A seasoned group of hunters gathered in the R+L Arena for Winter Classic #7 at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington for another sensational hunter derby Friday. Scott Alder (USA) crafted the track for the field of 13 breathtaking horse-and-athlete combinations in the $15,000 USHJA National Open 3’ Hunter Derby. Spectators were eager to recognize Kristjan Good (CAN) and Carano (Cabardino) with applause as the pair climbed up the leaderboard to take top honors.

Alder’s first-round track gave riders the opportunity to set a consistent pace for the course, starting off with three single obstacles with long approaches. The second round tasked riders with showcasing the rideability and handiness of their mounts.

Good, of Kristjan Good Show Stable in Campbellville, Ontario, navigated the track with ease, demonstrating his expertise in the hunter ring. Good spoke on his experience with his talented young mount, “I have had Carano since he was three and he is eight now. I did him through his 3’6” year last year and I showed him the derbies at home in Canada. I showed him at the Royal Winter Fair and won a derby on him there. He is a really brave dude!”

The duo was in picture-perfect form and jumped to a score of 82 in the first round and returned for the handy phase in third place.

Good spoke on his different handy plan for his winning mount, “I knew I could challenge this horse more. The first horse that I did, Quirocks, is a lot greener and after watching Jason [Berry] I knew that I had to leave it all out on the table.”

An eight-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Alexandra Maletta, Carano impressed the judges as he made light work of the handy questions and maintained his expressive canter and athletic jump throughout the class. The duo won the prestigious title as they earned a second-round score of 90 for a two-round total of 172.

$15,000 USHJA National Open 3’ Hunter Derby Results:

1. Carano, Kristjan Good, Alexandra Maletta | 82 | 90 | 172
2. Escapade HS, Leann Kelly, Jack Shainman | 81 | 86 | 167
3. Vapiano, Brianna Snyder, Pick Investments LLC | 80 | 82 | 162
4. Mardi Gras, Jason Berry, Margaret Hackstedde | 92 | 69 | 161
5. Saturn, Brianna Snyder, Utopia Investments LLC | 66 | 80 | 146