Morgan Ward and Cypress won the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. They were awarded a Nunn Finer bridle by Boot and Bridle. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography
GLADSTONE, N.J.– Aug. 14, 2018 – Monmouth at the Team continued Tuesday at Hamilton Farm. The feature class of the day was the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by Eastern Hay. Out of a field of 48 horse-and-rider combinations, Morgan Ward and Cypress rose to the top to lead the victory gallop around the storied arena. It was icing on the cake for Ward who was also celebrating her birthday.
Skip Bailey’s derby course included four high options and possibilities for inside turns and creative navigation. In the handy round, the high-score riders at the end of the group seemed to challenge each other. with each trip. Ward was impressive. She took risks and they worked out in her favor. Ward earned a first-round score of 94 and an 87.5 in the handy to seal the top prize with a total of 181.5 points.
Ward and Cypress, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Quidam de Revel and owned by Bruce Green, have been a team since April. In early July the pair won the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at the Vermont Summer Festival.
“The horse has one pace,” she said. “He doesn’t change and he’s extremely handy. It doesn’t matter what distance, his knees are always up and he has great expression.”
Ward is a young professional from Milford, New Jersey and works out of Willow Brook Farm. She’s impressed with Monmouth at the Team. “Especially for us, it’s local and it’s exciting to show at the USET,” Ward said.
Second-place finishers Michael Desiderio and Zero Tolerance. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography
Second-place finisher, Michael Desiderio, a member of the family team at Traquillity Farm, in Chester, New Jersey, also appreciated Bailey's course.
“It was technical enough but still doable,” said Michael Desiderio who won the second-place prize with Zero Tolerance, a gray Dutch Warmblood owned by Dru Cederberg. “If you had amateurs or juniors in the class it was rideable for them. The professionals got to show what they could do.”
Devon Thomas (16, from Milburn, New Jersey) trains with the Desiderios at their Tranquillity Farm. She was inspired by the challenge to go the extra mile in the handy round with her mount of only 60 days, Diabolo, landing her in third place.
“I was not planning on doing any of the inside turns but after Mike’s (Desiderio) round, I decided to and it really paid off,” she said.
Devon Thomas and Diabolo earned third place. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography
Monmouth at the Team is grateful to Eastern Hay for their continued support of the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Eastern Hay is family-owned and operated business with over 30 years of history as a premier producer, dealer and broker of the best quality grain, hay and bedding products for the East Coast equine market. For more information go to easternhay.com.
Monmouth at the Team Presents to Equestrian Aid Foundation
In 2017, Tucker Ericson and Michael Dowling started a new tradition for Monmouth at the Team by presenting a donation on behalf of the show to Equestrian Aid Foundation. The nonprofit organization offers financial assistance to horse people facing catastrophic illness or injury.
This year, Ericson and Dowling presented a check to Equestrian Aid Foundation board member Scot Evans. The Centenary University Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association team, represented by coaches Michael Dowling and Heather Clark, also presented a check to Evans on behalf of the team’s fundraising project with Longines Masters New York.
Tucker Ericson and Michael Dowling present a check on behalf of Monmouth at the Team to the Equestrian Aid Foundation board member Scot Evans.Photo by Anne Gittins Photography
“The events today remind us of the reason why the Equestrian Aid Foundation was created," Evans said. "On these holy grounds at USET, it doesn’t get better. To have students at Centenary and show managers giving back and explaining to exhibitors what they’re doing and why they’re doing it, they’re helping horsemen—that’s what it’s all about.”
Maxime Tyteca and Niels Haesen from Stal de Eyckenhoeve presented the Top Trip of the Day to Alexandra Desiderio. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography
Sponsor Spotlight: Le Fash
Le Fash is a modern equestrian lifestyle brand with styles designed for stable and street. Each day at Monmouth at the Team, Le Fash sponsors the Style of Riding Award. Today, Michael Andrade, was rewarded for his confident elegance in the saddle.
“Le Fash is my brainchild,” said Arianna Vastino, president of Le Fast. “I’ve been a rider my whole life but also worked in the high fashion industry. What I wanted to do was generate a collection that would be fashion forward enough for people that love equestrian style but also engineered for riders.”
All of Le Fash apparel is made with the finest quality fabrics and finishing and hand-crafted in New York, the epicenter of the fashion industry.
“We have a variety of products. We do shirting that has color blocked panels with bamboo fabric so it’s highly breathable. We just released a technical line which is also great for golf and tennis. Our city breeches collection is amazing.”
Stop by the Le Fash booth at Monmouth at the Team near the entrance of the hospitality tent and shop their beautiful and line. Go to lefashny.com for more information.
Michael Andrade receives the Style of Riding Award from Arianna Vastino.
Photo by Anne Gittins Photography
Monmouth at the Team resumes Wednesday, with equitation and hunter competition at Hamilton Farm.