John French and Center Court are winners at Menlo Charity Horse Show
John French riding Center Court led the victory gallop in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by Dr. Daryl K. Hoffman at the Menlo Charity Horse Show on Thursday, Aug. 8.
This year’s Grass Hunter Field transformation included a beautiful burgundy, gold and black trimmed carriage as centerpiece. The hunt country inspired fences were embellished with shrubbery, roses, and trees making for a classic Derby course that took the audience and riders back in time. The quick transformation of the grass field would not be possible without the volunteers who joined the course builders to add the finishing touches and strategically placed decorative foliage.
Don DeFranco led the International Derby Committee for 2019. “There’s no business-like show business” said Don with a laugh.“This year our volunteer who kindly provides the greenery for the Hunter fences was let down by his supplier, not his fault, but we had to scramble to get replacement greens. I put an all alert to the committee, and we had more than we could handle in the end.
“It really is great to be involved in this group effort. What I have learned from doing this is that when you really need something, people here will step up. I want to thank all of the volunteers, all of the sponsors and underwriters for their help and support, something we could not do without.”
Photos by Alden Corrigan Media; used with permission