The 2'3" Hunter Derby at the 2019 Downeast Medal Finals was won by KT Kicero ridden by Taylor Moon. Here is what Taylor had to say:
"My name is Taylor Moon and I competed at DMF for the first time in 2019. I moved to New Hampshire in August of 2018 after finishing my PhD in Immunology at the University of Rochester. I began my teaching at the Derryfield School just three days after moving east, and my husband, Matt, and I got married September 15th, 2018 (during finals - little did we know!). At the time I owned two lovely horses, Duke and Sport, and I had been horse showing with Seery Hill for about 9 years. I attended St. Lawrence University (where I met Matt) and rode under Mary Drueding and Cate Wagner there, and once I started riding and showing in the Seery Hill group I was hooked! While completing my PhD, I would trailer Duke to meet the Seery Hill crew at various horse shows - biding my time until I could ride with them full time. Moving to New Hampshire meant getting closer to the horse show family I had already come to know and love.
In the spring of 2019, Matt and I had the opportunity to purchase Kevin, my DMF horse. He belonged to a friend and classmate of ours at St. Lawrence, Casey Zuraitis, and he had already proven he could show in the hunters, jumpers, and equitation. My goals include the adult equitation division, and the Seery Hill team was confident this horse could take me safely around smaller jumps while teaching me the skills to move up when we’re ready. We are so thankful for everyone who supported us as we moved Kevin to New Hampshire and started our partnership.
Kevin and I tackled two foot equitation divisions most of the summer, earning blue ribbons at both GMHA and HITS. The idea of attending Downeast Medal Finals didn’t come up until a little later in the summer when it became clear that Kevin and I were getting more comfortable and ready to handle a bigger challenge. We attended a Back Bay Farm horse show where we won the qualifying class and committed to making the trip to Skowhegan.
Upon arriving at DMF 2019, we were greeted with so many friendly faces. The management did a great job of having stalls set up so we were able to get unpacked efficiently and start the lunging/schooling process. The days of finals were busy; the early schooling mornings were hard but the ability to school in a safe, quiet ring was worth it. DMF serves as a great opportunity for riders like me looking to challenge themselves in a finals atmosphere but not necessarily jump equitation division sized jumps. The ribbons are big and the prizes are many, so all the Seery Hill youngsters and adults were proud to walk away with tokens of our weekend in Maine. Kevin and I jumped to a win in the 2’3” derby which was a huge highlight for us and a real confidence boost for me as this height was a little bigger than I had jumped at shows most of the summer. We also earned the Reserve Championship in the modified adult medal, and I am so proud of the rounds we laid down at finals this year. We are enjoying a less demanding riding schedule right now, but Kevin and I have our sights set on more equitation finals in the future!"