Lexington, KY—August 19, 2016—Trainer Larry Glefke may be well known for his loquaciousness, but Kelley Farmer’s performance aboard Baltimore in today’s Classic Hunter Round of the $275,900 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship left him uncharacteristically speechless after his whooping concluded.
Kelley Farmer and Jane Gaston’s Baltimore soar to first place in the Classic Round of the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. Photo credit: Shawn McMillen Photography
“Flawless. That’s all I had to say,” said Glefke of Farmer’s scores of 92, 95 and 92 aboard Jane Gaston’s 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding (by Balou Du Rouet).
Farmer agreed: “He was unbelievable and tried so hard. He’s so brave and can jump so much, so I never worry about what they build. He was unreal.”
Jane Gaston’s Baltimore and Kelley Farmer head into the Handy Hunter Round in first place. Photo credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA Archives
With all four high options taken, Farmer and Baltimore jumped to 291 points, which resulted in an 11-point victory-over herself. Farmer also placed second on Kodachrome, an 8-year-old warmblood gelding she began showing this summer for owner Nina Moore.
“I could not have been prouder of him,” said Farmer, who posted scores of 89, 90 and 89 with all four high options for 280 points. “He’s a first-year horse, and to walk in there and jump like that…. he was unbelievable.”
Kelley Farmer and Nina Moore’s Kodachrome end up second in the Classic Round of the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. Photo credit: Shawn McMillen Photography
Although Farmer, of Wellington, Florida, has missed Mindful, her 2016 Championship Qualifying Series winner who is currently out of action, she still had plenty of horsepower with four horses in the class.
“All of the horses were great today,” she said. “Those are incredible animals, and they didn’t let me down…they never do. It’s only if I get in their way!”
Helen Lenahan’s Miss Lucy, being shown by Kristy Herrera for just the second time, concluded the day in third place with 276.50 points, which thrilled the SBS Farms team. With rider Jennifer Alfano sidelined due to injury, Herrera was called into action and has gone above and beyond. In addition to today’s results in the Classic Round, Herrera finished fifth yesterday in the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship aboard Lenahan’s Girl Crush and also won the USHJA Pre-Green Tier II Rider Bonus.
Kristy Herrera and Helen Lenahan’s Miss Lucy are third going into the Handy Hunter Round to be held Saturday night.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Alfano of Herrera. “I was so nervous today I thought I might have a heart attack. I mean I’m not going to lie. I woke up this morning, and I was a little sad and feeling sorry for myself, but watching her going around made me teary eyed. I’m so proud of Kristy. It was amazing, and that was a hard thing she did today.”
Herrera grew up riding and showing with Alfano and trainer Susie Schoellkopf in Buffalo, New York, so although she didn’t know Miss Lucy well, she trusted Alfano’s advice and the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare.
“Obviously, she’s a professional at this kind of class,” said Herrera of Lucy. “I just tried to do right by her and stay out of the way, and she’s unbelievable. I felt like today when I went to jump No. 1, I knew we were set. She did her job, and, luckily, I did my job. I was nervous about it for sure, but she walks in that ring and puts her ears forward and gives you the confidence you can jump anything. It was awesome.”
The Classic Hunter Round attracted 67 starters and featured a track of 13 obstacles that simulated the fences found in the hunt field-such as logs, brush and walls-with heights ranging from 3’6″ to 4′. The course offered riders an opportunity to pick up bonus points by taking any one or all of the four optional fences set at a minimum of 4’3 in height (no maximum height).
Designers Bobby Murphy and Danny Moore also integrated unique sand sculptures into the course, designed by Team Sandtastic of Sarasota, Florida, which drew rave reviews from riders, spectators and attracted local media attention.
“The great horses could be great horses, and the more inexperienced horses could have a really nice experience, which I think makes a nice course,” noted Alfano.
The judges included Tom Brennan, Kim Dorfman, Mary Lisa Leffler, Bobbie Reber, William Sparks and Chris Wynne, who were split into panels of two and placed in strategic positions around the Kentucky Horse Park’s Rolex Stadium.
Since 2008, the USHJA International Hunter Derby Program has paid out more than $8.5 million. This year 254 horses were enrolled in the program from 32 states and Canada.
Farmer once again won the Leading Rider of the International Hunter Derby Championship Qualifying Series with $512,160, remaining the only rider to have received this award. Mindful, owned by Kensel LLC, again won the Leading Horse of the International Hunter Derby Championship Qualifying Series with $150,981.
This year the riders will once again contest a tiered Handy Hunter Round format. The top 25 pairs return for action in the $211,520 Section A Handy Hunter Round, with 20 horses shown by Tier I Riders and five horses shown by Tier II Riders.
The $52,880 Section B Handy Hunter Round includes a field of 20 riders, with 15 jumping for Section B money only. The scores for the five Tier II Riders in the Section A Handy Hunter Round carry over to the Section B Handy Hunter Round.
Twenty-three horse-and-riders are invited to compete in the $10,000 Derby Challenge, supported by PJP Farm.
To view the full results and to see the order of go for tomorrow’s Handy Hunter Round, click here.
The USHJA, in partnership with the EQSportsNet, is providing a free live webcast of the evening’s activities, beginning at 3 p.m. ET. For a complete schedule of the evening’s competition, please see the USHJA website.
The 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship is generously sponsored by: Official Cooler: Blue Ribbon Custom Blankets; Challenge Prize Money Donor: PJP Farm; Awards Sponsors: Essex Classics, FITS Riding Breeches, and Shapley’s; Donors: Janet Peterson, Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw. The USHJA Official Sponsors include: Charles Owen, Inc., Professional’s Choice, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, and Standlee Hay Company. USHJA Contributing Sponsors including CWD Sellier, Nightwatch™, Perfect Products and Licensed Realtor Visse Wedell of Kirkpatrick & Co. in Kentucky and Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Florida; and Supporting Sponsors: Dietrich Equine Insurance and EnVisian. The Official Broadcast is EQSportsNet.
USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship Class Round Results