The student surpassed the teacher when Adrienne Sternlicht beat McLain Ward's clear round time by nearly a second to win the $15,000 Merrill Lynch Speed Derby, presented by Sotheby's International Realty, at the 41st annual Hampton Classic Horse Show.
"McLain told me before the class that it was essentially my class to lose," said the 23-year-old resident of Greenwich, CT. "I think he wanted me to beat him, so I was really happy that I was able to execute it."
Riding Raia D' Helby, owned by Starlight Farms, LLC, Sternlicht mastered the course in 85.878 seconds, nearly a second faster than Ward's time of 86.793 seconds. Sternlicht believed it was due to the jumping style of her 11-year-old Selle Francais mare.
"I think I gained time on McLain because my horse doesn't jump as lofty as his and is a little quicker across the ground," said Sternlicht. "I just tried to stay really smooth and play to her strengths and she was amazing. My horse is used to jumping in bigger classes, so I knew I could challenge her in terms of speed. She's very careful and very brave, so I think where other horses needed to take extra time, I was able to stay on my pace. I think I let her down in the speed class yesterday, so I was happy that I was able to pull through for my horse."
Source: Press release from Classic Communications // Picture © Shawn McMillen Photography
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