooler.
Jayne Hickey, owner of Greenway Saddlery, is enthusiastic about offering this opportunity again. She says, “We want to get those jumpers from all over the country to make the trip to Sun Circuit. Derbies are a wonderful incentive for Jumpers.” She adds that the prizes and cash awards encourage the big jumper barns to attend, thus making larger class numbers all the way around. The non-pros have been thrilled in past years to have their own class so they aren’t competing with pros for great prizes. Jayne says, “The non-pros who have won the champion Derby saddle over the years have been so gracious and appreciative of the wonderful prizes.”
Riders will jump fence heights based on the experience of the horse in both Derbies. “They always build a user friendly course at Sun Circuit,” comments Jayne. “It’s a nice, big arena: it flows right and has the right number of strides between fences. It’s also nice that they allow you to school the jumps earlier in the week, so by the time the Derby runs, the horses are ready to go.” The Derbies are two full rounds. After round one, everyone has their numerical score so they know where they stand, and exhibitors run in reverse order for round two. That can lead to some exciting finishes.
Jayne is committed to promoting the Greenway Saddlery Hunter Derbies because it helps expose Jumping to a wider audience. The Derbies will be held in the prime Equine Chronicle arena where spectators can gather to watch this exciting, yet often overlooked slice of AQHA athleticism. Quarter Horse jumpers are a fairly small group, yet they are wildly encouraging and supportive of newcomers to their ranks. They also have a lot of fun.
Jayne explains that there is often a barrier for Equitation or Hunter Under Saddle exhibitors to move into Jumping since most traditional Quarter Horse barns don’t have trainers who specialize in it. “I think there are a lot of people who would like to try it, but they don’t have someone to help them get there.” She believes that the added exposure the Derbies give to the sport inspires more people to seek out jumping trainers. “It’s not that hard. The jumps are itty-bitty,” she jovially encourages. “Even if a rider doesn’t want to eventually compete at the highest level, they can get good enough to be competitive in Hunter Hack, adding one more class to what they can do at a show.”
The complete schedule of Jumping classes can be found at suncircuit.com.