Ashley Foster and Basalt Ace $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby at HITS Culpeper

Culpeper, Va. – August 27, 2022 – An inside turn was the key to victory on Saturday during the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby at HITS Culpeper. Heading into the handy, just one point separated Ashley Foster aboard Basalt and Samantha Wolfram aboard Pinot Del Sole. Knowing she needed to make up ground, Foster opted for a very tight inside turn to one of the high options, taking the victory by just one point with a 181 ahead of Wolfram’s total score of 180, which would earn the second-place prize.

“We bought Basalt from Daniel Geitner about two years ago, so he's been in our program a while, but he was imported to be a jumper, and I think that's what really makes him great at the handy,” noted Foster after her win. “He's really easy to turn, he's always in your hand and he is always ready to go whenever you need him. I think his handy is always his best round!”

Ashley Foster and Basalt

The feature class began with the classic round, which included two high options midway through the course and an in-and-out before the final bending line with the other two high options. The second round separated the best of the best and included three high options as well as inside turns to allow riders to showcase their mount’s handiness before they galloped home over the final option oxer for one last moment of brilliance.

Samantha Wolfram and Pinot Del Sole 

Foster returned for the handy round right before Wolfram and opted to lay it all on the line to earn the winning title. After executing the inside turn flawlessly, they received a handy round score of 93. Wolfram tried to catch her, also producing a smooth and flowing handy round, but their score of 91 would leave them ranked just behind Foster in the final standings. Ken Krome and Clayton F rounded out the top three after earning a total score of 173, but it was Foster who would return to lead the lap of honor with Basalt.

Ken Krome and Clayton F

“[Basalt] is pretty experienced, and I just knew that whatever I asked of him, he would be up for it,” said Foster. “I chose all the high options, and there was this pretty inside turn to one of the bigger options that gained me an extra point. I knew I had to do it if I was going to come back. I was in second, so I just tried to choose all the inside turns and take all the high options, and it paid off!”

Basalt is a 12-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Heather Bamford, who normally shows him in the Amateur-Owner Hunters. “Heather is amazing and lets me do the derbies on him whenever I get a chance,” smiled Foster. “I always take advantage of it because he is so much fun – he is so brave and ready to go whenever you ask him.”

Ashley Foster and Basalt

Foster has been competing at HITS Culpeper her entire life and was thrilled to add another victory to her resume. “I have literally been coming to this horse show since I was born,” she laughed. “I can remember doing short stirrup here, the ponies, junior hunters, amateur owners, and now the professional classes, which is awesome. It's one of our local shows and it's just such an easy show for us and they do a great job – we always come back.”

One more day of hunter competition remains during the Constitution Classic at HITS Culpeper, but riders will have the opportunity to return in September for the Culpeper Finals, featuring another $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, as well as the Culpeper Equitation Classic and the $20,000 HITS Open Prix. For more information or to submit your entries click here.