(Johnstown, Ohio)--Prizes and prize money were awarded to the winners of the inaugural Ohio Derby Cup finals, sponsored by Footing First, at Brave Horse Show Park’s Summer Series Week VI August 30 through September 2. It was the show park’s second largest show since it debuted in the spring of 2017.
Ohio Derby Cup Finals qualifying riders who entered at the 2’, 2’6” and 3’-3’5” heights squared off to claim top honors in the series championship, which was developed by three leading Ohio-based hunter/jumper horse show venues. The Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic (CHJC), Chagrin Valley Farms (CVF) and Brave Horse recognized a demand for more special classes that include multiple fence heights, especially within the hunter divisions that are incredibly popular with riders of all ages. Thus the Ohio Derby Cup was born and Footing First stepped forward as the presenting sponsor of the new series.
The Derby finals began on Saturday evening of the show weekend with one half of the eleven competitors in the 3’-3’5” completing the challenging course designed by Bill Yeager. Then, the heavens opened and more than 3 inches of heavy rain fell causing a delay to complete the class and the other two divisions on Sunday morning. Competitors showed up ringside at 7am on Sunday and thanks to the incredible footing by Footing First, the derby continued on without a hitch, as did the rest of the show weekend.
Congratulations to the following riders and their trainers who ended the season as the Ohio Derby Cup Series Champions:
3’ – 3’5” Ohio Cup Derby Winner:
Sara Ballinger of Marion, Ohio piloted her own Wanderprinz, a 16 year old Hanoverian gelding to the win. Ballinger has seen much success in her riding career as both a junior and adult. She was the IHSA National Champion in 2003 as a college student. Wanderprinz was a 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival Champion, the 2015 USEF Horse of the Year, a Beval Medal finals winner and Great Lakes Equestrian Festival circuit champion, among other honors. Ballinger and Wanderprinz were trained by Angela Moore of Stealaway Farm for this competition.
Wanderprinz and Sara Ballinger ended with the top honors in the Ohio Derby Cup Series Championship 3’ – 3’5” Division assisted by Angela Moore of Stealaway Farm. Brave Horse owner Matt Harris presented the $2,500 cash prize. Photo courtesy of Winslow Photography.
2’6” Ohio Cup Derby Winner:
Melodie Robitaille of Sunbury, Ohio piloted her own Written in the Stars, a 21 year old Holsteiner gelding, to top honors in the 2’6” division. Robitaille has had an incredibly successful run on Written in the Stars with numerous championships at the World Equestrian Center and Brave Horse including two Intermediate Children’s Hunter Classic wins and a clean sweep of the Intermediate Hunter and Equitation Divisions at Brave Horse Week V. Fifteen year old Robitaille began her riding career in the dressage discipline and transitioned to hunters and equitation several years ago. Written in the Stars has a strong record of success throughout his career with a 2008 American Gold Cup Championship (3’6”) among his top wins.
Robitaille is trained by Sarah Ash and Michaella Gerlacher of Willow Way Farm.
Written in the Stars and Melodie Robitaille ended with the top honors in the Ohio Derby Cup Series Championship 2’6” Division. The duo trains with Sara Ash and Michaella Gerlacher of Willow Way Farm. Brave Horse owner Matt Harris presented the $750 check. Photo courtesy of Winslow Photography.
2’ Ohio Cup Derby Winner:
Addison Lambert rode On the Roan Again to the 2’ Derby Championship. A freshman at Dublin Jerome High School, Lambert has leased the 17 year old Quarter Horse gelding for the last three years from owner Sherida Harvey. “The relationship between the pair started off very rocky with him stopping at poles and crossrails in their first year together,” said Lambert’s trainer, Tammy Turner. “When other riders would have called it quits, Addison kept working harder and the pair has formed a magnificent relationship of mutual understanding and winning ways.”
On the Roan Again and Addison Lambert won the Ohio Derby Cup Series Championship 2’ Division. The duo trains with Tammy Turner of Foxtail Farm. Brave Horse owner Matt Harris presented the $250 check. Photo courtesy of Winslow Photography.
In addition to the cash prizes, the winners received Ohio Derby Cup Champion coolers and champagne buckets provided by the Saucy Piaffe.
“Sponsors helped make our second season a resounding success,” said Michael Belisle of Brave Horse. “We appreciate the partnership of Pepsi, Footing First and THIS because they’re helping us present a very high quality show that is providing additional competition options while attracting riders and trainers from across the region.”
Firefly Bistro was the official 2018 restaurant sponsor of Brave Horse.
Brave Horse would also like to thank the many vendors that helped meet the needs of riders, horses, trainers, staff and spectators throughout the spring and summer season including:
A Bit Above
Equestrian Chic Boutique
Equestrian Team Apparel
LM Custom Boots
Off The Beaten Path Coffee
The Sweet Shop
The six week Brave Horse Summer Series has concluded but Brave Horse will present Brave Horse VII Fall Classic October 4-7 at Eden Park, 607 Blayney Road Sunbury, Ohio, 43074.
Split Rock Jumping Tour returns to Brave Horse this fall with The Columbus International CSI2* September 26 – 30 and The Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Columbus CSI3*-W October 3-7. This is the first time that central Ohio will host a World Cup Qualifier. You can find out more information on the award-winning Split Rock Jumping Tour here.