Tulloch Triumphs with Casalito’s Boy in DIHP Canadian Hunter Derby

Langley, BC — Over the summer in Langley, professional Rodney Tulloch (CAN) was tasked with a most difficult assignment.

His client Jaclyn Jarrell was on the hunt for a new horse, but she had specific instructions: Her next mount had to be a “unicorn.” After all, the horse would be taking over for another that was simply irreplaceable.

Jarrell’s longtime partner Bartez—a winner from Thunderbird to Spruce Meadows, the Royal Horse Show and beyond—passed away in December at the age of 22.

“She didn’t ask me to find a replacement. She asked me to find a unicorn,” Tulloch specified. “You could never replace that heart horse.”

But when Tulloch saw Kalima Ngobi’s Casalito’s Boy jump at tbird in June, the resemblance to Bartez was uncanny, from the horse’s build to his white socks and small blaze.

Jarrell ended up leasing Casalito’s Boy, and when she isn’t competing in the Adult Amateur Hunter division, Tulloch gets to show the gelding in some bigger classes. Thursday evening at tbird, the pair won the DIHP Canadian Hunter Derby with a score of 100. Samantha Smith (USA) and Cashew Q finished second (92), followed by Ashley Arnoldt (CAN) and Light My Fiare (91).

“[Casalito’s Boy] is super uncomplicated. He’s really special,” Tulloch said. “He just tries very hard, and he’s interested in everything. I know I can do any inside turn, and that makes it so fun.”

Held in a one-round format, the Canadian Hunter Derby is judged as a handy class. Judges award a base score for the round. A High Performance Bonus and Handy Bonus—each up to 10 points—are then added to that number to comprise the final score for the round. Tulloch and Casalito’s Boy finished eight points ahead of their closest competitor; the field was tightly bunched behind them.

“I just have so much faith in the horse,” Tulloch said.

DIHP Canadian Hunter Derby – Open
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Score

1. Casalito’s Boy / Rodney Tulloch / CAN / Kalima Ngobi / 100
2. Cashew Q / Samantha Smith / USA / Lauren Brummett / 92
3. Light My Fire / Ashley Arnoldt / CAN / Jennifer Arnoldt / 91
4. Silver Lining / Chelsea McNeil / CAN / Cindy Ferrie / 88
5. Momma Cita / Ruby Wall / CAN / Ruby Wall / 87.5
6. Oliver van de Leeuwerk / Allison Lagan / CAN / Brittany Qualls / 87
7. Wayfinder / Nicole Bourgeois / USA / Hilary Sosne / 86
8. Old Times LS / Samantha Smith / USA / Red Gate Farm LLC / 85