Devon, Pa.—May 27
“I told him he’s on the best horse in the world!” Kelley Farmer sang out as Scott Stewart was being interviewed for his second year green hunter championship aboard Mythical at the Devon Horse Show.
Farmer developed Mythical into a winner in the first year green and high performance hunter divisions as well as a frequent headliner of USHJA International Hunter Derbies. But during the indoor show season last fall, amateur rider Becky Gochman bought Mythical.
Then, Gochman was riding with Peter Pletcher. But two weeks before Devon, she signed up to train with Stewart, and he got the ride on Mythical. He rode the Westphalian gelding by Cornet Obolensky in a few classes at Kentucky Spring in May, then headed to Devon.
Stewart may have only ridden Mythical a few times before Devon, but “I’ve gotten to see him go a lot though!” he said. “The idea was to get him around the ring before Becky shows him [in the amateur division at Devon] later in the week, and not to put too much pressure on him, and he ended up winning. He was perfect.”
Stewart admitted he wasn’t sure how his style would mesh with Mythical. “I tried to ride as best as I could like Kelley; it’s a little different style for me, but it works for him,” he said.
“She just gets up and gallops and drops the reins and I’m a little bit more of a controlled rider. I just tried to do what she does and he’s so much fun. I was worried I’d look too big on him—he’s tiny. I put my stirrups up four holes! But he has a huge stride,” Stewart said. He and Mythical took two blues and two thirds over fences for the tricolor. Stewart was also the reserve champion aboard Stephanie Danhakl’s Golden Rule.
While she had to watch her former ride win in the only division she didn’t have an entry, Farmer was victorious in the first year green and green conformation divisions, riding So To Speak and Scripted to championship honors.
She was especially thrilled with So To Speak’s title since the gelding—who shipped to the United States on the same plane as Mythical—is just turning 6. Farmer and her partner, Larry Glefke, bought him when he was 3 and barely broke. “He literally knew nothing. We just showed him here and there last year,” she said.
“He’s my baby. I’m so proud of him. He thought all those people were here to see him; he’s a little cocky. That’s his mentality,” she said.
Farmer said that Scripted needed to mature earlier in the year. “He was reserve a lot in Florida; he needed to come into his own a little bit,” she said. “By the end of Florida, he was getting it more. He had some dressage background. He’s Larry’s baby; he always says ‘That’s my horse.’” Scripted also earned ribbons in the regular conformation division—Farmer won both classes on the first day of that division with Quotable.
And while watching Mythical win with another rider was bittersweet, Farmer found the silver lining. “For my horses to not only be good for me but also to go on and be good for other people makes me very happy. I’m so proud of them all,” she said.