The last weekend of March marked the final Derby weekend of the of the World Equestrian Center – Ocala Winter Spectacular with $225,000 awarded between three highly anticipated derbies: the $75,000 WEC Hunter Derby 3’6″-3’9″, the $75,000 WEC Derby 3′ Open and the $75,000 WEC Derby 3′ Non Pro.

Keith J. Bollotte and Joe Carnicom designed the courses for the derbies, each featuring stunning natural fences and a weaving walk-through obstacle.

$75,000 WEC Hunter Derby 3’6″-3’9″

The $75,000 WEC Hunter Derby 3’6″-3’9″ held on Friday, March 26, hosted 19 entries under the lights in the Stadium at World Equestrian Center – Ocala. Two discerning panels of judges scored the class with first and second place falling just 1.5 points apart, but it was Samantha Schaefer of Shadow Ridge Farm in Ocala, Florida, who emerged victorious aboard Madeline Schaefer’s In The Know (Arkansas x Cavelle).
Samantha and the 11 year old Warmblood gelding topped three $20,000 WEC Hunter Derby 3’6″-3’9″ during the previous 11 weeks of the World Equestrian Center – Ocala Winter Spectacular, and the unstoppable duo was on fire again in the final week.

The pair navigated a foot-perfect first round, earning scores of 87 and 92 for a total of 179 in the first round. Schaefer and the striking gelding returned for the handy round, laying down a second flawless round with inside turns to fences 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. They were rewarded with scores of 92 and 97, totaling 189 in the handy round, bringing their overall score to 368 for the win in the class.

Just behind Schaefer and In The Know were Jeff Gogul and Abby Wagner’s No Doubt (Nerrado x Abba II). Gogul and the 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding took second place in Week 11’s $20,000 WEC Hunter Derby 3’6″-3’9″ and were on form again in the final weekend. The pair earned a pair of 91 scores in the first round, along with scores of 92 and 92.5 in the handy round, totaling 366.5 for 2nd place.
Jeffrey Ayers and his own Cartel were also impressive in the final derby. Ayers and the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding topped Week 11’s $20,000 WEC Hunter Derby 3’6″-3’9″, preparing them well for the class. The duo earned first round scores of 89 and 90, along with handy round scores of 88 and 91, totaling 358 for third place.

$75,000 WEC Hunter Derby 3’6″-3’9″ Results
1.    In The Know, Samantha Schaefer – 179 | 189 | 368
2.    No Doubt, Jeff Gogul – 182 | 184.5 | 366.5
3.    Cartel, Jeffrey Ayers – 179 | 179 | 358
4.    Lafitte De Muze, Amanda Steege – 164 | 179 | 343
5.    Cypress, Morgan Ward – 148 | 186 | 334
6.    Corlando 49, Melissa Donnelly – 164 | 170 | 334
7.    S & L Lion King, Dorrie Douglas – 172 | 156 | 328
8.    Monique, Christina Kelly – 145 | 172 | 317
9.    Larrico, Patrick Miller – 147 | 158 | 305
10.    Carsten S, Jennifer Tate – 166 | 134 | 300
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$75,000 WEC Derby 3′ Open

Samantha Schaefer proved unbeatable in Week 12, also topping the $75,000 WEC Derby 3′ Open aboard Madeline Schaefer’s Sutton Place (Valentino x Argrepina). The pair faced a field of 32 entries with scores soaring well into the 90s, making for tough competition.
Schaefer and the 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding earned second place in the $15,000 WEC Derby 3′ Open during Week 3 of the World Equestrian Center – Ocala Winter Spectacular and brought their A-game again the final weekend of the circuit. The duo laid down a flawless first round, taking all four high options for a score of 91. They returned last in the handy round, taking tidy inside turns throughout the course.

Schaefer and Sutton Place were rewarded with a score of 93.5 for their efforts, totaling 184.5 to win the class.
Samantha Schaefer also found success aboard Ava Berman’s Emilio (Embassy I x Pirouette). Schaefer and the 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding topped the $15,000 WEC Derby 3′ Open in Week 10, preparing them well for the Week 12 class. The pair earned scores of 88 and 94, totaling 182 for second place.

Rounding out the top three spots were Amanda Steege and Lisa Arena Davis’ Balou (Balou Du Rouet). Steege and the 17-year-old Westphalian gelding topped the $15,000 WEC Derby 3′ Open during Week 9, signaling they would be strong competitors in the Week 12 derby. The pair earned scores of 90 and 91, totaling 181 for 3rd place.

$75,000 WEC Derby 3′ Open Results
1.    Sutton Place, Samantha Schaefer – 91 | 93.5 | 184.5
2.    Emilio, Samantha Schaefer – 88 | 94 | 182
3.    Balou, Amanda Steege – 90 | 91 | 181
4.    True Balou, Isaac Leffkowitz – 84 | 93 | 177
5.    Norderney, Belynda Bond – 86 | 89 | 175
6.    Abudabi, Jeff Gogul – 85 | 89.5 | 174.5
7.    MTM Animated, Tracy Fenney – 82 | 92 | 174
8.    Vulcan, Jeff Gogul – 87 | 84 | 171
9.    Sorrento, Hillary Johnson – 80 | 90 |170
10.    Rafferty, Jennifer Jones – 81 | 87 | 168

$75,000 WEC Derby 3′ Non Pro

The $75,000 WEC Derby 3′ Non Pro saw a highly competitive field of 38 entries vying for the win. Competition was fierce, but it was Haleigh Landrigan and Ava Berman’s Skorekeeper (Casall) that prevailed, taking home the blue ribbon and the lion’s share of the $75,000 purse.
Haleigh and the 17 year old Warmblood gelding earned third place in the $15,000 WEC Derby 3′ Non Pro during Week 10 of the World Equestrian Center – Ocala Winter Spectacular and were on the hunt for the win in Week 12. The duo found a foot-perfect first round, taking all four high options for a score of 90. They returned near the end of the order in the handy round, delivering a second stunning course for a score of 87, totaling 177 for the win.

Sarah Tredennick and Agneta Currey’s Tomcat (Mezcalero x Kitten) were hot on Haleigh and Skorekeeper’s trail. Tredennick and the 17 year old warmblood gelding earned fifth place in Week 11’s $15,000 WEC Derby 3′ Non Pro and were well prepared for Week 12. The pair earned scores of 86 and 88, totaling 174 for second place.

Trailing by just one point were Madeline Jordan and her own Congo MCF (Indoctro x Katynka). Jordan and the 10 year old Continental Warmblood gelding finished in third place in Week 3’s $15,000 WEC Derby 3′ Non Pro and were impressive again in Week 12. They earned scores of 82 and 91, totaling 173 for another 3rd place finish.

$75,000 WEC Derby 3′ Non Pro Results
1.    Skorekeeper, Haleigh Landrigan – 90 | 87 | 177
2.    Tomcat, Sarah Tredennick – 86 | 88 | 174
3.    Congo MCF, Madeline Jordan – 82 | 91 | 173
4.    Lion King, Ryleigh Threatt – 86.5 | 86 | 172.5
5.    Moonwalk, Kendall Meijer – 88 | 84 | 172
6.    Fitz, Isabel Harbour – 85 | 85 | 170
7.    Freedom G, Addison Reed – 84.5 | 84 | 168.5
8.    Bode Well, Tracy Scheriff Muser – 85.5 | 78 | 163.5
9.    Gabriel, Ellen Toon – 92 | 65 | 157
10.    Quinn, Samantha Ruttura – 83 | 73 | 156

Featured Awards

Before the start of the handy round in the $75,000 WEC Hunter Derby 3’6″-3’9″, the prestigious Style of Riding Award was presented to Samantha Schaefer for her classic style and her sportsmanship. The Style of Riding Award is generously donated by Bill Rube to be awarded to the rider who best displays the American Style of riding in the ring and sportsmanship outside of the competition arena.

The recipient serves as a role model for preserving the integrity and tradition of equestrian sport. “This award is very special to me because the recipient of this award pays it forward both in and out of the show ring,” Bill said. Samantha received an elegant leather duffel bag and wore a white rose corsage on her lapel throughout the handy round to signify her achievement.

The Shapley’s Champion Groom Award for the best turnout in the class was presented to the grooms of third place finisher in the $75,000 WEC Hunter Derby 3’6″-3’9″, Cartel. Shapley’s is a proud sponsor of the World Equestrian Center and is thrilled provide an award each week of the Winter Spectacular to the groom of the best turned out horse. Cartel’s grooms received a Shapley’s Award Bucket for his stunning turnout.
Report courtesy of the World Equestrian Center - photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.

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