From Green Horses to Derby Veterans: Bluegrass Festival Wrap-Up - August 2019

Caitlyn Shiels and CW Fringe Benefits. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

Caitlyn Shiels and CW Fringe Benefits. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

View this Great Lakes results recap and more inside our September e-newsletter here!

The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, is a show that the True North team looks forward to every year, largely because the show is the host of the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby Championship!

This year, in addition to “Derby Finals” Caitlyn Shiels also had the privilege of competing in the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships aboard CW Fringe Benefits (“Porter”), a five-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Corporate Way LLC. 

“Porter was such a good boy,” said Shiels of the gelding who was imported from Europe this spring, after only being started under saddle in November 2018. “His mind is amazing. As a five-year-old, he already has such a steady Eddie brain.”

“The first day he really rose to the occasion,” said Shiels of CW Fringe Benefits' performance in the Green Hunter 3', held August 13 through 15. “That ring is very hard, and with the flowers and the scoreboard, there’s so much going on. He really handled it like a veteran.

“Then, the second day he was even better,” continued Shiels. “The three-foot is so easy for him that he just marched around and stepped over the jumps without having to put in as much effort and really showcase his jumping. That likely knocked us a bit in the scores, but I could not be happier with his brain. He acted like he had done it three years in a row. He was super. For the short period of time that we’ve had that horse, he really rose to the occasion. I couldn’t ask for anything more.” 

Following the conclusion of the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships, Shiels turned her sole attention to the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship with Cassius, owned by Durpetti Equestrian LLC. 

Caitlyn Shiels shared more about this year’s “Derby Finals” experience in this blog post for The Chronicle of the Horse.

Shiels and Cassius ultimately finished fifth in Section B, following a well-executed handy round on Saturday evening, August 17. Read more about their result and rounds here.

Emily Riden