California Riding Magazine • July, 2013

Franktown Meadows
Hunter Derbies
Twice the fun in northern Nevada.

by Lindsay Y. McCall

For four years, the Franktown Meadows Hunter Derby in Carson City, NV has epitomized what the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Derby Series foresaw for the future of the hunter sport. The USHJA hoped for top professional hunter riders, high-performance niche horses, and events that embody the richness and celebration of the hunter derby sport.

Scheduled Aug. 2-3, the 2013 Franktown Meadows Hunter Derby weekend will once again showcase what the USHJA desired years ago. The weekend includes the $2,500 National Hunter Derby and $25,000 International Hunter Derby, both to benefit the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. The unique feature of these two derbies is that they are separate USEF Licensed events. For trainers, owners, and equestrians this means the same or different riders may compete on the same horses each day. "This will give people more flexibility and make the weekend even more exciting," notes competition manager and course designer Phil DeVita.

For West Coast circuit equestrians, the dates of Fri., Aug. 2, for the National Hunter Derby, and Sat., Aug. 3, for the International Hunter Derby means they can enjoy the weekend and ship to the Menlo Charity Horse Show in Bay Area, which begins the the following week.

"Menlo now follows us and Menlo is a major stop on the West Coast," adds Phil. "The Franktown Meadows Hunter Derby would only complement Menlo. Riders can come and ride on the most pristine grass hunter field in the country, have a couple of fun days showing in a vacation destination, and gain incredible preparation before shipping to Menlo."

Whether this is the fourth year for a rider to participate or this will be their first trip to the Franktown Meadows Equestrian Facility, they will feel rewarded and want to return the following year. "Franktown is one of the finest series anywhere in the country. The event has gained credibility with the riders and we are one of only a few standalone derbies in the country. Riders who have competed and spectators who have watched enjoy Franktown and know how great of an event it is."

The $2,500 Franktown Meadows National Hunter Derby judges will include Raizy Goffman and Carol Dean-Porter, while the $25,000 International Hunter Derby judges are Keith Hastings, Robert Crandall, Linda Hough and Tammy Provost.

The weekend activities will begin with a draw on Thur., Aug. 1, for the National Hunter Derby. On Aug. 2, the National Hunter Derby will begin with the first horse on course at noon. That same evening, the draw will occur at 6:30 p.m. for the International Hunter Derby. Sat., Aug. 3, begins with the ability to flat over the competition field at 8 a.m. At 10 a.m. the jog will occur, followed by a course walk, champagne brunch, Calcutta, calling of the hounds, and the start of the derby at 1 p.m.

Exhibitors will enjoy showcasing their mounts on the large grass derby field over signature hunter derby fences, while being watched, photographed, and videoed by over 250 spectators. The Franktown Meadows Hunter Derby weekend has consistently provided an excellent venue, with some of the best horses and top riders. The hunter derby series is about improving the sport and raising the bar. The Franktown Meadows National and International Hunter Derby exemplify this goal for the fourth year on Aug. 2-3.

For more information about the derby please go to www.FMHunterDerby.com or contact Aimee LaFayette at 775-722-1699.