The 2013 $2,500 Franktown Meadows National Hunter Derby in Carson City, Nevada was the competition to attend on August 2, 2013. Jenny Karazissis navigated the Dutch Warmblood gelding, Undeniable, to two victorious rounds over Phil DeVita's beautifully designed hunter derby and handy hunter hunter courses.
Equestrian Karazissis and Kelly Straeter’s horse topped the field of 26 horse and rider combinations in front of judges Raizy Goffman and Carol Dean-Porter. Earning a 98 point score on the first round followed by a 100 made Karazissis’ win just points above second overall Woodstock and rider Hope Glynn. Sponsored by Julie Winkel of Maplwwood Stables, the National Hunter Derby is kindly benefiting the Food Bank of Northern Nevada.
Each horse and rider combination stepped in front of the judges on Friday to navigate the well-designed National Hunter Derby Course. With 12 fences and 4 options across a large grass hunter field, the competitors could not have asked for a better showing experience. The top 12 riders came back for the handy hunter round proceeding over 10 jumps with the same 4 options. Each course was challenging but fair, offering many long approaches and unrelated distances over and eye-catching fences.
Jenny Karazissis commented, “Friday was fantastic, it went extremely well and I have no complaints. I thought each course was great and they flowed well. In the handy you could be really really handy. There were places you could show off and still be a little bit handy.”
Karazissis took all four option fences on the first round but took only three on the handy hunter round. She explained, “I chose the lower option on the wine barrel jump because I thought it was handier to stay in the inside. I thought the option fence would be too harsh a turn to jump the higher option so I sliced the lower fence, setting me up for the right turn.”
Jenny Karazissis and Undeniable have been campaigning in the first-year green working hunter classes. A]t the $10,000 Hunter Derby in Blenheim, CA in June, she and Straeter’s horse garnered 3rd place overall. “Undeniable is a dream to ride,” added Karazissis, “His ability puts a lot of pressure on me because he does whatever I tell him to do. There is no arguing and no worries it’s all up to me to put him at the right place.”
She continued, “I would like to thank trainer Mary Gatti and owner Kelly Straeter for the opportunity to ride Undeniable. In 2010, I came to the inaugural derby but over the last two years I always had conflicts. This year I thought it would be really great to attend this derby especially because they had both the National and International as separate events. This derby is really taking off and I would like to thank everyone involved especially the sponsors, Julie Winkel, The Maclean Famiy, and Phil DeVita.