UPPERVILLE, Va., June 11, 2022— Michael Britt-Leon won the Salamander Resort & Spa $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby aboard Bacchus at the 169th Upperville Colt & Horse Show presented by MARS Equestrian™.
Britt-Leon also finished third riding his 2021 Derby winner, Private I. In the Know, another previous winner of the signature hunter event at Upperville, placed second with Samantha Schaefer.
Britt-Leon had three rides in the class, and all three made it into the Handy round.
“We are really excited to be back at this horse show,” he said. “It was a challenging course, and I had a really great time with all three horses. Bacchus, being one of my handiest horses, pulled out all the stops and we were able to make all the turns and finish in the lead.”
Britt-Leon’s strategy for the Handy round was to make the most of the available inside turns, and executed them with finesse and precision, exhibiting Bacchus’ true handiness and style.
“The Handy is always my favorite part of the horse show,” he continued. “And Bacchus and I do everything together. We show in the Conformation, he does the International Derbies, and he is one of my favorite horses to ride.”
Britt-Leon and his team look forward to showing at Upperville annually, experiencing the presence of history and riding where the great horsemen of the past have shown.
“One of my favorite things about showing here is the incredible town,” said Britt-Leon. “So many members of the community come out to support the horse show; there’s a great atmosphere that comes with an audience and I’m quite fortunate today was my day.”
Salamander Resort & Spa $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
1. Bacchus, ridden by Michael Britt-Leon, owned by Kelly Sims
2. In the Know, ridden by Samantha Schaefer, owned by Madeline Schaefer
3. Private I, ridden by Michael Britt-Leon, owned by Kelly Sims
4. Autograph, ridden by Hunt Tosh, owned by Ceil and Kenny Wheeler
5. Salvatore, ridden by Baylee McKeever, owned by McLain Ward
6. Mindful, ridden by Jennifer Hannan, owned by Kensel, LLC