For Immediate Release
Wellington, FL – June 6, 2021 – Two new names were at the top of the leaderboard in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Equiline, during ESP’s June I show of the ESP Summer Series, as Ella Bostwick of Wellington, FL, and Melissa Burns’ six-year-old Cake Walk both earned their first derby victory as the highest-scoring pair. Impressively, the class was the first rated derby for Cake Walk, but the gelding proved to be unfazed as he carried Bostwick to a final score of 172 and the lead spot in the victory gallop.
The 2021 ESP Summer Series will continue at Equestrian Village first with the ESP Equitation Day #2 on June 9, followed by ESP June II, which will be held June 10-13, 2021. ESP June II will give exhibitors the opportunity to earn USEF Premier “AA” points due to the USEF Presidential Modification. The series will have a short hiatus before picking up again with ESP Summer II from August 19-22, 2021, and will then continue through the final event that concludes on October 3. To view the ESP Summer Series Prize List, please click HERE.
“The idea was that he would live up to his name, and he has!” commented Burns, Cake Walk’s owner. “I got him as a four-year-old and he is almost seven. Its so great and exciting for him to have a derby win at this age. We couldn’t do it without Ella; she is a genius out there.”
Bostwick mirrored Burns’ praises of Cake Walk, saying, “He will jump fire without any preparation and does not have to see his space before going into it. He has never walked into this ring before today. I have been riding him since he was four years old, so I am very familiar with him. I am lucky to show. I just flow around the course and everything comes up with him; he’s awesome. He does the jumpers sometimes too, so he gets to see different jumps and liverpools.”
Following the first round of riding in the derby, Bostwick and Cake Walk sat in second position with a score of 84. Though it was the horse’s first rated derby class and first time in the grass ring, Bostwick felt confident in the gelding’s abilities to put in a strong handy round to go for the win.
“When I first went in, I originally was going to play it safe, but he felt so good I thought I could do the harder turns and be more strategic to make it more impressive,” reflected Bostwick of their handy round.
The combination’s handy round trip, which included all four high options, earned them a score of 88 and pushed them to the top of the scorecard, securing victory for Bostwick and Cake Walk. Isabel Beltran of Jupiter, FL, and Sazerac, owned by IMB of Jupiter LLC, jumped to second place just one point behind the leaders with a score of 171. With 161 points, Carlo Graziani of Wellington, FL, and Wakefield Stables LLC’s Cancun rounded out the podium.
Thanks to a series of top finishes, Joy Erikson of Wellington, FL, and Mill Pond Farm’s Generaal rode to the championship tricolor in the Perfect Products USHJA Hunters, which combined the 2’6”, 2’9”, and 3” heights. Over five classes, Erikson and Generaal earned three first-place finishes, plus a second-place result and third-place result. Lisa Sayer’s Aspen JSF, ridden by Marcus Cmola Au of Boca Raton, FL, was awarded the reserve championship.
Christina Brown of Naples, FL, and her own Gratitude P edged out the competition in the Resilient Fitness Adult Amateur Hunter division to claim the overall honors as champions. OVer the course of five classes, Brown and Gratitude P earned two first-place ribbons, and added to their total with two runner-up spots and a third-place result. Just two points behind on the cumulative scorecard, Angela Calicchio of Wellington, FL, and Cali Horse Sales LLC’s City Walk nabbed the reserve championship with similar results of two first-place finishes, one second-place result, and two third-place finishes.
In the equitation ring, Jayden Rivas of Delray Beach, FL, piloted Tiffany Breen’s Costera to the championship honors in the 12-14 Equitation division. Competing over 2’9” fences, Rivas and Costera earned two first-place ribbons and a second-place finish to secure their position as the best-performing pair overall. Sadie Remington of Loxahatchee, FL, and Tom Sawyer, owned by Janet Liu, captured the reserve championship.
To view the prize list for the 2021 ESP Summer Series, please click HERE.
To learn more about the safety protocols and procedures at the horse show, please click HERE.
Photo credit ©Anne Gittins Photography and ©Carly Nasznic Photography. These photos may only be used once in relation to this press release with proper credit.