Out with the Old, In with the New: Tulloch and Goodwin Top tbird Hunt & Handy

Juniors, amateurs and professionals alike took to the various sections of the $10,000 tbird Hunt & Handy Saturday afternoon in the Grand Hunter Arena at Thunderbird Show Park. Held first at the 3’6” fence height, followed by the 3’ to 3’3” fence heights, competitors tried their hand at a track designed by Kirsten Rodel meant to include elements of a classic hunter round and a handy hunter round in one. Taking the wins in the 3’6” Open section and the 3’-3’3” Junior/Amateur/Green section, respectively, were Rodney Tulloch and Dustin Goodwin.

Tulloch convincingly snagged the top spot in the $10,000 tbird Hunt & Handy 3’6” Open aboard Jembey Van’t Eigenlo. Tulloch and Christine MacLean’s 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Echo Van’t Spievield x Odermus R) put in a score of 91. Second place went to Light My Fire and Ashley Arnoldt for owner Jennifer Arnoldt on a score of 88, while Sloan Betker and Pat Beattie’s Crack took third with a score of 86.

Tulloch’s mount has not always excelled in the hunter rings, however. “He used to do the grand prixs with Gary Brewster,” Tulloch said of Jembey Van’t Eigenlo. “Gary thought the 1.45m might be a little much and maybe he needed a change of pace. He still, every once in a while, thinks he’s a big jumper so we have to be a little careful and manage him. But he just goes forward and always jumps the jump, and you know he’s got the scope. He’s not a classical hunter, but he’s a really fun derby horse.”

“Jembey” isn’t a mount that Tulloch gets quality time with at home. “I always get the catch rides on him because he lives in Kelowna and I live in Calgary,” Tulloch commented. “We just meet at the horse shows. He is such a lovely, straightforward horse. He is really fun to ride and the jump gives you such a good feel.”

The course for the day was designed to encourage the horses to jump well, and Jembey wasn’t the only horse to jump in stylish form and take home a high score. “You had to have a good gallop,” Tulloch remarked about the course. “The turns were really nice, and it just set the horses up to jump well. It really was a lovely course.”

When Tulloch isn’t showing Jembey, his owner, Christine MacLean, shows him in the Adult Equitation classes.

Tulloch will compete with Jembey during next week’s Western Family and the first two weeks of the Summer Fort series at tbird in August before focusing the gelding on bigger prize money. “John Anderson at Rocky Mountain Show Jumping is having a big series with $100,000, so we’re aiming for that,” Tulloch concluded.

As the 3’/3’3” section got underway, Goodwin wowed the crowd early on. Just 11th in the order of 42 with the 6-year-old Dolce’ Dacapo (Westphalian by Diacontinus), he scored a perfect 100. While other scores were still high, none could catch his ultimate victory in the class. The closest effort was that of Tulloch with Gabriel IV, owned by Donna Rooney, taking a score of 98 and second place. Third place honors went to Jordan Scott’s Black Pearl with Katrina Kilmach aboard, scoring a 97.5.

“I actually just met this horse this week,” Goodwin commented about Dolce’ Dacapo. “He’s a young sales horse that the owner offered me the ride on. I showed him in the Green 3’3” Hunters this week and he was champion, and today was his first derby. He’s young and he’s only been to a handful of horse shows, so he has a pretty special brain and seems really well suited for this. He was just a trooper out there.”

Dolce’ Dacapo sports an excellent record for hunter derby classes so far, scoring a perfect 100 in his first ever hunter derby. “I think it’s all about the horse,” Goodwin remarked on what led the pair to their high score. “He has some lovely qualities. He’s really beautiful to look at, he’s a beautiful mover, he’s a great jumper, and he has lovely expressions, so all those things come together and that’s really what it’s all about, those special qualities.”

Goodwin has been competing at tbird since 1998. “I grew up in Vernon, BC, and I basically grew up showing at tbird. I love coming here. It’s a beautiful, beautiful place. It’s really well run and everyone is so nice here. It’s so nice to have this in the Pacific Northwest; we’re very lucky.”

The West Coast Classic concludes Sunday with the $20,000 Just World International Grand Prix 1.40m in the Fort Grand Prix Arena.

$10,000 Tbird Hunt & Handy 3’6” Open

1. Jembey Van’t Eigenlo / Rodney Tulloch / Christine MacLean / 91
2. Light My Fire / Ashley Arnoldt / Jennifer Arnoldt / 88
3. Crack / Sloane Betker / Pat Beattie / 86
4. Kensington / Sloane Betker / Sloane Betker / 85
5. Casallord / Sofia Schliessler / Kim Ryzak / 84
6. Bugatti / Jennifer Tims / Jennifer Tims / 83
7. Clarimero T / Kate Walkington / Kate Walkington / 82
8. Quitello / Maggie Nealon / Maggie Nealon / 80
9. Ivanhoe F / Nyha Leclerc / Nyha Leclerc / 77
10. Arctic Bay / Sonja Sward / Sonja Sward / 76

$10,000 Tbird Hunt & Handy 3’/3’3” Junior/Amateur/Green

1. Dolce’ Dacapo / Dustin Goodwin / Jordan Pierson / 100
2. Gabriel IV / Rodney Tulloch / Donna Rooney / 98
3. Black Pearl / Katrina Kilmach / Jordan Scott / 97.5
4. Darwin / Quinn Partridge / Gillian Baird / 97
5. Out Of The Blue / Georgia Hunt / Ellen Brown / 95
6. Celebrate / Cheryl Keith / Sarah Appel / 92
7. Cuba Libre Z / Sohpie Tupper / Brooke Tupper / 91
8. Dramatic DSF / Sarah Dinwoodie / Sarah Dinwoodie / 89
9. Casalito’s Boy / Kalima Ngobi / Kalima Ngobi / 88
10. Candelo Edel / Thea Muller / Thea Muller / 85