The 2023 Summer Series continued this week with the ESP Labor Day show. On the opening day of the competition, hunters took the spotlight to compete in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by FreeJump, on the Derby Annex field. Faith Schuttemeyer, out of Boca Raton, FL, and Tucker Eyckenhoeve, owned by The Gelt Group, earned the blue ribbon as the highest-scoring duo. Competition came to a climax on Sunday as 27 horse-and-rider combinations stepped out on the grass Derby Field to compete in the $25,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix with Jimmy Buffett playing in the background. The winning pair was New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley and Valentine Car, owned by Fernando Cardenas.
Wordley shared that he and his winning partner have been together for two years, stating, “He’s 15 now, and he has won a lot of grand prix classes with me over the last two years. He’s very quick footed, so even in a fast jump-off like the one today, it’s hard to beat him. He just skims over the jumps.” He continued, “I think we’ll do one more of these shows this summer, and then we’ll start doing FEI classes in the fall. The shows here are great for younger and older horses to help prepare them for bigger classes, so I want to bring them down here once more this year.”