Lexington, KY- August 6, 2016
Molly Sewell, a professional based in Orlando Florida with Bill Schaub, was neck and neck with her two talented mounts, Acado and EL Raymond, in the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby at the Kentucky Summer Classic Horse Show. Less than two points separated the horses, but the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding Acado came out on top with an overall score of 181.250.
His owner, Sydney Porter, is competing in her last junior year and earlier this week she was reserve champion in the Junior Hunter 3’3” division with Acado at the Kentucky Summer Classic Horse Show. Sewell started riding the horse over a month ago, and is helping to prepare Acado to be Porter’s future amateur horse by giving him experience in the derbies.
“He is a lovely horse,” Sewell said. “He’s a pre-green horse, so it’s even better that he can go into the derby and be that amazing. I would not have changed a thing about the first round with Acado; there was there was nothing that needed to be different."
“Acado is really a lovely ride,” she continued. “He is very comfortable, soft in his mouth, has beautiful lead changes, and he is scopey.”
Sewell and Acado placed third in their first derby together in last week’s Kentucky Summer Horse Show, so she was thrilled that he stepped up to win the large class on Saturday. The pair earned a 93.000 in the first round and an 88.250 in the second round after jumping all three high options in each round.
“I think Acado was more confident this week,” Sewell explained. “He walked into the ring and rose to the occasion. He jumped the high options outstandingly. He just had a bit more mileage and confidence this week.”
Though Acado lead the way after the first round, Sewell’s other mount, El Raymond, had the experience to edge him out in the second round score by only 0.250 points. Owned by Leslie and Stuart Campbell, EL Raymond is an 18-year-old Warmblood gelding who has quite an impressive derby record. Sewell and the chestnut gelding have won the Kentucky Summer Horse Show derby three years in a row, and they took the blue ribbon in last week’s derby.
“He was amazing as always,” she said. “ I feel like my first round on Raymond today was by far one of the best first rounds I’ve ever had on him. Sometimes he can be too casual on the first round and he gears up for the second round and that’s when he shines.”
Though EL Raymond came back to score higher in the second round with an 88.500, it was not enough to win the overall total score. Acado won Saturday’s $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby with a total score of 181.50 while El Raymond placed second with an 179.500.
“I felt a little bit bad because I had to send Raymond back to the barn before the awards presentation…he really is not used to that treatment,” Sewell laughed.
Sewell praised the derby course and she felt the solid high options gave her the opportunity to show off her horses’ jumping talents.
“Raymond has a lot more shows under his belt with a lot more experience and wins,” she explained. “They are very different rides. Acado has a bigger stride, and he has a higher and slower jump compared to Raymond. Raymond is so tidy with his knees, so it depends on what you like.”
Sewell rides with Bill Schaub, and they discussed their strategy of the handy round, which helped solidify her win on Saturday. They emphasized the importance of maintaining a smooth round with quality jumping style.
“People can get carried away in the handy and they forget it is still the hunters,” Schaub explained. “It needs to be smooth and the horse must jump in good style. When you get too carried away you lose that.”
“In the handy a lot of people can get a bit too crazy and it can get messy,” Sewell explained. “I chose to ride more conservative and only do a couple of the inside turns in order to be smooth. It worked out for me today.”
Sewell came to Schaub her first year out of the junior division, and they have been working together for sixteen years.
“I always want Molly to be neat, tight, carry a gallop while having a smooth round,” Schaub continued. “Originally we had some ideas of how to ride the handy but after watching some rides we realized those options made it messy. We did not want to be too risky and lose the style.”
The $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby is part of the $40,0000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series which is returning for the fifth year in a row at the Kentucky Horse Park. The five-part series a $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Bonus presented at the conclusion of the series.
1. Acado/Molly Sewell/93.000/88.250/181.250
2. El Raymond/Molly Sewell/91.000/88.50/179.500
3. Cape Town/Taylor Kain/86.250/88.000/174.250
4. Almost Royal/Sydney Shulman/87.000/87.000/174.000
5. Rockaway/Taylor Ann Adams/88.000/85.750/173.750
6. Airborne/Catherine Stafford/87.500/85.500/173.000
7. Esco/Geoffrey Hesslink/84.500/86.000/170.500
8. Geppeto/Linda Radigan/85.000/85.000/170.000
9. Whiskey Tango/Taylor Ann Adams/86.750/81.000/167.750
10. Good Humor/Ann Misenheimer/84.010/82.000/166.010