Two For Two: Keri Kampsen and Citation Capture Second Consecutive $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, Presented by FreeJump, Win

June 10. 2023

Equestrian Village welcomed riders back for a final week of competition during Wellington International's Summer Series before the competition break from June 15 - August 15, which included an equitation day and three days of hunter/jumper competition.

Numerous equitation classes were held in the Van Kampen Covered Arena during Thursday's June II Equitation Day. Siena Macdonald of Teton Village, WY, and Alise Hunter's Iconic proved unbeatable in the ASPCA Maclay and the WIHS Jumper Phase. Winning the Dover Saddlery USEF Hunter Seat Medal, the Hamel Foundation/NHS 3'3" Medal, and the THIS Children's Medal was Katelyn Martin of Tampa, FL. Martin piloted her own Releve to win the Dover Saddlery USEF Hunter Seat Medal and her entry, Sensation, in the Hamel Foundation/NHS 3'3" Medal and the THIS Children's Medal.

Siena Macdonald and Iconic. ©Wellington International/ Hannah Stephens

"I love using the equitation days to get more points towards all the finals. He [Releve] is green, so it's a great way to get him into the ring before the rest of the week's classes as well," shared Martin after her win in the Dover Saddlery USEF Hunter Seat Medal.

Katelyn Martin and Releve. ©Wellington International/ Hannah Stephens

On the Derby Field Annex, hunter riders had time to shine in two hunter derbies. Isabela De Sousa of Lexington, KY, claimed top honors in the $1,000 CLPR Wind 2'6"-2'9" Hunter Derby "Hunt and Go" aboard GFS Mikado, owned by Sergent Stables, LLC. The winning combination earned a cumulative score of 153. Second place was awarded to Cheyenne Sickle of Smithtown, NY, and Wind Song, LLC's Portofino I with a score of 142. De Sousa also earned a third-place finish on Sergent Stables, LLC's Diara Blue thanks to a total score of 125.

Isabela De Sousa and GFS Mikado, joined by trainer Erika Sergent and Diana Blue, presented as winners of the $1,000 CLPR Wind 2'6"-2'9" Hunter Derby by Robinson Ferreira of CLPR Wind. The groom of the both horses was Humberto Ledesma. ©Wellington International/ Cassidy Klein

The week's featured hunter class, the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by FreeJump, began on Friday but was completed on Saturday due to inclement weather. Taking home the top score for the second week in a row was Keri Kampsen and Citation, who she co-owns with Lexy Reed.

"Citation was excellent once again," smiled Kampsen of Wellington, FL, after her win. "I was ready to go yesterday afternoon, and then the downpour commenced, so I was happy to go this morning in better conditions and the field held up incredibly well."

Keri Kampsen and Citation, groomed and braided by Eduardo Mendez Narvawz, won the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by FreeJump. The pair were joined by Kampsen's business partner, Lexy Reed, in the winner's circle. ©Wellington International/ Cassidy Klein

Fifteen riders navigated through the course, designed in a "Hunt and Go" format, meaning the Classic and Handy phase were included in a single round. Robert McGregor designed the course consisted of twelve obstacles with four high options. Fences one through seven made up the Classic portion of the course, while fences eight through twelve represented the Handy phase. Kampen and Citation were the first combination to return to the field after the class was postponed yesterday afternoon, taking the lead with an overall score of 177. The pair managed held the top score for the remainder of the class.

"This is a fantastic practice arena; it's large and the surface is incredible," noted Kampsen, who plans to head to Kentucky next before competing at the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships in August. "It rides a lot like the Walnut Ring because there's so much to look at when you're out there, so it's great practice for me to keep him focus on the task at hand."

Keri Kampsen and Citation. ©Wellington International/ Cassidy Klein

Taking the second place ribbon was Jennifer Bliss of Wellington, FL, and Ann Root's Honor Code with a cumulative score of 172. Completing the podium was Wellington, FL, native Leah Patipa and her own HH Moonwalk with a combined score of 171.

The ESP June II horse show will continue for one more day, concluding on Sunday, June 11. Competitions will take a hiatus until the ESP Summer II show, which will take place from August 17-20 to begin the latter portion of the Summer Series. To view the prize list, please click HERE.