Lexington, Ky. – May 15, 2022 – Hunter competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show came to a head on Sunday morning, welcoming top hunter exhibitors back to the StoneLea ring for the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. At the end of the competitive class, Kelley Farmer found herself in the winners circle aboard Meaningful.
The derby course set by designer Kevin Holowack (USA) featured 11 obstacles with three high options on a track that allowed the riders to showcase their mounts’ adjustability, style, and scope over fences. Long, bending lines and several combinations challenged the pairs to ride precisely in a manner that looked effortless if they were to advance to the second round and be considered for a top placing by the judges.
Farmer and Meaningful, a 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Emma Vandenhouten, glided around the first round course with ease, being awarded a base score of 90 by both judges. Combined with an additional six points for taking each of the high options, the pair was awarded a total of 186, claiming the highest first round score going into the second. Sam Berry on My Everything, an 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by Nicole Lyvere, earned the next highest score of the first round with a total of 173 after taking two of the high options, and settled into the second place position going into the handy round. Tim Goguen and Triton, an 8-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Garland Alban, sat in third with a total of 170 after taking only one high option.
The second round, complete with 9 obstacles and three high options, two rollbacks and a trot fence, gave riders the opportunity to make one more strong impression and showcase their horses’ skill around the tight course. Berry and My Everything put their best foot forward returning for the handy round, earning base scores of 72 and 73. With the addition of 12 points for the handy bonus, their handy total came out to 163, giving them a combined final score of 362.
Goguen and Triton set their sights on overtaking the lead going into the handy course, successfully besting Berry with base scores of 86 and 87. Earning handy bonuses of 8 and 9, the pair was awarded a score of 192, the highest scoring second round of the class. Their handy performance was good enough to move them up to second place with a combined total of 362. Goguen and Triton remained in the top spot until Farmer and Meaningful stepped into the ring, earning base scores of 78 and 87. Handy bonuses of 5 and 7, plus two high options, helped their total come out to 181. Their final score of 367 would keep them at the top of the leaderboard at the conclusion of the class.
Taking place just prior to the International Derby, the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby saw a field of 18 horse-and-rider combinations vie for the class’ top honors. At the conclusion of the second round, it was Havens Schatt who was triumphant aboard Good Vibes, an 8-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Leanne McMenamin. Schatt went home with two top placings, also finishing in second place with Contara, a 9-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by Hannah Tooey. Rounding out the top three was Shiloh Roseboom on Likely Story, a 14-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Enchantment Farms LLC.
Competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show Series will resume on Wednesday, May 19, with the kick-off of the Spring Classic. The highlight events of the week will include the $37,000 Welcome Speed CSI3*, the $37,000 Spring Classic CSI3*, the $140,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix sponsored by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, and the $35,000 Bluegrass Grand Prix sponsored by Audi of Lexington.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Kelley Farmer – $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Winner
“He had a beautiful first round, he’s such a good boy. His owner shows him in the small junior hunters, she will show him at Devon. They bought him from myself and Larry a couple of years ago. He had a small injury so he came back to me before Florida this year, and she showed him a little in the small juniors in Florida. He got a ribbon in every one of those derbies. He’s such a lovely horse, he’s brave, big strided, and has a ton of ability. He does everything and tries hard. He’ll do Derby Finals this year with me.
On the first round:
“I thought he went beautifully in the first round, he jumped lovely and smooth. It’s a smaller ring but the course was beautiful, and the course designer did a good job. I was thrilled, he jumped great and I couldn’t have been more happy with him.”
On what’s next for Meaningful:
“He’ll do a little bit of showing next week to be ready for Devon with his owner, then he will do the High Performance at Devon with me as well as the Derby. He will do the professional week with me. He stays with me for most of the summer so he will catch a few more derbies and she will ride him in a few more classes too.”
On the Kentucky Horse Shows:
“We love Kentucky, this is home when we leave Florida. As always that facility is fantastic and the horses love it. They put on a great horse show and it’s always lovely. It’s run well, efficient and the jumps are nice. They do everything they can to put on a great horse show and it’s always done professionally. You never have to worry about that because they always do it right. It’s nice to know that home has shows like this accessible and it’s done so well.”