The 2018 $1000 American National Farm Family 2'3" Hunter Derby at the 10th anniversary Downeast Medal Finals was won by Titan and rider Peter O'Connor. Peter was also the Reserve Champion of the 2018 DMF Modified Adult Medal! In this new Get to Know series, we will be highlighting the champions of our 2018 Medal Finals classes as well as our 2018 Hunter Derbies. Here is what Peter had to say. Congratulations!
"I started riding in my early 30’s when we moved from Boston to Myopia horse country in Ipswich, MA. Having grown up in suburban New Jersey, I had never ridden before and knew nothing about the sport. I took a lesson a week, for almost 20 years, on the wonderful school horses at Ascot Farm. I was finally able to start riding more consistently when my daughter and I bought our first horse Titan 6 years ago as an 11 year old. Titan had had an eventing career up to that point but has found his real passion in the hunter ring, with frequent rides in the country and the beach.
Now with the guidance of Megan Piermarini and Robin Petersen of Back Bay Farm, I developed the experience - and courage - to show consistently for the first time during the 2018 show season. We had some modest success at the local North Shore shows and finally had a few solid placings at GMHA, coming in 2nd in the Adult Low Modified Hunter and winning the Modified Adult Handy Hunter. Our season culminated this year at the Downeast Medal Finals with a win in the 2’3” $1,000 Hunter Derby and as Reserve Champion in the Downeast Modified Adult Medal.
The Downeast Medal Finals is an incredibly professional and well-run show. It was competitive but relaxed and, unlike shows of comparable quality, it was also affordable (this is particularly important to me with 3 riders in the family!). But perhaps most importantly, the Downeast Medal Finals was a great time. Between a busy job in Boston and boarding the horses at home, I have to be really selective about the shows I attend. I have come to realize, and value, how unique it is to compete against other accomplished riders and horses where the emphasis is on having fun. We can’t wait to return next year." -Peter O'Connor