Keirstin Scott and MTM Promises Fulfilled Triumph in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at Saratoga Classic II
Keirstin Scott and MTM Promises Fulfilled earned top honors in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Dover Saddlery, on Friday, June 23, 2023, at the Saratoga Classic II, held during the 25th anniversary of Saratoga Horse Shows at White Hollow Farm in Stillwater, NY.
Scott of Newburgh, NY, and MTM Promises Fulfilled, owned by Denise DiNozzi, were one of 29 combinations to contest the first-round track designed by Lynn Mullins. Scott guided her mount to a smooth trip to earn a base score of 87 with four high option points added for a total score of 91. This put the pair in second place behind Kristy McCormack and Copper Canyon who topped the first round with a base score of 89 and four high option bonus points added for a total of 93.
In the handy round, Scott and MTM Promises Fulfilled navigated the inside turn options with ease and showed off the gelding’s stylish jump to earn a high score of 92 with four high option points added to make their total score 96. With the scores from both rounds combined, the pair topped the leaderboard by five points with an overall score of 187.
“I knew I had to go all out,” explained Scott of her plan for the handy round. “Kristy McCormack rides so well, and I knew she wasn’t going to make a mistake. I felt like I had to give it everything I could. He’s the horse to do it on, which made me more confident. The handy definitely had some options. The inside turn from fence one to two was really tough, and he just did it so well. He is great because he will fire up off the ground so easily. You can take those risks with him in the handy round and know that he is going to deliver.”
Although Scott and MTM Promises Fulfilled have been partnered for several years, this competition marks a return to the show ring for the duo, and they proved that they did not miss a beat.
“He’s had a little hiatus from showing, so it was really fun for him to come back in tip-top shape,” said Scott of the 13-year-old Westphalian gelding sired by Balou du Rouet. “He is so nice in the bridle. You can go slow and he gets so high and lofty over the jump. It’s a great feeling. He is such a nice horse and so fun to ride.
“His owner Denise is so supportive of me showing him,” continued Scott. “It brings her a lot of joy seeing him show, and it certainly is a blast for me. It’s really nice to have him shine like that.”
First-round leaders McCormack of Saratoga Springs, NY, and Copper Canyon, owned by Adele Einhorn, secured second place with an overall score of 182. Hillary Rheinheimer of Deep River, CT, and Lone Star, owned by Tracy Leahy, received a total score of 177 for third place.
Michel Feitosa and Jerez Jump to Victory in the 1.30m Jumpers
Michel Feitosa (BRA) rode Jerez, owned by Gabrielle Fournier, to the top of the podium in the 1.30m Jumpers, sponsored by Postage Stamp Farm Foundation. The pair produced a clear round over the track set by Ken Krome (USA) and raced through the timers in 66.912 seconds to take home the win.
“I started to ride Jerez about a month ago,” shared Feitosa of the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare sired by El Salvador. “She is a hot mare and very careful, and she is naturally fast and quick across the ground. She is a sales horse, and I’m really excited about her. This is actually her first horse show in the U.S., and she also won a 1.20m class on Thursday. She was more relaxed today, which I think helped us. Our next show together will be in a month, so we have a little bit of time to train and continue to get to know each other at home. I think she will keep stepping up and hopefully do some national grand prix classes in the future.”
Amber Viera of Acushnet, MA, and Le Cequilo, owned by So Fetch Syndicate, finished in second place after finishing the course in 69.663 seconds. Emma Brody of New York, NY, and her own Charlie PS claimed third place with a time of 74.107 seconds.
The Saratoga Classic II will continue to showcase top hunter, jumper, and equitation competition on Saturday, June 24, with feature events including the $30,000 Saratoga Grand Prix and the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 18-35 championship.