Pletcher Wins the $15,000 ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby
Dallas Harvest Horse Show

November 10, 2008



Tyler, TX – November 10, 2008 – Peter Pletcher rode to victory in the $15,000 ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby on November 7 at the Dallas Harvest Horse Show in Tyler, TX. Held at the Texas Rose Horse Park, the event was managed by Patrick Rodes and proved to be successful and entertaining.

Pletcher of Magnolia, TX and his mount, Camira, bested a field of 19 over two courses to ride away with the $4,500 first place prize money. Camira, a 9-year-old mare owned by Melanie Barns, had previously placed third in her first Hunter Derby with Pletcher at the Country Heir Horse Show in Lexington, KY. Each Hunter Derby features a traditional hunter course and a handy hunter course. The top 12 riders from the traditional round are invited to ride the handy hunter course and contend for top honors. Derby courses are built to encourage and reward brilliance and daring from the rider and true athletic ability from the horse. On Friday afternoon, Pletcher and Camira showed just that.

“The course was amazing. I think it was actually one of the toughest courses of the year so far,” Pletcher said describing his rounds.

The course designed by Rodes was reminiscent of the hunt field and offered a challenging in and out combination that tested horse and rider at the last jump. Riders were asked to jump their horses out of the ring to finish the handy hunter course. Camira had a slight hesitation at the in and out, but Pletcher was able to successfully guide her over the obstacle.

“Camira was good, she was rock solid and easy, straightforward and really brave,” Pletcher commented on his horse’s ability to handle the course.

Since its inception in December 2007, the International Hunter Derby has been receiving praise from top professionals in the industry, Pletcher among them. “The program is excellent and something that’s been needed in the hunter world for awhile,” Pletcher shared. The class was created to bring the lost art of tradition and horsemanship back to the show ring and to raise show hunters to the international level.

The Dallas Harvest Horse Show Hunter Derby marks the end of the 2008 derbies, but the 18-month-series continues on into 2009. The top 75 money earning horses will be invited to compete in the 2008/2009 ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals on August 21 – 22, 2009 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. For up-to-date standings, click here.

Visit www.USHJA.org for a complete schedule and more information. Questions concerning the Derby can be directed to Melanie Fransen, USHJA’s Director of Programs and Education, at mfransen@ushja.org or 859-225-6960.

The 2008/2009 USHJA International Hunter Derby Series is supported by the following sponsors: ASG Software Solutions-Title Sponsor; Dietrich Insurance-Presenting Sponsor; Walsh Harness & Saddlery-Featuring Sponsor; Charles Owen & Co.-Major Sponsor; Dover Saddlery-Major Sponsor; Essex Classics-Award Sponsor
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For more information please contact Rachelle Wilhelm, Marketing & Communications Senior Coordinator at RWilhelm@ushja.org or 859-825-6005 or Whitney Allen, Director of Marketing and Communications, at wallen@ushja.org or 859-225-6967.

The United States Hunter Jumper Association Headquarters are located at 4047 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511. Phone: (859)225-2055 Fax: (859)258-9033 Website: www.USHJA.org.

Mission Statement:
The USHJA is committed to advancing and representing the hunter and jumper disciplines by fostering an educated community of equestrians that promotes the welfare of the horse and fairness in competition.

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