Lexington, KY - May 7, 2014 - Mindful is a brand new mount for Kelley Farmer, but the gelding looked right at home with Farmer in the irons during today's opening classes of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. The pair kicked off the two weeks of acclaimed hunter competition at the Kentucky Horse Park with wins in both the High Performance and Regular Conformation Hunters.
Farmer dominated the leader board in the Stonelea Ring throughout much of the day, earning wins not only on Mindful, but also aboard So to Speak, Scripted, Point Being and veteran champion Quotable.
"They are a great group," Farmer said of the string of mounts that she is competing this week. "Mindful is brand new. We have had him for less than 10 days, but he's very cool. He's got tons and tons and tons of ability. He's careful; he's simple, and he's brave."
Now owned by Kensel, LLC and Larry Glefke, the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding was just purchased from Callie Schott with the intention of becoming a top hunter derby contender for Farmer. If today's performances were any indication, Glefke and Farmer have picked a good one. Mindful claimed top spots in the High Performance and Regular Conformation Hunters and is positioned as a top contender for both of the division championships.
"I've got a lot of really nice horses, but right now they're all still a little young," Farmer said. "We wanted one for this division and for the [USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals] that had a little bit of seasoning under his belt."
While Mindful may be a bit more seasoned than her other mounts competing at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, they all are filled to the gills with talent.
Farmer started her day's winning streak with a first place finish in the First Year Green Hunters aboard So To Speak, another mount owned by Larry Glefke and Kensel, LLC. In the Green Conformation Hunters, she rode to back-to-back blue ribbons aboard Scripted, and in the first class of the Regular Conformation Hunters, she found the top of the leader board with Quotable.
Finishing just behind her winning mounts in the Regular Conformation Hunters and taking a blue ribbon in the High Performance Hunters was Larry Glefke and Kensel, LLC's So to Speak.
One of the few to break through Farmer's streak of wins today was Christopher Payne. Payne took top calls in the First Year Green Hunters aboard Maypine Farm's Truman and in the Second Year Green Hunters aboard Channing.
"Channing was happy to be in this ring," Payne said of the 9-year-old Holsteiner stallion, owned by Susan Moriconi. "For a stallion he's very, very easy and quite focused."
That focus helped them earn both a first and second place finish today, positioning them at the top of the Second Year Green Hunter division going into tomorrow.
"It's nice to be back to this venue. The horses love it here," Payne added. "The weather has been beautiful, and there's nothing better than a beautiful spring day in Kentucky."
Riders will have the opportunity to continue to enjoy the beautiful weather, as the Kentucky Spring Horse Show runs through Sunday, May 11. The professional hunter divisions conclude tomorrow in the Stonelea Ring, beginning at 8 a.m.
In addition to offering a full range of competitive hunter divisions, this week's hunter highlight classes include the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby and the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Saturday night in the Rolex Stadium.