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  • Writer's pictureMaddy Brown

Summer Derby Day Makes a Splash!

About a year ago, I had an idea for a derby day: a horse show with limited classes that would go all out with fabulous prizes and ribbons, beautifully decorated jumps, and challenging courses. My crew here at The Farm thought it was a great plan too, but we were always so busy with regular shows that it just never seemed like the right time. Then, there was the coronavirus. We knew that riders were itching to get back in the show ring and that local businesses were itching for clients. We wanted to help out. And that’s when we decided to give derby day a go!

With just 30 days to make it happen, we set to work! When the big day arrived, we were so proud of the results and we had an absolute blast! Unfortunately, another show in the area changed its date to the same as ours, so our numbers were not huge...but we threw a heck of a show regardless and enjoyed the laidback atmosphere and the wonderful learning experience it provided! Derby Day was more than just a fun show: it offered written feedback from the judge on every round, utilized ride times (that stayed accurate all day long!), and provided competitors with exactly what I’d set out to have: fabulous prizes, beautiful jumps, and challenging courses. Before we go any further, I’d like to thank our amazing sponsors who made all of that possible:

Hunters Trace Farm Feed & Hay

Brittany Bird Saddle Fitting

Positive Pulse PEMF


Sterling Essentials

Crabtree Garden Center

Darby Interior Design

Fox Den Ltd. well as Mclaughlin Ribbon Awards for our beautiful ribbons!

And Scott White for serving as our official photographer.

Each trainer was given a goodie bag upon check-in, and everyone was welcome to a free Krispy Kreme breakfast! Both were graciously provided by Darby Schroder of Darby Interior Design.

The day began with a Walk/Trot Classic sponsored by Topsail Training. Champion Pumpkin Spice ridden by Annie Legare Schroder won an embroidered blue ribbon saddle pad, and Reserve Champion Maritime ridden by Emma Bradley earned a SmartPak gift card and Sterling Essentials starter kit!

Next was the Wee Derby sponsored by Sterling Essentials, a highly competitive crossrails class! It was topped by Minion and Cosima Vazsonyi, who earned a beautiful commission by local artist Katie Helland and a bag of Tribute horse cookies! Reserve Champion Carolina Shrimp & Grits and Addie Sommers earned a SmartPak gift card and Sterling Essentials starter kit.

We moved up a bit for the Low Derby sponsored by Positive Pulse PEMF offered at 2’ with 2’3” high options. This was the biggest class of the day and extremely competitive! In the end, it was Getaway Car with Haley Collins that took top honors, winning a stunning commission by local artist Heather Moore and a Sterling Essentials conditioner. Hot on their tail were The Avocado and Taylor Manning who took Reserve Champion along with a SmartPak gift card and Sterling Essentials starter kit.

A quick break to change the course allowed time for competitors to enjoy a free catered lunch sponsored by Darby Interior Design. Then we got right back to it with the Working Hunter Derby sponsored by Brittany Bird Saddle Fitting. This time it was Golden Boy and Audrey White who went straight to the top, winning an engraved leather lead shank and a Fox Den Ltd embroidered saddle pad. Caught Red Handed and Grace Hill took Reserve Champion and were awarded a SmartPak gift card and Sterling Essentials starter kit.

While we set for the jumpers, we awarded our hunter overall awards. The High Score Award was captured by Golden Boy. He and Audrey received a neck ribbon, scrim sheet, and SmartPak gift card! The Best Turned Out Hunter was Caught Red Handed, who earned a bag of horse cookies and a SmartPak gift card with their neck ribbon.

The Jumper Derby sponsored by Hunters Trace Farm Feed & Hay was exciting and close! In the end, it was Meredith Phillips’s Regina George that put in the only double clear round for the win with myself in the irons. Champion received a vintage show jumper display tray and a bag of Tribute horse cookies. Marrying Kind and Emma Hill had the winning time but an unfortunate rail made them Reserve Champions, taking home a SmartPak gift card and Sterling Essentials starter kit.

The day rounded out with the presentation of the Best Child Rider award to Cosima Vazsonyi, who earned a neck ribbon, scrim sheet, and SmartPak gift card! The Best Turned Out Jumper was awarded to Marrying Kind along with a bag of horse cookies and a SmartPak gift card to go with their neck ribbon.

In the end, Derby Day was everything I had hoped for. The ring looked beautiful, the prizes were awesome, and everyone had a fantastic time! Our judge Rob Jacobs was a pleasure as always, and had wonderful feedback for every rider to build upon. We hope that our next Derby Day will be bigger and even better, and we hope you’ll join us! Be sure to check out the Derby Day tab on our website for more photos!

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