Jason Berry and Rock Point Jump to $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby Victory at HITS Culpeper

Culpeper, VA – August 26, 2023 – Saturday afternoon at HITS Culpeper featured the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, where fellow exhibitors and spectators gathered to watch friends vie for the top spot while enjoying the weekly exhibitor party. After giving it their all, Jason Berry and Rock Point dominated the Main Hunter Ring and captured the winning title.

“We got this horse a year ago – he is an 8-year-old now and my wife owns him. He does mostly derbies, Second Year Green Hunters and some Adult Amateurs with my wife. Eventually, he will go and be her Amateur-Owner hunter horse,” explained Berry.

Jason Berry and Rock Point. Photo by: Alison Hartwell

Entering the show ring second to last during the classic round, Berry riding his wife’s Rock Point, put in a beautiful and impressive first round, garnering a score of 93 and leading the pack into round two. It was clear the 8-year-old gelding enjoyed himself as he jumped across the derby course in classic hunter style and beautiful jump over all four high-option jumps.

“He rode perfectly today in the first round. The course was really nice - the course designer set a really great course to ride. He really stands out in his turns - the tighter you turn and the more he is surprised, the better he jumps and he really just wants to try for you,” said Berry.

Jason Berry and Rock Point. Photo by: Alison Hartwell

The last three riders ended up capturing the top three spots after Berry captured the highest handy round score and the highest derby score in the last 10 years at HITS Culpeper. Berry and Rock moved up in the second round and impressed the judges with their tight turns and were the only duo to follow the inside track after the trot jump. They ended up with a 94 and overall score of 187 points.

“In the handy round, the goal for him is just to turn tight and keep him surprised - I can really go after it oh him which in these classes is really nice to have a horse that will jump anything and is game for anything,” added Berry.

Grace Long and Music Man. Photo by: Alison Hartwell

Going in right before Berry was Grace Long riding Marilyn Richmond’s Music Man. The Performance Hunter shined in the National Derby, earning an impressive score of 91 in round one, including taking three of the high-option fences. Coming back near the very end in the handy, they laid down an elegant handy round to earn a 88 score and overall of 179 points. Rounding out the top three spots was Ashley Dewoolfson and her experienced derby mount, Corazon. The duo had another consistent national derby experience to land them one point behind long on a total score of 178.

Ashley Dewoolfson and Corazon. Photo by: Alison Hartwell

Sunday will be the last day of competition during the summer at HITS Culpeper featuring the HITS Grand Prix and culminating divisions with championships and classics. Action at HITS Culpeper returns in September with Culpeper Finals starting during the last week. For more information, visit www.hitsshows.com