Harrisburg, Pa.—Oct. 14
“My baby Point Being, I was so proud of him,” was the first thing Kelley Farmer said when we sat down after the gelding took the grand green championship and the second year greens.
“At Capital Challenge he was very good and he got second in a class with Mindful in the high performance, and he was just starting to put it all together,” said Farmer. “This year he’s been great sometimes but he tries so hard he’s sometimes an overachiever, which is not a bad thing. I said to Larry [Glefke, who trains her horses] ‘I think he’s just about to put it all together.’ ”
And put it together he did. “Aachen” an 8-year-old warmblood, won three over fences classes on the way to the championship.
“He got better and better,” Farmer said. “In the first class yesterday he went absolutely perfectly. The handies are sometimes a little bit hard for him because when you start to turn him he thinks he’s supposed to try harder and he held it together in the handy. He held it together [and finished eighth.]”
“He jumped great in the schooling area, and I said, ‘He’s not going to get any better, so let’s go in,’ ” added Glefke.
“We knew he had to go good and he gave me 150 percent both times,” said Farmer. I couldn’t have asked him to be any better.”
John French traveled from California for the reserve with Montana Coady’s Ranger.
Farmer also took top call in the high performance hunters with her powerhouse Mindful, who was champion of the division last year as well. The black Hanoverian won both over fences yesterday and took second twice today to solidify his victory.
“Mindful speaks for himself. I don’t know what is left to be said about that horse,” she said. “How thrilling for him to be champion again. He’s an amazing animal, and he keeps proving it over and over again.”
Scott Stewart took the reserve on A Million Reasons, a 10-year-old Holsteiner mare (Coriano—Inema) owned by Betsee Parker.
Schatt Fashions A First Year Green Three-Peat
Heading into the under saddle for the first year greens, Havens Schatt was feeling pretty nervous. The championship came down to the under saddle placings, so she understandably wanted to have a good showing. But then she also had the added pressure of trying to go for her third championship in this division in a row.
“I thought he really had a chance coming here, and I have been champion in the first years the last two years in a row with Bacardi and Set To Music, so this year I was like, ‘I think I have a chance and I think that would be really cool to do it three years in a row with three different owners.’ ”
A blue in the hack gave her enough points to solidify the championships over Scott Stewart and David Gochman’s Catch Me. (Read more about this horse’s own comeback story here).
“When it came down to the hack today, and then I had to wait for a long time because he’s the only one I’m showing, I’m like, ‘Don’t pick up the wrong lead. Don’t let him do a lead change. You cannot blow this now. There’s not even any jumps in the way.’ ”
Schatt likes to refer to “Red” as her “come from behind horse,” since he slowly improves his scores from round to round. The 10-year-old Mecklenburg was previously known as RF Red Rum and competed in low-level eventing until fall of last year.
“His instinct was see the jump, be scared and take off at it,” explained Schatt. “Which I’m pretty strong rider, and there were a couple times where I’m like ‘whoo, my arms.’ He’s just slowly changed his muscle and his body shape and the way he wants to canter.
“In the hack you’re able to drop his head and let him go, where at the beginning you had to always be putting his head down because he wanted to stay up,” she continued. “He’s come around. I couldn’t be more happy with him.”
Red also competes in the low amateur-owners with his owner Shaw Johnson Price and will be competing in the division later at Harrisburg.
(To learn more about how Custom Made has come along in the hunter and why Havens is thinking of changing his his name to blue, check out the Nov. 2 issue of the Chronicle.)