Ariana Marnell’s Imagination with Jamie Taylor; Photo by Amy McCool

Nov. 17, 2017 – Las Vegas, NV – For the second year in a row, Jamie Taylor and Ariana Marnell’s Imagination took home the win in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services. Not only was this a repeat victory of last year’s derby for the pair, but it’s also the third annual win for Taylor.

Of the 35 competitors that took to the ring, Imagination was one of twelve horses to qualify for the handy course. The pair received a score of 92, taking all four of the high options and the lead. The top twelve riders finished with quite close proximity in their scores, some separated by only a quarter of a point.

The second round proved to be quite the test for a handful of the competitors, resulting in a considerable change in the final placings. The handy round included a flowing bending line, many options for inside turns, and a long hand gallop to a single oxer. Taylor and Imagination made the challenges on course look easy, earning a high score of 91, making their two round untouchable total 183 points.

Along with the blue, Taylor won a pair of Roeckl Sports gloves, and earned Imagination’s owner a custom Ogilvy Equestrian saddle pad provided by Tack of the Town and an engraved pewter plate.

Jamie Taylor and Imagination with owner Ariana Marnell, Katie Taylor, Marty Bauman, and Denise Finch; Photo by Amy McCool

The mare is usually in the show ring with her owner, Ariana Marnell, in the Children’s Hunters. But Taylor explains, “She’s just a really good girl, a great horse, that steps up to the plate when we want to go do more. She likes big moments.”

As owner, Marnell won the Blue Ribbon Blankets Winning Owner Award, and Marnell’s trainer Denise Finch, a Las Vegas local, took home the Balmoral Winning Trainer Award.

Taking home the EquiFit Groom’s Award for Best Turned Out Horse was Tomas Pinajosa, who impeccably prepared Banksy for Carli Postel, who earned 2nd place honors.

Tomas Pinajosa, winner of the EquiFit Groom’s Award
for Best Turned Out Horse; Photo by Amy McCool

Junior rider Lauren Burke won the The Plaid Horse Highest Placing Junior Rider Award.

Lauren Burke with Amy Self and Marty Bauman; Photo by Amy McCool

With three horses in the class and three top twelve finishes, Alexis Meadows rode away with the One K Helmets Highest Placing Amateur Award.

Alexis Meadows, highest placing Amateur, with Marty Bauman; Photo by Amy McCool

Today’s Las Vegas National highlights include Round One of the WCE Equitation Finals, the $25,000 Interactive Mortgage U25 Developing Rider Series Final, and the $40,000 Las Vegas National Speed Stake, presented by Equithrive.

$2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Placing – Horse – Rider – Owner – Rd 1 Score/Rd 2 Score/Total Score
1. 348 – Imagination – Jamie Taylor – Ariana Marnell – 92/91/183
2. 320 – Banksy – Karli Postel – Grace Russo – 91/87/178
3. 138 – Believe In Me – Courtney Miller – Moonlite Beach, LLC – 86.5/88/174.5
4. 341 – Le Reve – Jamie Sailor – Riley Benvenuti – 87.25/85/172.25
5. 301 – Mr. Worldwide – Robert Blanchette – Shannon Stevens – 86/85/171
6. 258 – Legato – Alexis Meadows – Alexis Meadows – 84/86/170
7. 134 – Fair Play – Gabriela Pattinson – Carrie Silvano – 87/78/165
8. 510 – Lugano – Alexis Meadows – Alexis Meadows – 88/76.5/164.5
9. 369 – Pirouette – Nicole Kane – Heidi Kane – 89/75/164
10. 370 – Scotch on the Rocks – Nicole Kane – Kara Evanson – 87.5/76/ 163.5
11. 292 – Antwerp – Alexis Meadows – Alexis Meadows – 85.5/75/160.5
12. 486 – Abso Q – Ali Roesener – Ali Roesener – 83.5/74/157.5

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The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League boasts a minimum of US $2.4 million prize money across the series, and offers the best Jumping athletes from North America and around the world the chance to qualify for the jackpot of more than US $1.4 million (€1.3 million) on offer annually at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final.

A total of 14 athletes from the North American league will qualify for next year’s prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, which will take place at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France, from April 10-15, 2018. The top seven athletes from the East Coast US, top three from West Coast US, and the two best-placed athletes from Canada and Mexico, will qualify for next year’s Final, alongside winners of 15 leagues around the world.

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