June 22-23, we hosted our annual “Derby in the Field.” The show is sanctioned by the East Tennessee Hunter Jumper Association (ETHJA). Local riders and spectators enjoyed the spirit of competition, followed by a community shrimp boil.


I was inspired to create the derby because I want to provide the Knoxville community with an unforgettable experience. As a junior rider, my fondness for horse showing grew out of my experiences at large shows with featured classes. I especially loved the parties following the shows and wanted to pass on the gift of memorable times to other riders and spectators.

This event offers a big show feel to the Knoxville area by allowing exhibitors the opportunity to win money for the derby and hosting a dinner after the derby.  I enjoy bringing the ETHJA community together as we all celebrate the sport that we love so much.

Derby Winner Katie Ramsey and Wat Tyler Fiesta Farm Knoxville Tennessee
Alexandra Sawinski and Long Story Short
Lauren Sorah and Silver Slippers


Hunter classes took place on Saturday, followed by Jumpers and Equitation classes on Sunday. The shrimp boil was a highlight at the conclusion of the derby. Thunderstorms and heavy rains slowed the events schedule but didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the riders.

The show offered Hunter Classes from ground rails through 3’3” Jr/Am Owner Hunters and Jumpers .7m through 1.10m. The Equitation classes offered a range from ground rails through 3’ and also included Junior, Adult and Pony medal classes.

The two featured classes were the Tadpole Derby (offered at both 18” and 2’) and the $1500 Hunter Derby (offered at 2’, 2’6”, and 3’)

I enjoy bringing the ETHJA community together as we all celebrate the sport that we love so much.”



Riders from Knoxville and the surrounding areas competed for the derby prize. Many ETHJA riders participated, as Sonny Brook Stables works closely with the ETHJA. Due to weather and field conditions, the derby was moved to the main arena. Judging was done by Matt Piccolo from Arrow Hill Farm in Franklin, Tennessee.

The first round was a classic hunter round, offering single jumps as well as relayed distances and bending lines. Next was the handy round which gave participants the opportunity to really exhibit their skills. The order of the riders was reversed, allowing them to take notes as they observed the others so that they could improve. Options included a height option in both rounds and options for trot jump and hand gallop in the handy round.

Katie Ramsey and Wat Tyler of Fiesta Farm in Knoxville, Tennessee took First Place in the Derby, doing all of the inside turns where she could. Other entries placed as follows:

2 – Grace Roberts, Don LaRouge
3 – Lizzie Keek, Heartthrob
4 – Parker Tigner, The Bluh Mountie
5 – Alex Sawinski, Long Story Short
6 – Audrey Stapleton, Kiss Me Kate
7 – Jordan Ayers, Oliver
8 – Katie Ramsey, Hollister
9 – Shelby Williams, Armani
10 – Annie Owen, Lost My Sock
11 – Lauren Sorah, Silver Slippers
Claire Hutchinson, Hennessey
Louisa Wright, Dakota Snow