Cool breezes and slightly overcast skies greeted the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, currently held at the Kentucky Horse Park. The month-long series of Kentucky Summer Horse Shows will be brought to a close this Sunday, August 22, 2010. The professional hunters competed skillfully today as they prepare for the $100,000 USHJA Hunter Derby Finals being held August 20 - 21, 2010.
The first division featured in the Stonelea Ring was the Green Conformation Hunters. Elizabeth Boyd on her mount Mackett, owned by Sarah Orberson, took home the first and fifth ribbons after a show of beautiful horsemanship on the course. Kelley Farmer was aboard Wordly, owned by Jennifer Smith, to placed first and second in the over fences classes held during opening day.
"It was great!" exclaimed Elizabeth Boyd, who will be riding in the Hunter Derby. "He was very brave, and just walked right in there, wasn't spooky and jumped nice. He was very consistent and kept a steady pace."
Mackett is an 8-year-old bought by Sarah Orberson this past spring. "We haven't had him that long, so I just let him catch his breath before the second round, but I was really pleased with him," beamed Boyd.
Boyd added, "I love it out here. We don't get to come here very often because we live in South Carolina. It's a little bit of a hike, but we always come in August, and it's just a pleasure to be here."
The Second Year Green Working Hunter division was next to show in the Stonelea Ring. Louise Serio and Do Tell, owned by Bridget Hallman, swept the ring with an astonishing set of rounds, bringing home two first place awards. "I loved my first round," smiled Serio. "We just came from Blowing Rock, which is a whole different venue. I thought he was awesome because he never got in the ring this morning or anything. He's just really gotten to be a fantastic ride."
Serio continued, "He jumped very sharp and tried really hard. I tried to be smooth and make it all fit together. Bridget does him in the Younger Amateurs, and has had a lot of success with him there."
Last in the order of divisions was the Regular Working Hunters. Kelley Farmer and her ride, Taken, owned by Nancy Amling, demonstrated excellent showmanship, earning her the top call in both over fences classes.
"This is his first horse show in this country, first horse show as a hunter," noted Farmer. "He's been a great horse so far! He hasn't jumped four foot in a while so I wanted to show him in the Workings so he isn't rusty for Friday. He's a good horse; I have to say, he never lets me down."
Farmer will be showing in the $100,000 USHJA Hunter Derby Finals this weekend, which will be held in the new Indoor Arena. "It'd be great to go outside but we're all going to the same place so it's an equal opportunity for all of us," said Farmer. "I love it here; beautiful rings, beautiful footing. The jumps are nice and you've got all this room to ride; horses like it here."
Tomorrow the Professional Hunter divisions will complete their second day of competition. Points will be totaled and the top and horse and rider combinations will score championship and reserve championship honors. On Friday, the First Round of the $100,000 USHJA Hunter Derby Finals will get underway at 8a.m.
For more information about the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.
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