Kelley Farmer hit it out of the park in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at Horse Shows By The Bay on July 16. She had five rides in the class, and ended up first and second on Bases Loaded and Taken.
Farmer has been unbeatable in the last three derbies she's shown in, and this one in Traverse City, Mich., was no different. She topped the first round on Taken, but then she overtook herself in the handy round on Bases Loaded. Both horses are owned by amateur rider Nancy Amling.
Bases Loaded was third after Round 1, but his handy round was going to be hard to beat, with scores of 99 and 94, with bonus handy points of 8 and 10. Taken had scores in the 90s in Round 1 for the lead, but as the handy round lasted until 9 p.m., shadows began stretching over the ring. Taken, 6, showed his greeness by being a bit worried by some of the tight turns Farmer negotiated. "This is really only his 11th horse show of his life. When it gets a little dark and he turns back tight on the jumps, he doesn’t spook—he just jumps higher," said trainer Larry Glefke, Farmer's partner.
His Round 2 scores of 96 and 895, with handy bonuses of 8 and 7, moved them into second.
"They're fun horses to have and to have them do so well thrills Kelley," said Glefke. "I put this string together for one reason and one reason only—these derbies. I went out of my way to find horses that would do this well. The most important thing to me is that they can jump huge jumps and jump them well. They all look like hunters, and they win during the week, too. I found real four-foot horses. It’s been something I put a lot of effort into because I saw how great the derbies were going to be. It took me about a year to get this string put together, but once I did, I said ‘Kelly, we’re going to go do this now.’ It’s an amazing group of horses."
Peter Pletcher had four rides in the class, and claimed third on the elegant bay NLF Shakespeare's Rhythm.
For complete results, visit www.horseshowing.com.