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  • Writer's pictureCatie Staszak

Keepsake Kiddos Claim tbird Hunter Derby Teams Challenge

The Keepsake Kiddos stand for the winner's presentation. Photo ©tbird/Kady Dane Photography


Langley, BC —Amanda Sinnett, Sophie Tupper and Dane Anson will leave the Spring Festival with an extra “keepsake.”


The trio, who called themselves the “Keepsake Kiddos,” linked up to win the tbird Hunter Derby Teams Challenge.


The unique competition features teams of three horse-and-rider combinations, each of which jumps a course of fences at a different height—2’6″, 3′ or 3’3″. Scores are accumulated for an overall score; the Keepsake Kiddos—comprised of riders hailing from Cheryl and Kassidy Keith’s Keepsake Farms in Langley, BC—won with a total score of 220.


Anson led the way for his team, receiving a score of 88 from the judges at the 3’3″ height aboard his partner Franklin, a former dressage horse who has found his niche in the hunter ring. Anson meets up with the Keepsake Farm team at shows while getting help at home from trainer Jenny Payne. He and Franklin have been paired for nearly two years.


“I like that with these teams, you can ride with your friends. It’s fun hearing the scores and celebrating with them,” said Anson, 14, Nanaimo, BC. “My favorite part of the round was the bending lines. They rode nicely.”


Despite coming together late—the roster was finalized the night before—the Keepsake Kiddos squad was amply prepared for the unique challenge. Sinnett was the most unfamiliar with her mount, pairing with a catch ride for her round. She navigated the 2’6″ height with Sarah Welch’s large pony, WW Rock the Cashbah.


“He’s eight this year, and this is his first derby,” Sinnett said. “I’ve done one derby before, and [today] I was a little nervous with it not being my own horse. [It was great to] have the support from my team behind me.”


Tupper completed the squad and delivered with a score of 82 at the 3′ height aboard Cuba Libre Z, better known as “Cubes.” The 9-year-old gelding was formerly a jumper in Europe before being imported and transitioning to a career in the hunter ring.


“I like having a team I could rely on,” said Tupper, 16, North Vancouver, BC. “I liked having a team to help and cheering them on.”


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