Haylie Rolfe and Michigan ODF Master $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at Lamplight Summertime III
Wayne, Ill. – July 22, 2023 – The $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at HITS Chicago captivated spectators who gathered early morning at the Douglas Elliman Ring on Saturday morning to watch some of the best horse and rider combinations compete for the top prizes. When Haylie Rolfe and Michigan ODF entered the ring, they immediately drew the judges' attention. With two outstanding rounds, the pair scored impressive two-panel scores of 175.5 and 178 for a total of 353.5 to take home the winning title.
Haylie Rolfe and Michigan ODF
“Michigan ODF is owned by Leslie Coolidge. She's been a client of ours for about 20 years now. Leslie actually bred this horse and I showed the horse's mother for her too in the junior hunters. So we've had Michigan ODF his whole life,” Rolfe explained after her win.
The International Derby kicked off with the classic round designed by Dean Battaglia, which featured four high options, areas for smooth rollbacks and adjustable bending lines. The riders then returned for the handy round, where a trot fence was introduced in addition to giving riders options to choose their own track to a few fences as well as offering some long approaches to provide exhibitors the opportunity to showcase their mounts' handiness, pace and overall jump of the horse.
Michael Tokaruk and Fenway
Rolfe and Michigan ODF earned a two-panel score of 175.5 in the first round, landing them at the top of the leaderboard right off the bat. Michael Tokaruk and Fenway, earned a first round two-panel score of 175, placing the team in a close second. In the Handy round, Michigan ODF was brilliant over each fence and topped the standings, earning a two-panel score of 178 for a combined winning total of 353.5. Tokaruk and Fenway took home the second-place award, earning a handy round score of 171 for a combined score of 346, falling just behind Rolfe. Friday’s Derby winner, Kathleen Caya, rounded out the top three with one of her three mounts, Copa Du Cache, after earning a first round score of 165 and a handy score of 172 for a combined total score of 337.
Kathleen Caya and Copa Du Cache
“I loved the first round. There was so much flow to it,” noted Rolfe, “I thought Dean set a beautiful course, lots of brush and beautiful ground lines. Then the handy was a lot of fun. There were a lot of places you could show off and really turn and it rode great!”
Being local to the area and riding out of her family’s Our Day Farm, Rolfe expressed her love for Lamplight Equestrian Center, concluding, “This is my main showgrounds and it truly feels like home to me. My house is 10 minutes from here, so you can't beat that – it’s amazing to be able to go home every night. I will say the Grand Prix ring is one of the best in the United States. I think it's just so beautiful, the footing is great for the horses and they do such a great job maintaining these grounds. The whole venue is just absolutely gorgeous. ”
Hunter action at Lamplight Equestrian Center will continue tomorrow with the final rounds of the USHJA Hunter Team Challenge as well as the $50,000 Finish Line Grand Prix to conclude the Lamplight Summertime Series and next week will mark the start of three weeks of Equifest as part of the full HITS Chicago Series, which runs through September at the world-class facility.
Haylie Rolfe and Michigan ODF