top of page
  • Writer's pictureM4E

Ones to Watch for the Chicago Equestrian Hunter Derby Finals

The winner of the 2019 Hunter Derby Finals was Can’t Beat the Feeling ridden by Christina Stelter and owned by Andrea Stelter. Photo Abby Hutzler/M4E

Roscoe, IL – August 13, 2020 – Three shows remain before the 2020 Chicago Equestrian Hunter Derby Finals, October 2-4, 2020, hosted by Showplace Productions on the popular Illinois Hunter Jumper Association (IHJA) B Show Circuit. Who are the ones to watch as they finish out the season, vying for the coveted year end awards?

Riders who compete in the derbies during the series earn points toward awards for the Leading Horse, Leading Professional Rider, Leading Junior Rider and Leading Amateur Rider. In addition to special awards, Showplace Productions makes the derby finals an exceptional event in conjunction with the IHJA B Medal Finals at Ledges Sporting Horses in Roscoe, Illinois. 

Carmine D'Aversa will be defending her title as 2019 Leading Professional Rider. Photo Abby Hutzler/M4E

Five derbies have been held so far (top three placings listed below) with professionals Carmine D’Aversa from Perfecta Farm in Elgin, Illinois, and Abbie Dvorak of Breakaway Farm, Madison, Wisconsin, standing as contenders for the Leading Professional Rider Award. Haley Buchmiller of Elysian Field Stables, Chesterton, Indiana, is knocking at the door as well to nab the title. D’Aversa plans to defend her title after winning the Leading Professional Rider Award in 2019.

D'Aversa won the Leading Horse Award in 2019 on Scout, owned by Ellie McEnery. For 2020, GG and His Dream are in the hunt for Leading Horse with three shows remaining. Earning three, top placings so far, GG, a warmblood mare owned by McEnery and shown by D’Aversa, stands a good chance at taking the title. The eight-year-old began her show career in the spring of last year and is really getting confident in the show ring in the pre-green division along with the derbies. The pair also won the Show the Love February $100 Bonus, sponsored by Chicago Equestrian, awarded to the February derby winner.

His Dream, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood, owned by Andrew Pappas, earned his first derby victory at the Perfecta Farm Show. In the last year, the gelding made a switch from the jumpers to the hunters, showing competitively in the Low Hunters with Buchmiller and recently in the equitation. The pair also took a second place finish in January and stands to give D'Aversa a run for her money.

Haley Buchmiller and His Dream won the Chicago Equestrian Derby at the 2020 Perfecta Farm Show. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography.

There’s plenty of time for the juniors and amateurs to duke it out as well for the coveted titles but they’ll have to earn a few more good ribbons to seal the deal and walk away with the top prize.

The 2019 Leading Junior Rider in the series was Delaney Gale pictured with Chicago Equestrian representative Abby Hutzler. 

The derby series was created by Brenda Mueller of Chicago Equestrian and made a reality with the help of Pat and Nicole Boyle of Showplace Productions. As a professional and a member of the original Chicago group that started the derby concept back in 2007, Mueller felt opportunities for young professionals and greener riders to participate in hunter derbies didn’t exist, so the series was born. 

“The Chicago Equestrian Derby is a great addition to the circuit as it gives riders the chance to participate in something really special at heights they are comfortable and safe with,” said Mueller, pictured right. “It’s been great to see the derby grow over the years and to see the excitement in a young rider when they make it to the victory gallop. I wanted the derbies to happen to help make the sport better, make the riders better, and to create inspiration for riders to want to move up into tougher competition.

“The Chicago Equestrian media business has been around for about ten

years now and has grown from a local company to a national company since I stopped riding and training as a professional. At the end of 2020, Chicago Equestrian will become Marketing4Equestrians, already operating as a full-service national equestrian marketing company. It’s a bitter-sweet celebration to see the name Chicago Equestrian go, as Chicago has been my roots for most of my life. But I’m glad the classes will continue, thanks to Showplace, just with a new name. I’d like to thank Showplace and the entire staff for everything they’ve done and continue to do for the local level riders as well as the national level. They know how to make horse shows special, so it’s been fun to see the results of their huge efforts.”

Showplace Productions opens up the spectacular grand prix ring for the finals and sets a beautiful course with natural jumps that are decorated to the nines with flowers and brush. Riders compete at their division heights ranging from 2’ to 3’. The awards are always top of the line with presentations to make the day memorable for all. The IHJA B Medal Finals will follow the Chicago Equestrian Derby Finals for a full day of great competition. 

Show dates for the remaining B shows are August 21-23, September 4-6, and September 18 – 20, 2020. Derby Finals are scheduled for October 2-4, 2020. Prize lists available at

Good luck to all the exhibitors! If you haven’t entered a derby yet, give it a try. 

For more information on Marketing4Equestrians, visit the website at

Chicago Equestrian Derby Results to date (top three placings) 

For complete results visit

Can't Beat the Feeling (2019 Finals winner) with Jenny Rilling and Abbie Dvorak.

Showplace Winter – January

1 – Can’t Beat the Feeling and Abbie Dvorak

2 – His Dream and Haley Buchmiller

3 – GG and Carmine D’Aversa

GG and Carmine D'Aversa

Showplace Winter – February

1 – GG and Carmine D’Aversa

2 – Ephraim and Abbie Dvorak

3 – Advantageous RJC and Danielle Krug

Carmine D'Aversa with GG and Scout

Showplace Spring

1 – Scout and Carmine D’Aversa

2 – Brooks and Lei Schlitz

3 – Seuss and Abbie Dvorak

Quattro and Carmine D'Aversa

Showplace Summer

1 – Quattro and Carmine D’Aversa

2 – GG and Carmine D’Aversa

3 – A Sneaking Suspicion and Isabella Wiezbiskie

His Dream and Haley Buchmiller

Perfecta Farm

1 – His Dream and Haley Buchmiller

2 – Carlotta W and Stacy Ryback

3 – Arezzo and Mara Kranz-Olseng

About Marketing4Equestrians

Marketing4Equestrians is a full service equestrian media company that keeps the busy equestrian

in mind. Marketing plans are created by equestrians that know the market, the lifestyle of equestrian professionals, and the products they use. Services include press releases and articles, websites, social media, marketing plans, media training, events, and more. 


Brenda Mueller


What's in your marketing tack trunk?

bottom of page