Country Heir I & II to Offer Most Prize Money Ever for a USHJA National Hunter Derby Sponsored by Stal de Eyckenhoeve

  Phoenix, owned and ridden by Sophie Onody from Aurora, Colorado, clinched the top prize in the junior and amateur section of the 2017 USHJA National Hunter Derby at Country Heir I & II. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography

Phoenix, owned and ridden by Sophie Onody from Aurora, Colorado, clinched the top prize in the junior and amateur section of the 2017 USHJA National Hunter Derby at Country Heir I & II.
Photo by Anne Gittins Photography

Lexington, Ky. – March, 22, 2018 – This year, Country Heir I & II (the US Equestrian Premier AA Hunter, World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) and Level 5 Jumper Event), to be held June 6-17 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, will offer the most prize money ever offered for a USHJA National Hunter Derby.

During week one of the show, a $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby will be held. During week two, Country Heir will present a $40,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by Stal de Eyckenhoeve, with both a $20,000 open section and a $20,000 junior and amateur section. Both weeks will feature a $30,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, boosting the total Derby prize money to well over $100,000.
 
Country Heir is excited to welcome new sponsors Stal de Eyckenhoeve, exporters of high-quality hunters and jumpers based in Belgium and Ocala.
 
Stal de Eyckenhoeve’s Niels Haesen and Maxime Tyteca started their business in Geel, Belgium, while still in college. Together, they buy and sell hunters and jumpers and have a breeding operation in which they add four or five foals each year. In addition, they purchase young stallions to take to the breed approvals and show at European-approved stallion shows.

 Niels Haesen and Maxime Tyteca from Stal de Eyckenhoeve. Photo by EQ Media

Niels Haesen and Maxime Tyteca from Stal de Eyckenhoeve. Photo by EQ Media

As their business grew, they began to sell hunters through agents in the U.S. and Canada. While they wanted to sell direct to clients in the U.S., they knew they needed to learn more about the hunters in order to be successful. So, Haesen and Tyteca traveled to Wellington.
 
“We were watching the hunters in the Grand Hunter Arena in Wellington and Maxime asked me to go to the judges’ booth to ask about how they judge the hunters,” Haesen said. “We wondered if they had particular judging points or a list that we could have, like they do in dressage. I went to the booth and the judge said, ‘You’re not allowed to come in now!’ I thought, ‘Oh my god, this wasn’t a good idea.’ So, I went back to my seat and watched the hunters all day.”
 
Later, Haesen and Tyteca ran into the judge in the parking lot. He explained to them why he couldn’t talk during the class and asked if they would like to continue their conversation over dinner. That conversation proved pivotal, helping them to better understand the hunters from a judge's perspective. They then met numerous hunter trainers and listened to their views about what qualities make a standout prospect.

Today, Stal de Eyckenhoeve sells hunters to some of the best trainers in the business. They are proud of the dozens of hunters they have sold to customers in the U.S., including the 2017 3’ Green Hunter Horse of the Year, Just Ask, owned by Roberts Stables, LLC.
 
“We look to find potential hunters all over Europe,” Tyteca said. “We buy 2 to 3-year-olds and then keep them for one or two years, train them and sell them or bring them over to the US.”

  Tiffany Morrissey and Sebastian, owned by Stacey Werner, won theUSHJA National Hunt er Derby open section in 2017. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography

Tiffany Morrissey and Sebastian, owned by Stacey Werner, won theUSHJA National Hunt er Derby open section in 2017. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography

Two years ago, Tyteca and Haesen made their first trip to Kentucky and came away more than impressed, deciding that sponsoring Country Heir I & II would be a great choice to gain greater exposure for Stal de Eycknhoeve.
 
“We’ve been to Country Heir I and II twice. It’s a really nice show,” Haesen said. “There are a lot of quality hunters and so many good trainers. It made sense for us to sponsor the Derby.”
 
Haesen and Tyteca also realized, on a trip to Ocala, that it would be a great idea to buy property near the new World Equestrian Center. “We finished building the Ocala farm a few months ago and were able to bring over and sell a couple of horses there,” Haesen said. “We also have a part of our business with the jumpers in Europe.”

Contact Stal de Eyckenhoeve directly as your source for quality hunters and jumpers at Info@stal-de-eyckenhoeve.be.

Make your plans to attend Country Heir I & II for the $40,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by Stal de Eyckenhoeve, and all the other wonderful hunter, jumper and equitation offerings at the popular summer show.

Fast Facts

What: 
Country Heir I & II is a two-week Premier AA Hunter and Level 5 Jumper competition and World Championship Hunter Rider Event. The popular competition is widely recognized for its customer excellence, attention to detail and fun. Country Heir I & II attracts some of the finest horses and competitors from around the world.

Highlights include:

  • Two $30,000 USHJA International Hunter Derbies
  • Three Grand Prix events at $25,000, $30,000 and $50,000
  • $40,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, with $20,000 Open and $20,000 Junior and Amateur sections.
  • $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE USHJA NATIONAL HUNTER DERBY PROGRAM HERE

  • Equitation Day, sponsored by Ashland Farms - Tuesday, June 12
  • Local Day - Tuesday, June 12
  • $10,000 Pre-Green Challenge, in memory of Joey Darby
  • Developing Jumper Series (DJS) for 5,6 and 7-year-olds
  • Separate $10,000 Adult and Children’s Jumper Classics each week
  • $10,000 Junior/Amateur owner Jumper Classics each week
  • $8,000 NAL Low Junior Jumper Classic each week
  • $8,000 NAL Low Amateur Jumper Classic each week
  • World Championship Hunter Rider Event Week II
  • Sunday brunch
  • Grand Prix parties

When: 
Wednesday, June 6 through Sunday, June 17, 2018

Where: 
Kentucky Horse Park
4089 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington, KY 40511
Phone (859) 233-4303, Toll Free (800) 678-8813, Fax (859) 254-0253
General Park Information - info@kyhorsepark.com
Click here for Kentucky Horse Park Map

Contacts:
Frankie Stark, Owner, kittykatstark@aol.com
Julie Agar, Secretary, Julie.agar@comcast.com
JP Bordeleau, Co-Manager, jpbordeleau@gmail.com
Tucker Ericson, Co-Manager, jtericson1969@gmail.com or (908) 303-1956
Leslie Sullivan, Sponsorship/Hospitality, leslie.sllvn@gmail.com or (908) 305-0540

Click here for the Sponsorship/Hospitality Form
 
Website:  
www.countryheir.com

Media Contact: 
Carrie Wirth
EQ Media
Carrie@EQmedia.agency
www.EQmedia.agency