Devon, Pa.—May 28
When the phone rang late one night just over a month ago Kelley Farmer assumed the worst. But on the other end of the line Evan Coluccio’s voice revealed excitement, not concern.
“We wouldn’t have this horse, Mindful, without Evan,” she recalled. “He found his video online and told me to get out of bed and open my email immediately.”
That interrupted sleep proved worth it when Mindful and Farmer clinched the high performance hunter championship today at Devon.
This marked just their fourth show together, and Larry Glefke, who bought the horse in partnership with Ken and Selma Garber, admitted the fact he was already qualified for Devon aided the decision to buy him. The Hanoverian of unrecorded breeding had shown in the jumper ring, and recently swapped to hunters with Callie Schott, who rode him to the circuit championship during Gulf Coast Winter Circuit (Miss.) under the name Grappa.
“Mindful he’s a quiet horse,” said Farmer, Keswick, Va. “He’s an easy horse, he wants to do everything in slow motion but he’s not a dull horse. I don’t do well with dull! He wants to be careful and high and he’s brave. He’s amazing. And every time I walk into the ring, I ask him to do something else and not only does he do it, he does it better than I thought.”
Mindful was second in today’s high performance hunter stakes and topped the handy hunter class on his way to the division title. That championship, and Quotable’s reserve regular conformation title, helped Farmer secure the leading hunter rider award for the second year in a row. She also won her third the leading lady rider award.
“Last year was the first year I dethroned Scott [Stewart],” she said. “It’s been close between us for the past few years but last year was the first year I beat him!”
Farmer acknowledges the friendly competition between them makes for great fun.
“I think there are other people and other great riders with great horses but I think, in general, Scott comes to a show with a larger string than most,” she added.
Added Glefke with a laugh, “When you beat Scott, you are going to be successful!”
Stewart certainly didn’t leave empty-handed. He rode Showman to the top of the regular conformation hunter title for Krista and Alexa Weisman and claimed the high performance hunter reserve title on Stephanie Danhakl’s Golden Rule.
“He felt great,” said Stewart, Flemington, N.J., of Showman. “Yesterday in the first class I think was the best round I think I’ve ever had on him. He got a big score and was absolutely perfect. He was the same way today. He was amazing in the first class and in the second class I made a mistake. But he was perfect, just the nicest, easiest horse to ride.”
Farmer’s green conformation hunter champion, Scripted, was awarded the grand hunter championship today.
“He came to us from at the age of 5 with an immense attitude but a kind horse,” said Glefke. “Due to his dressage background, if you really want to get in his face, he can get mad. He’s a quiet horse but if a quiet horse throws a temper tantrum, it can be a real problem. And he will throw a temper tantrum!”