Jimmy Torano and Laskano Take the Tricolors in $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, Presented by Bainbridge Companies

Dec 3, 2021 - 4:30 PM

For Immediate Release

Wellington, FL – December 3, 2021 – The jumps were raised to maximum height on Friday in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring for the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Bainbridge Companies, which gave hunter contenders a chance to showcase their talents. Course designer Jasen Shelley crafted two winding tracks for the occasion, which were mastered by Jimmy Torano and Isalou Inc.’s Laskano as the victors with 366.50 points. It was the second derby win for Torano in a week, having won the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by Meadowview, Inc., on Andee Holland’s Lochridge Prince during the 2021 71st Annual SFHJA Charity Horse Show.

Jimmy Torano and Laskano, pictured with Daryl and Isabel Portela, topped the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Bainbridge Companies. ©Sportfot

“Right now I’m very fortunate to have some great hunters and owners. This horse is such a winner. Every time you can count on him. He is a good all around horse, and he wins in the derbies and the divisions,” Torano commented of Laskano. “He is the ultimate derby horse, but has been champion in divisions at most of the major horse shows. I think he won every class this week. We are hoping to keep him in the big events and gear him towards the big money classes this upcoming season, including Derby Finals.”

The classic round of the class included a large course with four high options, which helped a majority of the entries add to their base scores. At the conclusion of the first phase, Torano of Wellington, FL, held the top spot with Laskano with 179 points, followed closely by Tiffany Morrissey of Wellington, FL, on Dr. Kathryn Withers’ Copernicus K with a score of 177. Morrissey also held third position on Heartfelt II, owned by Diener Farms LLC, with 174 points. The cut-off score for the top 12 sat at 155, eliminating a handful of competitors from advancing to the handy round of riding.

Jimmy Torano and Laskano ©Sportfot

“Today I had the luxury of being in the lead after the first round, so I could play it a little safe in the handy. Normally I would jump every high option, but the course was tough today. Jasen [Shelley] really threw everything at us today, so for the second round I felt I didn’t need to take all the risks, just hold onto the lead, and it worked in our favor,” Torano reflected. “I gotta say, last week and this week they built the jumps to maximum specs, which was nice to open the horses’ eyes and see what they will be faced with the rest of the year. I was pleased that management decided to hold a derby here this week.”

Back for the handy phase as the final challengers, Torano needed to score 185 points to ensure we surpassed Morrissey and Heartfelt II, who were sitting at the top of the standings. The duo’s conservative, yet efficient, round sealed the deal as they were awarded 186.50 points to push their final tally to 366.50 and secure the lead spot in the victory gallop. Morrissey and Heartfelt II claimed reserve honors with 363 points, followed by Keri Kampsen of Wellington, FL, on Jessica Leto’s Frosty HD in third position with a final score of 360.

Click above to watch the winning derby ride!

For the full results of the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Bainbridge Companies, please click HERE.

Kristy Herrera and Valhalla won the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Laura King’s “The Power To Win.” ©Sportfot

Earlier in the morning, the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Laura King’s “The Power To Win,” saw 20 partnerships vie for the blue ribbon. It was a competitive class, with 78 points serving as the cut-off score for the top 12 following the classic round and headed into the handy phase. Leading from start to finish was Kristy Herrera of Wellington, FL and Kate Ellis’ Valhalla, who claimed victory with a total score of 188. The duo earned 92 points in the first round, and then improved upon their performance over the handy course with a score of 96 to keep them at the top of the leaderboard by six points. Riding Chivalry for Little Brook LLC, Geoffrey Hesslink of Shelbourne, VT, piloted the horse to second place with a cumulative 182 points, the only other combination to earn two scores of 90 or higher. Havens Schatt of Georgetown, KY, and Hannah Toohey’s Contara rounded out the podium in third place, just a few points behind with a final score of 179.

Kristy Herrera and Valhalla ©Sportfot

The ESP Holiday & Horses CSI4* will continue for two more days of equestrian action, with the highlight event taking the from of the $214,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI4*, presented by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, on Saturday evening. Following the conclusion of the event on Sunday, the ESP Holiday Series will continue for four subsequent shows, culminating with the ESP Holiday Finale from December 29, 2021 – January 2, 2022 ahead of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival.

To view the ESP Holiday Series Prize List, please click HERE.

Photo credit ©Sportfot. These photos may only be used once in relation to this press release with proper credit.


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