Antioch, Illinois – The Chicago Hunter Derby, presented by Canadian Pacific (CP), kicked off on Friday at Annali Farm in Antioch, IL, ushering in a weekend of top equestrian competition benefitting the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation, the USHJA Foundation, and Horsefeathers Therapeutic Riding. Earning opening day victories at the charity horse show were Doug Boyd, of Chicago, IL, and the Chicago Hunter Derby’s own Caroline “Carl” Weeden, of Antioch, IL.
Weeden, the co-founder and host of the Chicago Hunter Derby, claimed the win on her home turf in the $7,500 International Derby Welcome Stake, presented by Sea Change Farm, riding Corvine, and Boyd and Calido’s Son were named the winners of the $2,500 National Derby Welcome Stake, also presented by Sea Change Farm.
Caroline Weeden, of Antioch, IL earned the win in the $7,500 International Welcome Stake, presented by Sea Change Farm,
on the opening day of the Chicago Hunter Derby. Photo by Aullmyn Photography
“Corvine is a great horse,” Weeden said of the nine-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Piper Benjamin of Lake Forest, IL. “He’s an old soul. He’s always been sort of a made-up horse right from the very beginning. Piper’s really been able to do a lot on him. She’s been super successful on him, and I’m fortunate to get to ride him for this while she is at school.”
While Weeden and her husband, Rush Weeden, have generously opened the gates to their Annali Farm for the Chicago Hunter Derby for nearly a decade, Friday’s win aboard Corvine marked Carl’s first victory at the event which attracts a number of the nation’s leading hunter horses and riders.
Caroline Weeden and Corvine, owned by Piper Benjamin, on course at Annali Farm. Photo by Aullmyn Photography
“I’ve been close. I was second in the International Hunter Derby by half a point,” Weeden said. “Tammy Provost and I were duking it out one year, and I almost caught her.
“But really to me the most fun part about being here is watching these other riders out on that field,” Weeden continued. “Obviously when you have a horse like Corvine, it’s super fun to ride around out there; I love riding him, but it’s just as much fun to see others out there as well.
And though Weeden calls Annali Farm home, there is no home-field advantage for the winning rider.
The win in the $2,500 National Welcome Stake, presented by Sea Change Farm, went to Doug Boyd
and Mimi Rothman’s Calido’s Son. Photo by Aullmyn Photography
“We’re not allowed [to ride on the field regularly] because my husband doesn’t want us to ruin it for the Chicago Hunter Derby!” Weeden said. “Instead, our horses get out on that field this weekend and kind of think, “what happened to it?” because they’re not used to seeing all of the fences set up out there. We try to really save the grass for this event.”
In preserving the quality of the field, the Weedens create the ideal setting for the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Hunter Derby event that continues to receive high praise from spectators and riders alike, including from Friday’s other winner, Doug Boyd.
“The field is absolutely amazing,” Boyd said. “The vintage feel of the jumps and all of the pomp and ceremony that they put along into it, it’s just like an old fashioned horse show.”
In addition to winning the $2,500 National Hunter Derby, Doug Boyd (pictured riding Calido’s Son) is proud to support the Chicago Hunter Derby through his Sapphire Riding Academy, sponsors of the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.
Photo by Aullmyn Photography
In addition to winning the $2,500 National Hunter Derby on Calido’s Son, owned by Mimi Rothman, Boyd is happy to play a sponsorship role in this year’s Chicago Hunter Derby. For the third year in a row, Boyd’s Sapphire Riding Academy returns as the presenting sponsor of the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.
“This is a great show, and we love the charities involved, including the USHJA Foundation,” Boyd said. “We want to be able to give back to the sport.”
The $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Sapphire Riding Academy, gets underway at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and will be followed by the first round of the Chicago Hunter Derby’s main event, the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by CP, beginning at 2 p.m.
Saturday’s competition is open to the general public and will offer something for the whole family and individuals of all ages, including a petting zoo, boutique shopping, face painting and more.
The show concludes on Sunday with the finale, the second round of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, beginning at 1 p.m.
To learn more and to view the full schedule of events, please visit www.ChicagoEquestriansForACause.com.
Final Results: $7,500 International Hunter Derby Welcome, Presented by Sea Change Farm
Rider Hometown Horse
1. Carl Weeden Antioch, IL Corvine
2. Emma Lena Green Carmel, IN Hennessy
3. Erica Quinn Maineville, OH Celtic Fire
4. Maria Rasmussen Milwaukee, WI Memorable
5. Carl Weeden Antioch, IL Fernelli
6. Kelley Farmer Keswick, VA Need I Say
7. Rush Weeden Antioch, IL Oak Grove
8. Meagan Murray Highland Park, IL Editorial
9. Maria Rasmussen Milwaukee, WI Subject to Change
10. Kelley Farmer Keswick, VA So To Speak
Final Results: $2,5000 National Hunter Derby Welcome, Presented by Sea Change Farm
Rider Hometown Horse
1. Doug Boyd Chicago, IL Calido’s Son
2. Rush Weeden Antioch, IL Naples Bay
3. Carl Weeden Antioch, IL Poetry
4. Mindy Coretz Tulsa, OK Happy Hour
5. Maria Rasmussen Milwaukee, WI True Colors
6. Tammy Provost Westfield, IN Troubadour
7. Ryan Sassmannshausen St. Charles, IL Poetic
8. Ryan Sassmannshausen St. Charles, IL HJ Atleta II
9. Samantha Douglas Tottenham, ON, CAN Tellier
10. Carl Weeden Antioch, IL In Time