Articles: Horse News
One-Two Sweep for John French at $25,000 Franktown Meadows Hunter Derby
$25,000 Franktown Meadows Hunter Derby in Carson City, NV on September 19,
2010. John French and Rococco
© 2010 Lindsay McCall for PMG.
Lindsay McCall for
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at email@example.com
Carson City, NV-September 20, 2010- The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range was the
perfect backdrop for the inaugural $25,000 Franktown Meadows Hunter Derby on
September 19, 2010. Equestrians challenged their top hunter derby mounts
over a course designed by Bobby Murphy and Jimmy Torano. The entire weekend
proved successful as the first ever, west coast, standalone hunter derby.
The success of this derby will help to encourage the progression of the
standalone USHJA International Hunter Derbies on the west coast. Sunday
even included 300 spectators in attendance who were treated to a spectacular
display of hunter riding when John French captured both the hunter derby win
with Rococco, owned by, Avery Hellman, and earned second aboard Crown
Affair, owned by Yellow Dog Farm.
This weekend riders, judges, and officials, marveled at the wonderful hunter
derby course designed by Bobby Murphy and Jimmy Torano, the excellent
footing, and the picturesque setting of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.
Riders showcased their derby abilities while competing over the first round
course of 12 numbered obstacles. After the first round of competition 12
riders were invited back to the show ring to compete over the handy round
course. The handy course featured 10 numbered obstacles and included four
Riders had a generous amount of space to plan their track to each fence.
The handy round course began coming home and finished with a hand gallop
over an oxer coming home. The fences were large and beautiful and included
many natural obstacles. One unique fence in the derby was a bamboo fence.
The bamboo fence featured bamboo shoots on the sides of the fence along with
shoots used as ground rails and top rails.
The first of the top five horses to attempt the handy round was Forbes,
owned by Tonia Look-Cooker, with Jenny Karazissis in the irons. The pair
had a first round score of 163 and took each option to earn the high option
points. Karazissis and the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood efforts would pay
off earning them 18 bonus points and the highest handy round score of the
The next duo would be John French aboard Truman, owned by Mary Sweeney. The
six-year-old Holsteiner stayed consistent over the 10 obstacles choosing
three options out of the four to navigate. Their handiness would earn them
16 bonus points placing them just behind Karazissis.
Avery Hellman's Winter, attempted the handy round next and their performance
would move them just behind Truman in the results. John French's last two
mounts included Crown Affair, owned by Yellow Dog Farm, and Rococco.
The exquisite hunter derby stallion, Crown Affair, completed all four
options and earned 16 bonus points for their efforts. This score gave them
the lead for a short period of time. Rococco and French were the last pair
to compete over the handy round. A smooth consistent round with only two
options utilized would bring a smile to the judge's faces and Rococco and
French earned the leading title of the 2010 $25,000 Franktown Meadows Hunter
Also included in the derby awards was the "Janice MacLean Memorial Perpetual
Trophy, a custom dress sheet from Ann K. Hubbards Tack Shop, an Antares
Sellier France Helmet, a Skagen Watch, a halter with pure silver hunter
derby name plate.
From the very beginning there have been many supporters of the Franktown
Meadows Hunter Derby. John French was a big supporter of this event and
after showing at the Franktown Meadows Equestrian Facility he is looking
forward to next year.
French's win aboard Rococco was very exciting for him. French smiled,
"Rococco was a catch ride for me today. The only time I had shown this
horse in the past was this spring. I knew him a little bit before I went in
to the ring but not really. He was amazing today; He absolutely loved the
jumps and he did so well."
French continued, "Rococco is such a great jumper. He is very slow in the
air and just flows off the ground. For example, when I went towards the in
and out most horses would speed up as they approached the gate. Rococco
slowed down, curled to the first one, slowed down in the middle, and curled
over the second one. He is an amazing jumper."
Crown Affair and French earned the second place position together for their
execution of the course. This was the first time back on Crown Affair since
August at the $100,000 2009-2010 The Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA
International Hunter Derby Finals Presented by Dietrich Insurance. French
expressed, "I have been on the road and have not ridden Crown since derby
finals in Kentucky. I didn't feel as though the indoor ring was the best
type of venue for Crown during the finals. He is 15 years old and has been
going around the ring for a long time. A venue like this is exactly what he
loves. I knew he would be great here because he loves the big fields, he
loves seeing the different types of courses, and even adding the element of
wind was great for Crown. It is not something that he has done before and
he was great."
French has been a large supporter of this venue since the beginning and he
wanted to acknowledge a few of the people that helped make this happen.
French explained, "This event was wonderful. The jumps were amazing and
they really did a great job decorating them. Bobby always does a great job
with the courses and I enjoyed today's courses. Also, it was so nice of
them to bring the jumps all of the way from the east coast to here. That
was a long way to bring these jumps but it was worth it. I wish we had more
jumps like this in California and I wish more of the shows had events like
this. This is what it used to be like when I was a kid."
He continued, " I also would like to thank everyone that worked on putting
this show together. The MacLean family and everyone else really went out of
their way to make this event memorable. This is just the first year and
people are going to hear what a beautiful field there was to show on, what
amazing jumps there were, and hopefully it will be an annual thing. Lastly,
I want to thank the Hellman's for sending their horses out to this derby and
allowing me to ride them. I truly appreciate everything they have done for
Jenny Karazissis had an exciting ride today on Forbes but a small mishap
earned her the third place position. She noted, "I was very happy with
Forbes today. Unfortunately, he fell off his lead on the way to one jump. I
think one set of judges hurt me for it bit the other set of judges were a
She continued, "I thought Forbes jumped great today. He just felt really
confident and comfortable out there. I knew with the handy that I could
really turn it on with him. There weren't that many places where you could
turn inside things so I made the roll back turn as tidy as I could. Forbes
is wonderful too ride. He is a little bit careful and will give you the
impression that he is worried about the jump but he's not. As long as keep
your leg on and keep riding he will just keep jumping higher and rounder; He
is a fun ride."
The wind picked up this morning and continued to blow throughout the show.
Luckily it did not affect anyone or any jump. Karazissis said, "The course
was so beautiful. Eerything was beautiful and the view was incredible. The
wind was a little bit of factor but I thought it would be more than it
was. It was funny though because when you entered the ring and tried to
develop your pace but you are going against the wind. So you hear this
howling and you are trying to get him going and then as soon as you turn to
the course suddenly you have little push. It didn't seem to be that much of
factor. I really hope to come back next year for this event agan."
Each and every individual that attended this event believed in the idea of
the standalone event for the hunter industry. Even the four judges believed
that this derby was important for the entire sport. The judges of the derby
were George Morris, Julie Winkel, Jimmy Torano, and Scott Hofstetter.
Morris commented, " This was a top-notch event; It was the best of the
best. It was a shot in the arm for the hunter industry on the west coast
and I hope that this isn't a one-time event."
Morris continued, "The turf of the Franktown Meadows hunter Derby was among
the best turfs that I have seen and I include the Super League Events on
The importance of this west coast derby to the USHJA International Hunter
Derby Series is substantial. Bobby Murphy noted, "In 2008 the first-ever
east coast standalone hunter derby occurred. This derby was a class-act and
took place at Jenny Sutton's Wrenwood Farm in Naples, Florida. It was that
event that furthered the progression of the USHJA International Hunter Derby
Series. The Naples derby was a milestone in evolution for these derbies to
expand along the east coast. Eventually we will look back on Franktown
Meadows Hunter Derby as a milestone in the progression of the USHJA
International Hunter Derby Series on the west coast."
The 2010 $25,000 Franktown Meadows Hunter Derby was hosted by the MacLean
family of the Franktown Meadows Equestrian Facility in Carson City, NV. The
Franktown Meadows Hunter Derby worked in collaboration with the Parasol
Tahoe Community Foundation to benefit the Northern Nevada and California
Founded in 1996, the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation is a non-profit,
public charity dedicated to supporting the Lake Tahoe community. The
Foundation seeks to encourage charitable giving, aid fellow non-profit
organizations, and improve community well being. Charitable giving is simple
and effective with the Foundation, as they partner with donors to meet
charitable giving goals. Providing excellent stewardship of donor's
contributed assets, Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation provides pertinent
information regarding how the many generous donations are allocated so as to
maximize community benefit. Joining efforts with other local non-profit
organizations, the Foundation works together with the organizations they
feel implement the types of programs that can provide for community
needs. The Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation promotes organizational
innovation and collaboration as means by which charitable gifts can be used
in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
Parasol provides local leadership by promoting a vision of communities that
are healthy, inclusive, and sustainable. Giving every stakeholder a voice,
the Foundation encourages lively discussion on current community issues and
future community goals. The Northern Nevada & California community has been
enriched through the kind generosity of donors, the quality services
provided by local non-profits, and the hard work of many volunteers.
For more information about the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation please
RESULTS OF $25,000 FRANKTOWN MEADOWS HUNTER DERBY:
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2010
Placing, Horse's Number, Horse's Name, Rider's Name, Horse's Owner, First
Round Score, Second Round Score, Final Score
1 16 Rococco, John French, Avery Hellman, 192, 202, 394
2 1 Crown Affair John French, Yellow Dog Farm, 185, 185, 370
3 2 Forbes, Jenny Karazissis, Tonia Cook Looker, 163, 203, 366
4 5 Truman, John French, Mary Sweeney, 173,193, 366
5 13 Winter, John French, Avery Hellman, 184, 180, 364
6 8 SVS Caremunde Z, Jenny Karazissis, Ned Glynn, 169, 180, 349
7 9 Woodstock , John French, Olivia Hellman, 154, 176, 330
8 3 Palladio, Travis Root, Andrea Clibborn, 146, 163, 309
9 7 Osilvia, Ashlin Bowen, Ashlin Bowen, 153, 154, 307
10 14 Headline News, Jenifer Paris, Breanna Roberts, 147, 118, 265