The Summer Derby made its return to Arbutus Meadows Equestrian Centre last weekend, and our local riders were front and centre.
“It went really well — we had a great weekend AMEC event director Joy O’Connell said after, explaining “we’ve had summer derby’s before, but this is the first one in years, and this was a totally different format.”
The new-look derby, which O’Connell described as “a bit of a throwback” is meant to resemble a hunt field and as such has courses designed with more natural elements.
“It’s got elements that you don’t normally see,” one mum explained ringside. A derby course is more open. There’s more galloping; the horses are allowed to show a bit more emotion.
“It’s fun to ride, it’s fun to watch. It’s still all very competitive, it’s just a little more fun, a bit more freedom. “
Friday was warm-up day with the Hunter Derby on Saturday and the Jumper Derby Sunday.
Former Qualicum Beacher Jolene Mackenzie from Cedar designed the courses
Oceanside had three entries in the 2’9” Hunter Derby on Saturday when we stopped by.
Errington’s Katrina Hamilton, 15, and her horse Color Me Pretty finished second out of the field of 10 riders. Parksville’s Alexandra Mortensen, 14, and her horse Maple Bay placed third. Also in the mix was Nanoose Bay’s Debra Kasprick, 47, and her horse Marzocchi.
Other notable rides on Saturday included Chrystie Mountain, 14, and her horse Don’t Worry Be Happy, who took first place in the 2’6” Pony Hunter Derby; Emily Bau, 14, riding Legally Blond finished second, and third went to Jaxen Yochim, 10, on Story Time.
Gracie O’Connell, 11, and her horse Riding Lyrical placed third In the 2’3” Jr. Amateur Hunter Derby.
ON SUNDAY Mountain and Happy were first in the .75 meters Pony Jumper Derby (in the Jumper competition all heights are in metric). Teresa Duerden, 16, on Pocahontas placed second, while third went to Bau and LB.
Oceanside riders finished 1-2-3 in two other events as well with Mountain, riding Coloured by Clue, taking first in the .9m Open Jumper Speed Derby; Kelsey Siemans, 18, and her horse Untouchable were second, and Jessica Bentzen, 21 riding Miss Cavelli, were third.
In the 0.9m Jr. Amateur Jumper Derby Kelsey Siemens, 18, rode Untouchable to first place, with Sierra Shelton, 15, and Winsome, second, and Mountain and Coloured by Clue third.
In the 1m Jr. Am Jumper Derby 30-something Chelsea Scruton and her horse Matchmaker placed second and Quiana Tetris-Perkins, 15, and Mr. Beau Jangles were third.
Duerden, riding her other horse Midnight Mariah, took first in the 1.1m Speed Derby, and Scruton and Matchmaker took second.
NEXT UP: Arbutus Meadows Equestrian Center hosts its big annual Island Classic July 11-14 when some 150 riders from the Island and Lower Mainland will take to the competition rings for one of the Island’s premier jumping events.
The jumping gets underway at 8 a.m. every day running through to approximately 5 p.m.
Admission is free and there is a concession on site.