Tony Font and Copa Cabana 23 Notch Another Texas Win in the $25,000 USHJA Bull Run International Hunter Derby

Tony Font and Copa Cabana 23

Tony Font and Copa Cabana 23

Wayne, IL -  June 21, 2016 –Showplace Productions Spring Spectacular Derby Day was festive and fun and attracted the best of hunter talent from every corner of the country. Tony Font and Copa Cabana 23, owned by Claudia Ballesteros, won the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, sponsored by Bull Run Equestrian Center. Doug Boyd and Calido’s Son earned the victory gallop in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by Sapphire Riding Academy.

Tony Font and Copa Cabana 23- Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Winner Sponsored by Bull Run Equestrian Center

Tony Font and Copa Cabana 23- Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography
$25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Winner
Sponsored by Bull Run Equestrian Center

Andrea Redmond Ferguson, owner of Bull Run Equestrian Center, has been close friends with head trainer Lynda Zema for more than 25 years. Last year Zema had a riding accident and Russell Frey was there to help.

“We’re dedicating the derby to him,” Ferguson said. “Everybody stepped up and helped (when Zema was injured). Hopefully we can do the same for other people, give back.”

And give back, she does. Ferguson not only sponsored the $25,000 International Hunter Derby, she invited all the trainers and families and friends to a dinner and a reception at her restaurant, Niche in Geneva, Illinois during Week II.

Party at Niche in Geneva

Party at Niche in Geneva

“Pat (Boyle) runs a great show,” she said. “He’s very good at what he does. Anyone who does a professional job, you want to support.”
 
The Showplace Spring Spectacular III kicked off its World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Week at Lamplight Equestrian Center with a full day dedicated to the hunter derbies. Each derby event was produced with beautiful, high quality courses, with every attention to detail, including top-notch presentations and award ceremonies.
 
Hospitality is a trademark of Showplace Productions derby day was over the top. The day began with the Derby Day Breakfast, sponsored by Diane Carney and Telluride Farm. It was a stick-to-your-ribs full-fare breakfast enjoyed by al

Tony Font and Copa Cabana 23. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photograph

Tony Font and Copa Cabana 23. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photograph

The Exhibitors Derby Luncheon was sponsored by Gene and Georgetti, an award-winning Chicago institution since 1941, considered Chicago’s finest steakhouse.
 
Bill Rube was on hand from the USHJA Foundation, the charitable arm of the USHJA. The USHJA Foundation's vision is that the hunter/jumper community supports and protects people and horses through grants andspecial initiatives. It was the first time use of a newly developed phone app for their text-to-pledge initiatives.

Kelley Farmer and It's Me

Kelley Farmer and It's Me

“It’s a day for Texas,” Font said. “I know that a bunch of us said we weren’t sure who turned off the lights when we all left.”
 
This is Copa Cabana 23’s third derby and his second win. Font and the black Westphalian gelding (Cornet Obelensky-Quella S) won a USHJA International Hunter Derby in February during the Winter Series at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center.
 
“He’s a good horse,” Font said. “I rode him for three years in the jumper classes. I said, ‘He has a hunter demeanor, he wants to be a hunter. Why don’t we let him do what he wants to do?’ Last year was his first real full year competing as a hunter. I just did a few shows in 3’6 divisions and went right away to the high performance.”
 
Font came to show in Chicago many times years ago. This is his first time back in a while. He says he like to go where he feels his kids are safe.

  Kelley Farmer and Point Being

  Kelley Farmer and Point Being

“I always follow the people that are nice and that I enjoy being around,” he said. “Having a family, I want to go places where everybody knows each other here and it’s kind of like a big family.”
 
Font thanks his parents for all their support they’ve given him through the years.
 
Farmer, was second and third with It’s Me and Point Being, respectively. She was happy with their performances.

Sarah Young and White Lightening were fourth.

Sarah Young and White Lightening were fourth.

“I was thrilled with my horses,” she said. “I had a rub in the handy round but no worries. It was my fault. On the first vertical I let him shift a little bit. They were great, I was really happy with them. I thought Point Being was great in the handy. A little bobble in the first round, but I thought he came back and was wonderful in the handy. So it was all good.
 
Farmer and her team plan to stay through the week.
 
“It’s still home,” she said. “I always have to come back. As usual, it was a beautiful class, thank you to the sponsors, they do a great job. We always like to come home.”

Calido's Son and Douglas Boyd - Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Winner Sponsored by Sapphire Riding Academy

Calido's Son and Douglas Boyd - Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography
$10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Winner
Sponsored by Sapphire Riding Academy


Doug Boyd and Calido’s Son (Calido I- Pusteblume), owned by Mimi Rothman, won the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by Sapphire Riding Academy. The pair have consistently been at the top of the national derbies since Rothman purchased him.
 
“He’s so simple, so uncomplicated,” Boyd said. “We try not to bore him. We don’t school him in the rings, we just walk in and do our hunter rounds. We don’t do our warm ups. We save him for what he does and it works. Mimi is learning how to ride him.”

Doug Boyd and Calido's Son

Doug Boyd and Calido's Son

Rothman is the owner of Sapphire Riding Academy and the sponsor of the class. She says she wants to promote the business and support the hunter/jumper industry.
 
“Showplace Productions does such a great job here and we love to be a part of that,” Rothman said. “We’ve sponsored a couple events – Chicago Hunter Derby, National Hunter Derby twice, and we like to support the USHJA as much as we can. It’s really important to support the program.”
 

Caston and Molly McAdow Caston and Molly McAdow $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Second Place Sponsored by Sapphire Riding Academy

Caston and Molly McAdow
Caston and Molly McAdow
$10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Second Place
Sponsored by Sapphire Riding Academy

Rothman and Boyd thank their grooms for all their hard work. Boyd also thanks the McArdle family for bringing him back into the business again full time and to the Rothman family for being so supportive.
 
Molly McAdow and her own Caston earned the red ribbon in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. McAdow is a busy professional who works with with Lorrie Canaday at Galway Farm
 
“I love this horse,” she said. “I was a little emotional the first round because he’s a very special horse and I’m lucky that he’s mine. He’s a 6-year-old Holsteiner that I imported in December (2015). “He’s a derby horse all around. He loves it, He just goes out there and has a great time. He jumps well, he doesn’t spook, he’s always reliable and right there with me every step of the way.”
 
McAdow says she is grateful to her parents for being so supportive so supportive. “I may as well still be a short-stirrup kid to my Dad. Every single horse show, every single time I walk in the ring, he’s just so thrilled. So, he’s over there screaming, ‘Way to go, Squirt!’ every time I have a good trip."
 

Calido's Son and Douglas Boyd

Calido's Son and Douglas Boyd

Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography $1,500 Grooms Class Sponsored by Equis Boutique Galway Farm won the first place prize

Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography
$1,500 Grooms Class
Sponsored by Equis Boutique
Galway Farm won the first place prize

Lands End Eros and Saylor Shea $2500 Pony Hunter Derby Sponsored by The Markman Family Proudly parading her pony around the arena, Saylor Shea had a huge smile on her face and a big ribbon around her little pony. The small-division pony Lands End Eros, owned and ridden by Shea, took the top prize in the Pony Hunter Derby among the smalls, mediums and larges. Shea said her goal going into the event was “just to have the best ride that I could.”

Lands End Eros and Saylor Shea
$2500 Pony Hunter Derby
Sponsored by The Markman Family
Proudly parading her pony around the arena, Saylor Shea had a huge smile on her face and a big ribbon around her little pony. The small-division pony Lands End Eros, owned and ridden by Shea, took the top prize in the Pony Hunter Derby among the smalls, mediums and larges. Shea said her goal going into the event was “just to have the best ride that I could.”

Lands End Eros and Saylor Shea

Lands End Eros and Saylor Shea

Saylor’s mom, Tara Shea said this is Saylor’s third year showing with trainer Abigail Blankenship, her third time at the Showplace Productions Spring Spectacular, but her first time in the Derby.
 
“I think she’s pretty excited,” Tara Shea said of her daughter, decked out in Derby attire. “She’s a kid who works really hard and she’s super serious. I think it’s pretty special to her. She doesn’t play other sports, so she’s super focused on her horseback riding and where she wants to go with it. It’s an exciting thing for her to have that.”
 
Saylor Shea has had a successful past two weeks in the Hunter ring with her two ponies. During week one of the Showplace Spring Spectacular, “Eros” was the reserve champion in the small pony division. Shea’s other mount Magical Diamond, owned by Strawberry Hill LLC, took reserve in the medium pony division during week one, and topped the division in week 2.
 

Benlea Mizzou and Olivia Markman In reserve for the Derby were Benlea Mizzou and Olivia Markman. This small-pony pair have had much success at this show for the past two weeks, championing the small pony division twice.  

Benlea Mizzou and Olivia Markman
In reserve for the Derby were Benlea Mizzou and Olivia Markman. This small-pony pair have had much success at this show for the past two weeks, championing the small pony division twice.
 

Ciao Bella and Emma Hayes $2500 2’6 Children’s/Adult Hunter Derby Sponsored by Wisconsin Equine As the second round of the Children’s/Adult Hunter Derby wrapped up, the class saved the best for last. In the final ride of the event, Emma Hayes and her horse Ciao Bella sealed the derby win with an effortless round. “It’s very special because it’s my first derby ever and I just have a really good horse for it,” said the 11-year-old rider. “I thought it was pretty great and my horse was amazing. She’s very smooth and she never spooks. She just goes over the jumps very easily.”  

Ciao Bella and Emma Hayes
$2500 2’6 Children’s/Adult Hunter Derby
Sponsored by Wisconsin Equine
As the second round of the Children’s/Adult Hunter Derby wrapped up, the class saved the best for last. In the final ride of the event, Emma Hayes and her horse Ciao Bella sealed the derby win with an effortless round.

“It’s very special because it’s my first derby ever and I just have a really good horse for it,” said the 11-year-old rider. “I thought it was pretty great and my horse was amazing. She’s very smooth and she never spooks. She just goes over the jumps very easily.”
 

Ciao Bella and Emma Hayes Hayes said her trainers have been “amazing” in preparing her for the event. “This has been a really fun experience,” she said. “I’m just really happy to be here.”

Ciao Bella and Emma Hayes

Hayes said her trainers have been “amazing” in preparing her for the event. “This has been a really fun experience,” she said. “I’m just really happy to be here.”

Kiss Me I’m Italian and Katie Gilcrest Finishing with the red ribbon in the Derby were Katie Gilcrest and Kiss Me I’m Italian, owned by Kendall Bryan and trained by Margaret Clayton.

Kiss Me I’m Italian and Katie Gilcrest
Finishing with the red ribbon in the Derby were Katie Gilcrest and Kiss Me I’m Italian, owned by Kendall Bryan and trained by Margaret Clayton.

Showplace Productions Spring Spectacular resumes Wednesday, June 22, featuring show jumping action in the grand prix arena. In the hunter rings the professional hunter divisions kick off.
 
Click here for the live stream of Showplace Productions Spring Spectacular by Star Creek Video.