Pine Top Farm has announced that Derek di Grazia will be taking over as cross-country course designer in 2015. Derek takes the reins from John Williams, who has had a very successful 12-year stint at Pine Top.
John, who rode on the USET’s bronze medal winning team at the Athens Olympics, has helped Pine Top achieve new heights. The recent February 21-23 Advanced event started a record 305 horses including 62 Advanced horses, and featured Pine Top’s first-ever CIC* and CIC**. Many new jumps were built with his help, and the feedback on his courses was very good.
Derek brings a wealth of credentials. He is an accomplished upper level rider, and he is the designer of the Rolex Kentucky 4-star course as well as other top level courses on the east and west coast, where he resides in California. Pine Top will be his first course in the southeast. He will design courses for both of Pine Top’s February events, which are very influential early-season dates on the eventing calendar.
According to Pine Top organizers Glenn and Janet Wilson, “We are thrilled to welcome Derek to the Pine Top team. We believe this is the first time that Rolex-bound horses in the east will have the opportunity to jump one of his courses in the run-up to the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in late April. Derek visited during our recent Advanced event and he felt right at home with our wide-open, rolling cross-country acreage, which has lots of similarity to the Rolex Kentucky property but with even better footing. We are looking forward to achieving new heights and we are very honored to have Derek on board.”