Hannah Isop and Red Ryder Rise to Top $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at HITS-on-the-Hudson V

Saugerties, NY – July 30, 2022 – The fifth week of HITS-on-the-Hudson featured the best of the best in the Hunter Stadium on Saturday as top hunters navigated their way over a Hunt & Go style derby course during the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Capturing an impressive score of 361, Hannah Isop and her veteran mount Red Ryder garnered the day’s top honors with an emotional victory.

Hannah Isop and Red Ryder. Photo by: ESI

In the Hunt & Go style derby at HITS Saugerties, every horse and rider combination completes their first-round classic round, and immediately continues on to the handy round. The course featured two high options in the classic round and two in the handy, as well as a trot jump in the handy, followed by a long gallop to the final oxer going towards the gate.

At 18 years old, Red Ryder is a derby veteran and proved he still has a perfect winning style in the ring, earning scores in the 90s from all four judges to earn an overall 361. “Ryder hasn’t shown since Florida, but we are gearing back up, so I was really happy with the way he came out – we knocked some of the rust off,” laughed Isop. “Anytime in the ring with him is special; I am very lucky. I’ve been so fortunate to have him – he’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime kind of horse.”

Isop began riding Red Ryder in 2014, and their eight-year partnership has stood the test of time with top placings throughout the country. Riding out of her family’s Harkaway Farm in Brewster, New York, the shows at HITS-on-the-Hudson offer a hometown feeling for Isop, and she was thrilled to showcase Red Ryder in front of her friends and family.

Hannah Isop and Red Ryder

“He just liked that there were lots of people to watch him go,” expressed Isop. “It’s always special to win here. Saugerties is like a hometown show for me, so it’s always nice to win in your hometown!”

Finishing behind Isop in second place was Sara Taylor, who piloted Mysterious Ways to 360.5 and the red ribbon as one of the last to go in the class. Rounding out the third spot was Brian Feigus aboard MTM Coco, with a total score of 354.

Sara Taylor and Mysterious Ways

One more week of competition remains as part of the Summer Series during the HITS-on-the-Hudson season, which runs through September at the world-class facility. Week Six is a World Champion Hunter Rider event and will feature another $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, as well as the $5,000 USHJA Hunter Team Challenge – East and the Children’s Hunter Pony Finals. For more information about HITS-on-the Hudson click here.