Jenny Karazissis and Emily Williams Win $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derbies During Blenheim Summer Festival

by | Aug 3, 2023 | Announcements, Press Releases

Jenny Karazissis and Really. Photo by McCool Photography

San Juan Capistrano, CA – August 3, 2023 – Jenny Karazissis and Emily Williams rode Really and Coastal, respectively, to $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby wins during the Blenheim Summer Festival.

Karazissis’ and Really’s victory came in the $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby – Open, while Williams and Coastal earned the win in the $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Hunt & Go – Junior/Amateur.

Karazissis and Really, a 14-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Michelle Cobb, were one of 24 entries to take on the class held on July 18, and scores of 90 and 93 gave them the win with an overall total of 183. Second place with dual scores of 91 for a 182 total went to Paige Dendiu and Expressive, owned by Kaylen Schwartz, and third place went to Tasha Visokay who rode Ingenium Farm’s Diablue to a score of 179.

For full results of the $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby – Open, click here.

In the $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Hunt & Go – Junior/Amateur held on July 19, the last to go was the best to go.

Shelby Drazan on her horses in 2014

Emily Williams and Coastal. Photo by McCool Photography

As the sun began to set over the Pacific Field, Williams and Coastal were the final pair of 38 horse and rider combinations to tackle the Scott Starnes-designed course, featuring three high options and an arduous trot fence. Barnmate Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave led the class from early on aboard her own Totally with an impressive score of 175, but consistency proved key for Williams. 

“I saw quite a few high first round scores with lower second round scores, so my plan coming into the ring was to just have two smooth and consistent rounds,” explained Williams.

The pairs’ beautifully executed course proved to be just that – smooth and consistent enough to earn a winning, total score of 179.  

This win is a highlight for Williams, as it marks her first ride in a Hunt & Go Derby.

“I was really excited for this class,” said Williams. “I thought the course rode pretty straightforward, but it gave opportunities to show brilliance, with the two long approach oxers and a long bending line.”

Emily Williams and Coastal. Photo by McCool Photography

Coastal, an 8-year-old American Warmblood gelding, is no stranger to success in the hunter ring, including having recently placed in the top 10 in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby SW Regional Championship at the Blenheim June Classic II. 

“Coastal is a really fun horse to ride,” said Williams. “He is slower with a huge stride and gives you such a great feeling over the jumps. In the barn, he is super playful; he loves to have toys in his stall.” 

For the win, Williams received an EquiTex scrim sheet, a Topline Design Ribbon Wreaths gift certificate, a Riderzon gift certificate and a Blenheim EquiSports picture frame. Trainer Karli Schroeder received an embroidered tack room pillow from Nick Byasse of Equestrian Design LLC. Williams was also presented with a one-month supply of Mary’s Tack & Feed‘s Nutrient Scoop as the Leading Amateur Rider in the derby.

Second place went to Arroyave and Totally, and Christina Smith rode Sunday Styles to third. For full results of the $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Hunt & Go – Junior/Amateur, click here.