Chicago Equestrian - News, Events, Contacts and Marketing Services Hunter Derby Finals and IHJA B Finals

Mara Kranz and Bona Dea won the 2013 Chicago Equestrian Hunter Derby Finals

Roscoe, IL – September 8, 2013
– It was a good day to be at Ledges as it was the Hunter Derby Finals. First up was Melissa Lorusso riding Lord Stanley to lead off the 10 riders in the 2’ Division of the Derby. She had a challenging course ahead of her with 12 jumps that spanned the whole open arena. The 47 riders were faced with long tracks combined with sharp turns and jumps that came from nowhere. The track took a lot of skill and concentration for riders to get into the Handy Round.

Only two riders from the 2’ Division made it into the Handy Round, Jill Stockard riding Unlock the Magic with a score of 74 and Carly Martin riding My Wildest Dream with a score of 75.

Next up was the 2’6” Division with 23 riders to add to the mix of already present scores. With the height of the fences raised, the track became even more difficult causing some riders to not make the cutoff and some to succeed to make the Handy Round. From the 2’6” Division, 9 riders made the cutoff: Katie Leverick riding DeChanel with a score of 78; Elise Born riding Just Because with a score of 84; Angel Kreciak riding Broadway Showcase with a score of 73; Christopher Ferralez riding Percival with a score of 73.5; Hannah Goldbach riding Silversmith with a score of 80; Kayla Schluter riding Crown Royal with a score of 72.5; Mara Kranz riding Bona Dea with a score of 82; and Sophia Martin riding Athena with a score of 74.5.

To finish was the 3’ Division. With the higher height of the jumps, the first round became the most difficult to keep steady from jumping from one side of the arena to the other to keeping their strides even and long and not losing any concentration. Out of the 3’ Division, only two riders made it past the cutoff: Madalyn Hill riding My Teddy Bear with a score of 76 and Patricia Williams riding Arabella with a score of 73.5.

As the ring emptied of the last rider, it was dragged and the top 12 riders that made the cut off of 72.5 points came in to walk the course for the Handy Round. The look of anticipation, nervousness and determination were across the riders’ faces. With a stimulating 9 jump course with tight turns, hand galloping and trotting towards home, these riders had to be fully focused and ready. First up to take the course was Patricia Williams riding Arabella. As the riders took on the handy round, including a trot jump as the last jump, Mara Kranz stood out as the winner.

Trainer Kim Gardiner's instructions to Kranz were, "Just find the jumps will ya'."

Kranz added, "Walking into the handy round I was thinking- be smooth and stay the same. Don't miss at the hand gallop jump and make sure to trot the trot jump! I was very surprised to be the winner and excited at the same time." 

2013 Hunter Derby Finals Results

First/Mara Kranz/Bona Dea

Second/Elise Born/Just Because

Third/Hannah Goldbach/Silversmith

Fourth/Christopher Ferralez/Percival

Fifth/Katie Leverick/DeChanel

Sixth/Carly Martin/My Wildest Dream

Seventh/Angel Kreciak/Broadway Showcase

Eighth/Patricia Williams/Arabella

Ninth/Jill Stockard/Unlock the Magic


As the top riders came for their ribbons, they received Chicago Equestrian/ShowplaceProductions backpacks. Winner Mara Kranz also received a trophy and cooler. With a triumphant smile, Mara Kranz and Bona Dea posed for their picture with her trainer Kim Gardiner at the Chicago Equestrian Jump.

As the Chicago Equestrian Hunter Derby Series comes to a close, riders participating in the derbies all year received Walsh halters for their award.

Melissa Plemmons won Leading Professional Rider and Marcou won Leading Horse in the Chicago Equestrian Derby Series. Hunter Derby Series Awards

Best Professional Rider: Melissa Plemmons

Best Horse: Marcou owned by TJ and Molly Stenger

Best Junior Rider: Kaitlyn Wilson

Best Amateur Rider: Sarah Williams


The day went on to the IHJA B Medal finals.  Again, Showplace Productions produced challenging courses across the two main rings for the finals event. Riders were awarded with amazing prizes from Showplace Productions.


Ryan Grayson won the IHJA Pony Medal Final. 

Makenna Mathy won the IHJA Limit Medal Finals. 

Kaitlin Wilson won the IHJA Children's Mini Medal Finals and was also Leading Junior Derby Rider.

Elaine Ramesh won the IHJA Adult Mini Medal Final

Madalyn Hill won the IHJA Junior Medal Finals 

 Carly Martin and My Wildest Dreams won the award for High Point Classic Round.

Chicago Equestrian looks forward to the series next year with Showplace Productions, making it bigger and better and allowing riders the opportunity to learn how to be better riders. Thank you to everyone for your support.