Jennifer Bliss and Honor Code Take Home the Blue in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, Presented by Advanced Veterinary Dermatology
The 2023 Spring Series, presented by Florida Coast Equipment, returned this week for its fourth week of competition. Moving to the derby field at Equestrian Village, hunters got a chance to show off their talents on the grass in Friday’s $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby “Hunt and Go,” presented by Advanced Veterinary Dermatology, with Jennifer Bliss and Honor Code taking top call.
Bliss of Wellington, FL, was beaming following her win on the Derby Field Annex, saying, “The Spring Series gives great opportunity to those of us who stick around [in Wellington] after season to be able to compete in arenas like this with a bit less pressure on our backs.”
Bliss and Honor Code have been partnered together for over two years now, with lots of progress made along the way. “We got him as a five-year-old from Europe, and he had never competed before. He belongs to a longtime client of mine, Ann Root, and together we have worked him up to this level,” Bliss shared. “For younger horses like him, the ‘Hunt and Go’ format can be a bit challenging for their attention span, but he handled it like a champ. As he continues to progress, I believe more and more that he will become a strong International Derby horse.”
The class saw 10 competitors over the phase-combined track. Bliss was seventh to go in the order, setting the winning score to 173 overall, with just three to come behind her. Following Bliss in the order and finishing second overall was Ella Bostwick, of Wellington, FL, and Malbec, owned by Christine Bostwick, with a total score of 160. Xavier Gomez, of Wellington, FL, and Illusion in Paris, owned by Sy High Equestrian Center, took third to complete the podium with an overall score of 157.
The weekend’s Hunter competition kicked off on Saturday with the Adult Amateur Hunters, sponsored by Resilient Fitness. Janice Cannizzo of Lake Worth, FL, and her own Lozada took home the blue over the first course and finished second in the following class. Carly Nasznic, of Wellington, FL, and her own Quite Frankly took home second over the first track and finished third in the following class. Danielle Barberini, of Wellington, FL, and her own Night Song, took home third across the first course but moved up to the winning spot in the following class.
Spring IV will continue through Sunday, May 7, culminating with the $25,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic National Grand Prix. The Spring Series will round out with next week’s “A” rated Spring V competition.