Molly McAdow Makes Mark in $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby at Equifest III
Molly McAdow is making the most of the final week of HITS Chicago during Equifest III. The talented rider garnered both of the top spots in Friday’s $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, earning the highest score of the day aboard Ademaro Van Encanta and riding Lomanske to the second-place honors. McAdow and Ademaro Van Encanta held the lead from start to finish during McAdow’s first Hunt and Go style derby.
“I’ve seen them, but I haven’t personally don’t one before,” commented McAdow. “It was fun. The horses were a little confused about why they were cantering between the rings, but they were both really good. It’s nice not to have to warm up again and waste energy. You get to go with the flow and go right into the handy round.”
In the Hunt & Go style derby, every horse and rider combination completes their first-round classic round and immediately goes on to the handy round, which begins by cantering directly into the connected ring. This week, riders started their classic round in Hunter Ring I and then entered the neighboring Hunter Ring II – cantering on a bending line to their first jump of the handy round. Horse and rider combinations showed their handiness as they navigated tight turns and rollbacks. The handy course featured two additional high options before finishing with a trot jump that rolled back to the final oxer towards the gate.
Competing in the Hunt & Go style derby meant riders only had one chance to impress the judges, and that is precisely what McAdow did when she entered the ring first with Ademaro Van Encanta. The duo’s brilliant jump, handy turns and smooth pace earned scores of 87 and 86 for 173, which would prove unbeatable.