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  • Writer's pictureCatie Staszak

Partridge Notches 1-2 Finish in USHJA National Hunter Derby

Quinn Partridge & Falkor. ©tbird/Kady Dane Photography

Quinn Partridge led wire-to-wire in Thursday evening's USHJA National Hunter Derby at tbird, securing a 1-2 finish for owners Effortless Equestrian Farm during World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Week.

Partridge rode Falkor to the top of the class with a score of 176, followed closely behind by VDL Iglesias (173). Donna Wnuk (CAN) rounded out the podium aboard Casallfina with a score of 167.

The pressure was on Partridge in a day full of waiting. The derby, which didn't begin until nearly 7pm PT, marked her winning mount's only class of the day, and after posting the highest first round score, the pair had to wait again through 11 handy rounds to jump again.

"It's always hard, I think, coming out late in the day. This was [Falkor's] only class today, so he was just hanging out, waiting for his moment to shine," Partridge said. "The fact that he could put in two consistent rounds—as it's dinnertime, the sun's going down, there's shadows, there's lots of commotion—and keep focused and give me brilliant jumps, [that's] what I was most pleased with."

Meghan Rawlins’ (CAN) handy track offered plenty of opportunities to show off, and Partridge capitalized on the lanes available for inside turns, opting for greater handiness over high options. The strategy proved fruitful, with Partridge recording the highest marks of the round—and receiving identical marks on her two mounts. Ultimately, it was the classic round that proved the separator, with three points deciding the final placings.

“With the first horse I went in on, VDL Iglesias, I was playing it by ear and seeing what my options were. I don’t do as many high options with him, so I had to kind of vary my track that way and just get a layout of the land,” Partridge expressed. “Then as I came back in on top for with Falkor, watching the person go before me gave me some options. [I decided that I] needed to make those inside turns and just be efficient and give my horses good options for good jumps.”

It was a family affair for the mother-daughter duo that make up Effortless Equestrian Farm. Falkor was acquired for junior rider Keswick Rounds last fall from Imagination Lane, while VDL Iglesias is the ride of Keswick’s mother Brinette Bobb. The “Canadian veteran” gelding formerly competed with Kassidy and Cheryl Keith’s Keepsake Farms.

“There are so many opportunities [to jump derbies at tbird]—not just WCHR Week, which showcases the National Derby as well as the International Derby. But tbird also has the fun Canadian Derbies that are a single round [and] more of a handy format, and they give the 2’6″/2’9″ Child and Adult [Hunters] Hunt and Go options,” Partridge shared.

“Derbies are becoming obviously more prevalent in our sport,” she continued. “The fact that we can do it from the ground up and coach our kids and adults and continue to try and produce top quality derby horses—Thunderbird does an excellent job in showcasing that for the hunters.

USHJA National Hunter Derby

Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Score

1. Falkor / Quinn Partridge / USA / Effortless Equestrian Farm / 176

2. VDL Iglesias / Quinn Partridge / USA / Effortless Equestrian Farm / 173

3. Casallfina / Donna Wnuk / CAN / Donna Wnuk / 167

4. Coralina / Lindsey Garner / USA / Kate Churchfield / 166.5

5. Devil's Advocate / Kassidy Keith / CAN / Jada Chapleo / 163

6. Central Park / Channay Lloyd / CAN / Channay Lloyd / 159

7. Karanca / Nina Vogel / USA / A Patri Gorai / 158

8. Top Quirado / Lindsey Garner / USA / Sienna Karriker / 155

9. Highlight / Travis Root / USA / Tanya Hardy / 138

10. Gabriel IV / Rodney Tullock / CAN / Donna Rooney / 136 


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