Hannah Isop and Believe Rise to the Top in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Hannah Isop and Believe Rise to the Top in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

At the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Friday, January 8, 2021, Hannah Isop and Believe captured the win in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) showgrounds. In the International Arena, Natalie Dean of Palo Alto, CA, rode Dotcom d’Authuit, owned by Marigold Sporthorses LLC, to victory in the $2,500 Lugano Diamonds High Amateur-Owner Jumpers.

The WEF Premiere week continues through Sunday, January 10, and is sponsored by The Bainbridge Companies. It features national-level competition for hunters, jumpers, and equitation. International jumper classes will begin at WEF 1 on January 13-17 with a CSI3*. The weekend live stream schedule for the WEF Premiere show includes the $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Classic on Saturday and Sunday’s $75,000 Bainbridge Companies Grand Prix at 2 p.m. EST.

The $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby took place in Rings 11 and 12 with 43 riders competing for the blue ribbon. In the end, Hannah Isop and Believe moved up five places in the handy round to secure the victory.

>Hunter riders were first tested over a classic round, designed by Danny Moore, which consisted of 12 elements and offered four high option fences. The top 12 horse-and-rider combinations returned to show off in the handy round, which included a trot fence.

Isop, of Pawling, NY, has had the ride on Victoria Hart’s Believe for several years. “He is a complete goofball and total love in the barn,” said Isop of “Luca”, the 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Stolzenberg. “He is really one of a kind to ride; I’m quite lucky. Luca is owned by an incredible family, the Harts, and their two daughters ride him as well!”

Isop and Believe received a score of 90 in the classic round, choosing all four high option fences, which put the pair in sixth place. Kelley Farmer, of Wellington, FL, rode Good Choice, owned by Glefke and Oakland Ventures, LLC, to a high score of 96 in the classic round.

“We are all a little rusty coming off of a long break, but I was really quite happy with the horse and my first round,” explained Isop. “He went in there confident. It was a course that was very open, so it was well built for his big stride and I could really show off in a couple places.”