Marisa Metzger and Sinmigo Dos Score Win in $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at Equifest II

Wayne, Ill. – August 6, 2022 – Hunters took the stage Saturday morning in the Lamplight Equestrian Center Grand Prix Stadium for a chance to top the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at HITS Chicago’s Equifest II. Riders were able to beautifully showcase their partners over the hunt-style course, with Marisa Metzger and Sinmigo Dos besting the field by scoring a 375.5 overall.

“Sinmigo Dos is 6 years old, and we imported him at the end of last year in August, so almost a year exactly from now,” stated Metzger. “He showed twice at 2’9”, twice at 3’0”, and then he started showing 3’6. He is just incredibly brave – we really think his future is as a derby horse.”

Marisa Metzger and Sinmigo Dos. Photo by: Alison Hartwell

The first round of the class started with an inviting vertical in the middle of the ring that led to long bending lines, four high option jumps throughout the course, and one in-and-out. This is where Metzger and Sinmigo Dos started racking up their points with scores of 93.5 and 89 for a total of 182.5, which would end up winning the first round.

“I’m really enjoying having the classes [in the Grand Prix Stadium], and I think it’s a really good experience for them to be in a bigger environment,” explained Metzger. “I’m always trying to make life interesting for [Sinmigo Dos] even though he is so young. Having it out there is just great, and he is able to sparkle a little bit more.”

The handy round started with a vertical bending to an option jump followed by two rollbacks, the last of which led to a trot jump. Riders then went on to a bending line, in-and-out, concluding with a long ride to the final oxer. Having won the first round, Metzger and Sinmigo Dos were the last to see try their hand at the handy round, and they did not disappoint. Taking the short turn off the rail to the first jump along with their tidiness and precision, the pair scored 99 and 94 for a second-round total of 193 and an overall score of 375.5.

 Marisa Metzger and Sinmigo Dos. Photo by: Alison Hartwell

“He has an incredible owner in Kathryn [Fleck Peisach], who is so supportive of him and me, and the goal is for him to be her amateur hunter,” exclaimed Metzger. “She is just giving him all the time to develop and enjoying the journey!”

This is not the first time this pair has made a trip to the winner’s circle, as Metzger and Sinmigo Dos were able to garner the 3’6”/3’9” Green Hunter Incentive title earlier this week. “We love it here. The facilities are so charming. The town is so fun, and our clients really enjoy it,” commented Metzger. “We find the staff friendly and accommodating, and I think our horses perform really well here!”

Holly Shepherd and Tybee. Photo by: Alison Hartwell

Following close behind Metzger and Sinmigo Dos in the placings were Holly Shepherd and Tybee with an overall score of 373, which would help land them the second-place honors. Metzger also closed out the top three with her second ride, Unbreakable Z, earning a 363 overall and securing the third-place prize.

Marisa Metzger and Unbreakable Z. Photo by: Alison Hartwell

One more week of hunters, jumpers, and equitation remains as part of Equifest at Lamplight Equestrian Center during the HITS Chicago Series, which runs through September at the world-class facility. Equifest III will feature a $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, as well as classics ranging from the Children and Adult Hunters to the Junior and Amateur Hunters. For more information click here.