Belynda Bond and Hannah Klinedinst Steal the Spotlight in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby to Close out the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show
Hunter competition continued early Sunday morning in the Alltech Arena with the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. A competitive field of 53 junior, amateur and professional riders took center stage to ride for top honors in their respective categories. Due to the large number of horse-and-athlete pairs in the class, it was split into a professional section and junior/amateur section. Not to be outshined by the elite hunter competition that took place this week, Belynda Bond and aboard Norderney took the blue in the professional section, while Hannah Klinedinst with Oyster Bay topped the junior/amateur section.
Each horse-and-rider combination tried their hand at Joe Carnicom’s (USA) first round course that included a long strided bending line to a two-stride combination and four chances to jump a high option fence. The top 12 high scoring riders were then called back to contest for the win over a handy-hunter course for the opportunity to flaunt their horses ability to maintain a traditional hunter cadence while also making roll back turns and coming down to the trot for one obstacle. In the end, Bond and Klinedinst presented the most impressive hunter rounds to ultimately win the judge over and secure their blue ribbons.