Oakley Clark and Cassiano Reign Supreme in $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at HITS Vermont :: HITS


Oakley Clark and Cassiano Reign Supreme in $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at HITS Vermont

Manchester, VT. – August 3, 2023 – Oakley Clark and Cassiano put their best hoof forward in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by Seesaw's Lodge, during the fifth week of competition at HITS Vermont. Reigning supreme over a field of 42 competitors, Clark and Cassiano were flawless in their classic and handy rounds to receive a total score of 180 to secure the win.

Clark and the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, owned by Morgan Eisler Bradley, have been consistent the past few weeks in the derby and have gathered multiple top placings. Thursday’s derby was the day the pair managed to top the field.  


Oakley Clark and Cassiano. Photo by Jess Windhurst.

“We got him almost exactly a year ago, and he does the 3’3” Amateur Hunters with his owner, Morgan. Recently, I've been showing him and doing the 3'6” Green Hunters,” Clark said. “He's been dabbling in the derbies a little, and I believe this is his first win. We've gotten second and third a couple of times – we've been right in the hunt a little bit – so I was really happy for him today.” 

The classic round of the hunt-and-go derby started with a single diagonal followed by a long approach to a single diagonal oxer, where riders either opted to go along the quarter line or around the jumps to reach the first few jumps. The first line in the course was uphill and flowed into the first high-option oxer. A bending line concluded the classic round where an airy, high-option vertical was set.


Oakley Clark and Cassiano. Photo by Jess Windhurst.

Clark and Cassiano scored a 90 in the classic round and continued into their handy round where they did tight, technical turns and were rewarded with another score of 90. During the handy, Cassiano slipped inside the end jump and flowed to the final high-option oxer of the course to produce the winning ride.

“It's great here. We're local, my farm is 15 minutes away, so we were here for two weeks, then we took a break for a week, and now we're back for this week and next. It's been great – the weather is nice, and the facility is wonderful,” Clark reflected on his time spent at the show. “It's been a fun couple of weeks. I love showing here, and all my customers love it too.” 


Morgan Ward and Comissario. Photo by Jess Windhurst.

Second place went to Morgan Ward and her own Comissario, a pair that has been consistently finishing with podium placings and ended the day with a total score of 178.5. Third place went to Emma Schauder and Vespa, an entry of Abby Kay, with a combined score of 176. 


Emma Schauder and Vespa. Photo by Jess Windhurst.

The HITS Vermont Summer Festival continues with another week of exceptional horse show experience. Weekly hunter and jumper classes for all exhibitors are found in the schedule, and spectators are welcome to join. The last week of the Vermont Summer Festival is fast approaching, but the excitement and display of horsemanship continue in full swing.