October 9, 2020 – Liza Boyd (Camden, SC) and Ferrari claimed the win in Friday’s $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), adding a handy round score of 202 to a 181 first-round result in order to receive 383 points total. With 379 points to earn second, Victoria Colvin (Loxahatchee, FL) guided William Lyles’ Avatar Z, the 2012 Zangersheide stallion (Arko III x Chang Lee van Berken Broeck), to a handy round score of 204, while Danielle Torano (Wellington, FL) achieved the podium with Faldo II, Jimmy Torano’s 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Baltic VDL x Rienaldine), after producing a total score of 378.5 over the Lewis Pack (USA) course design.
Liza Boyd and Ferrari
From placing in Grand Prix competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) to scoring big in the Grand Hunter Ring at TIEC, Boyd revealed that the 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Thunder van de Zuutehoeve x Sipora) is actually very new to the Hunters, and was purchased for a client sight-unseen as a Junior Hunter prospect.
“Ferrari is amazing. He just became a Hunter right after COVID-19 hit. At the end of WEF, he got a ribbon in a Grand Prix with Ilan Bluman. After that, Michael Morrissey and his wife, Lourdes, bought him and turned him into a Hunter.” After a few national derbies under his belt, “my brother, Hardin Towell, saw him and tried him. We actually bought him for our client sight-unseen. It was a little scary! He actually just came up to me and said, ‘Finally, you listen to me!’ He’s the one who told us to buy him. It’s fun because it’s a family affair. Even though my brother is a Jumper, he loves the Hunters and sells a lot of top Hunters.”
Victoria Colvin and Avatar Z
In the future, Boyd explained, Ferrari will be a Junior Hunter mount for owner Mary Caroline Nolan, and she’s only made slight adjustments to his training since taking over the reins. The biggest change she’s made, she admitted, has to do with equipment for both herself and Ferrari:
“I have to give all of the credit to Lourdes and Michael Morressy,” she emphasized. “They really spent the time with him during COVID-19 and were methodical about transitioning him. The only thing I changed from what Lourdes did was put Brunello’s bit on him. It may be lucky! I get a little superstitious, so I wanted to use his bit.” Tack wasn’t the only thing that might’ve brought her some luck, Boyd mused. “I actually just started being sponsored by Charles Ancona, and today was the first day I used their new shadbelly. It’s always a little bit nerve wracking riding in something new, and it proved to be very lucky!”
Danielle Torano and Faldo II
Boyd said she felt some pressure heading into the Handy round, and made some last-minute adjustments to her plan based on what she saw happening in the ring: “I always look at the Handy sort of like a jump-off, as far as who went before you, who went double-clear, and how fast they go,” she detailed.
“I changed my plan a little bit right before I walked in. I was going to not risk the high option at the last in-and-out, but then after Tori [Colvin] put such a nice round in, I had to go and do that. I was surprised at how much the horse followed my eye and trusted me, because it’s such a new partnership. I think with all those years with different riders, he really comes off of your aids and is so good on the flat,” she analyzed. “That’s what we need for the Hunters: they have to be rideable, capable, and brave. Clearly, he’s quite brave from all of his Jumper miles. I think he’s found his calling in life! I have to thank the Nolans for giving me the time to produce him and get him ready to be a Junior Hunter.”
Liza Boyd and Ferrari in their presentation ceremony.
Boyd, who has been sticking to regional show venues for safety in uncertain times, reported that she has gained a new appreciation for flatwork and switching up her routine between shows. “I’d say a positive thing about COVID is I’ve gotten better with my flatwork. Because of that, my horses are more rideable and mentally, they’re happier. They’ve done a lot of trail rides and a lot of flatwork, so it’s been good going back to basics. If anything, I’ve learned through COVID that you have to stay on top of your flatwork. Horse shows can kind of get in the way of that. You really have to go back and reset both you and your horse’s flatwork.”
For full results from the $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, click here.