Brunello, a Hanoverian owned by Janet Peterson and Liza Boyd, has helped change the reputation of the hunter horse. Imported from Belgium in 2007, this big chestnut gelding has been known to make the audience clap and holler mid-course. Brunello loves to jump and has shared that love with anyone who has watched him go. He has shown the world his explosive talent, winning the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship an unprecedented three consecutive years (2013-2015), with Liza Boyd in the irons. He has changed the way people look at the hunters and has built a fan base along the way.
His biggest fan is Boyd, who experienced three uniquely different championship wins. In 2013 Boyd and Brunello won five USHJA International Hunter Derby classes prior to the championship, and in the 2010 and 2012 Championships, the pair earned a third and a second respectively. Boyd knew 2013 was their year to win.
In 2014, Boyd gave birth to her second daughter only three months prior to the big class. She returned to riding and jumping barely two weeks after giving birth so she could start training for the class. Initially, her goal wasn’t to win, but as the show drew closer her ambitions grew. She decided that Brunello needed to prove he could win it again – and that was the year they made history as the first two-time winner of the Derby.
By 2015 the pressure was on Boyd as Brunello returned to the Derby Championship and led the class after their first round trip. It was the most pressure she’d felt in the three years, but she felt she owed it to Brunello to be at the top of her game. Cheers started mid-course as the gelding jumped miles over the high options and the pair made history again, winning the championship for the third time.
In addition to talent, Brunello has a quirky personality. He is sweet and loves human affection, but his love stops with humans. Horses might be herd animals, but Brunello is different... he’s not fond of other horses. Warm-ups in the schooling ring can be tricky!
Thanks to the gelding’s fan base and unmatched talent in the hunter derby ring, Breyer, in partnership with Tryon International Equestrian Center, debuted a special Brunello model at the Tryon Spring 8 FEI CSI 5* in Mill Spring, NC in June 2016. A braided version of his model debuted as part of the regular line later that year.
Brunello's Breyer model was produced from 2016 to 2017.