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Jenny Karazissis and Nonchalant Win the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, Honoring Arthur J. Hawkins - Special awards presented to Laura Wasserman and John French

Jenny Karazissis and Nonchalant

San Juan Capistrano, CA - Concluding their Handy round with a gorgeous gallop to the final oxer, Jenny Karazissis and Nonchalant took top honors in today's $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, honoring Arthur J. Hawkins. The pair sat third going in to the second round, but an impressive score of 186, including points for taking three high options plus six and eight handy points from judging panels one and two, respectively, placed them at the head of the class with a two-round total of 358.

The top twelve of twenty-seven entries continued on to the Handy round of the derby, which gave riders numerous options for inside turns. A serpentine-like turn back and forth over three barrel jumps, the middle of which was a trot fence, posed problems for several entries. Karazissis was among them with her first Handy ride, Emily Sukert's Legacy. Opting for a different turn to the barrels with Nonchalant proved to be a winning decision.

"I paid, and I learned my lesson and I didn't do it on my next one," she explained. "The top two had some bad luck, but I'm thrilled to have won."

The eight-year-old Nonchalant, owned by Briana Sukert, has won almost every derby he has entered with Karazissis. His remarkable record includes wins at Franktown Meadows and Sonoma Horse Park. He also placed in the top five at the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. When he's not winning derbies with Karazissis, Nonchalant competes successfully in the Junior Hunters with his owner.

Karazissis earned a USHJA bridle bag and a pair of Roeckl Sports gloves for her performance. She was also presented with a bouquet of fresh flowers by Ashlee McGee of Heritage Bloom. Nonchalant won a USHJA embroidered cooler as the Winning Horse. Briana Sukert received the Balmoral Winning Owner Award, and Mary Morrison won the Blue Ribbon Blankets Winning Trainer Award.

Augusta Iwasaki received The Plaid Horse Highest Placed Junior Rider Award

For her impressive second place finish aboard Iwasaki & Reilly's Small Adventure, young Augusta Iwasaki received The Plaid Horse Highest Placed Junior Rider Award. The One K Helmets Highest Placed Amateur Rider Award went to Allison Fithian for her finish just out of the top twelve with Madeline Fithian's Instagram. For his care of Matador, Everardo Jimenez earned the EquiFit Groom's Award for Best Turned Out Horse.

Jenny Karazissis and Nonchalant with Briana Sukert, Stephanie Sukert, Sergio Macias, Mary Morrison, Melissa Brandes and Ashlee McGee

Special awards presented to Laura Wasserman and John French
For her continual support of the show hunter industry - specifically the USHJA WCHR West Coast Hunter Spectacular and USHJA Foundation programs - the Arthur J. Hawkins Award for Excellence Selection Committee unanimously voted Laura Wasserman (pictured right) as this year's recipient. Wasserman humbly noted that she was surprised to see that all previous recipients were trainers.

"It's wonderful to be recognized. I just do it because it's something that I really enjoy," she said. "And I feel that I should give back to something that I enjoy."

The Arthur J. Hawkins Award for Excellence Selection Committee unanimously voted for Wasserman this year.

Laura Wasserman                                                           John French

John French received recognition for his continual success in the hunters over the past four weeks. French was distinguished as the Romfh Leading Professional Hunter Rider of the 2017 Blenheim Spring Series for accumulating the most points on his highest placed horse from its respective division. French rode in a total of 134 classes during the Blenheim Spring Classic III and over 90 this week during the Blenheim Spring Classic IV, earning him a winning sum of over 400 points.

More action to come at the Blenheim Spring Classic IV with tomorrow's $50,000 Spring Classic IV Grand Prix and Saturday's $7,500 Interactive Mortgage Horses 10 & Under Futurity class.

$10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, Honoring Arthur J. Hawkins

Place - Entry - Name - Rider - Owner - Overall Score
1. Nonchalant - Jenny Karazissis - Briana Sukert - 358
2. Small Adventure - Augusta Iwasaki - Iwasaki & Reilly - 349.5
3. Matador - Jamie Sailor - Taylor Cusumano - 337
4. Double Play - Missy Froley - Gail Morey - 326
5. Cocoluxe - Demi Stiegler - Tate Beteta - 325.5
6. Intuition - Kelli Di Gioia-Bautista - Kelli Di Gioia-Bautista - 319.5
7. Center Court - John French - Hiller Farms LLC - 311
8. Cavalier - Augusta Iwasaki - Goergy Maskrey-Segesman - 287
9. L'Con Reyes - Jamie Taylor - Bravado LLC - 273
10. Legacy - Jenny Karazissis - Emily Sukert - 262.5
11. Ninja - Nicole Haunert - Paul Haunert - 262
12. Skyhawk - John French - Laura Wasserman - 239



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