Liza Boyd Carries on Tradition with Victory in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Hunt & Go

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Liza Boyd of Camden, SC, and Tradition were victorious in the final week of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) as the pair captured the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Hunt & Go on Friday, March 29, at Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Thirty-five horse-and-rider combinations contested Ken Krome’s course, which was designed in the newer Hunt & Go format, on the grass. The Hunt & Go format was only introduced several years ago as a way to shorten the original derby format while still offering a classic and a handy round. Instead of all riders competing through the classic and then returning at a later time for a handy, the course is designed as half classic and half handy. Riders are therefore able to highlight their horse’s strengths in both formats. Krome’s course consisted of four high option fences, a trot fence, and a ‘bounce’ line in the ‘handy’ portion of the course. Judges panels included Otis Brown and Ann Braswell in panel one, and Robert Crandall and Rob Bielefeld in panel two.

Kelley Farmer and Larry Glefke/Aizlynn Radwanski’s Closing Statement were the first pair to head into the ring and took the early lead with a combined score of 333.00 points. She and the six-year-old Warmblood gelding finished in the fourth place position. Ten trips later, Havens Schatt and the SHP Barn LLC’s 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Spectacular, produced a flawless round including all high options to total 340.50 points combined from both panels for second place. Schatt later returned with Caroline Moran’s 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding, Mostly Sunny, and earned the third place position with 339.75 points.

As the seventeenth entry into the ring, hunter veteran Liza Boyd piloted Maggie Hill’s Tradition to the new lead after totaling 357.00 points with a classic score of 179.00 and a handy round producing 178.00 points. Boyd and the eight-year-old Westphalian gelding are no strangers to success in the derby classes as Tradition’s second time in a derby was at the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships, where he placed third.

“He was made to be a derby horse I think,” Boyd explained. “We purchased him from Scott Stewart as a junior hunter mount for his owner Maggie Hill, but Scott had been telling me for a long time that he had a great horse that would be able to do both the junior hunters and the bigger derbies. Clearly, he was right because he does well with his owner in the juniors, but he is also super brave and can jump the bigger tracks which is exactly what we look for in a derby horse.”

Boyd plans to compete the gelding in the weekend’s $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby but said she enjoyed being able to use the Hunt & Go format as a way to introduce her horse to his surroundings. “We haven’t had the Hunt & Go for very long in the International Derby Program but I think it’s nice to have it once in a while like this,” she said. “I think it’s so special to be able to have the second round in the bigger derby classes where you are able to come back with a new strategy, but for a day like today it was quite nice because you got to give your horse a tour of the venue and practice both classic and handy round fences.”

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