Over in Hunterland, style, grace and brilliance prevailed, as 39 of the nation's top hunters battled it out in the Grand Prix Hunter Derby Final, presented by Mark & Julie Hancock of Camelot Homes. Many riders rode multiple mounts, with Jenny Karazissis returning to the ring on six separate rides, and Buddy Brown, Michael Leon, Rose Carver and Meghan Harris campaigning three horses each. With so many brilliant rounds from horses and riders at the top of their game judges had some tough decisions to make, but in the end Jenny Karazissis aboard Emily Sukert's Legacy took home first, and second place also went to Jenny, this time on Hope Town Farms' Undeniable. Celano, owned by Robert Peters II, and ridden by Michael Leon earned third, and last year's champions, Buddy Brown and Finally Ours came in fourth place.
The evening contained an incredible fundraiser as well for Shelter to Soldier, a non-profit that rescuers a shelter dog, trains it to be a service dog and matches the dog with a Veteran at no cost to the veteran. Shelter to Soldier's motto "Saving Lives Two At A Time" is more than fitting, saving both a shelter dog and a veteran. With each donation, the money goes directly to funding for the dog's training, supplies, vet care and food. The charity had multiple live and silent auction items, including a gorgeous painting from Donna Bernstein that she completed during the fundraiser, and the Charity Woof Cup Challenge teams! It was an incredible night supported by wonderful riders and sponsors, including the riders in tomorrow's Charity Woof Cup Challenge, Will Simpson, Mandy Porter, Enrique Gonzalez, Eduardo Menezes, Richard Spooner and many more who came to support the charity's efforts in providing our Veterans with the best service dogs. We thank everyone who came to support the event and donated their time and money for the cause.