The 2016 International Hunter Derby Championship at the Kentucky Horse Park will feature more than 70 of the nation’s top equestrian riders and a first for this type of equine competition. The course will include jumps over eight sculptures, made with 125 tons of sand.
Course Designer Bobby Murphy got the idea after seeing sand sculptures in 2010. He believes the horses will do just fine with a new type of jump. Murphy is not worried horses will clip the sand sculptures during their jumping competition. The designer says he would be more concerned about damage from tractors manicuring the course or curious spectators. “You know, the horses, you won’t see the damage so much in that, but people trying to come up and touch it,” he says.
The sand-sculptures involved in the jumps will include depictions of Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah, a ribbon, a fox hunt, and a “Fun-on-the-Farm” scene. Team Sandtastic is the name of the Sarasota, Florida-based group creating the sculptures. Team member Patrick Harsch says, while they make their sculptures with nothing but sand and water, they do use a sealer for rain protection.