Kelley Farmer and Mindful topped Round 1 of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby today at the Winter Equestrian Festival. The 2014 Chronicle of the Horse Hunter Horse of the Year earned matching scores of 90 and topped all the high option fences on their way to the top of Round 1. She has a 10-point lead over Say When and Canadian Darcy Hayes, with Tori Colvin riding Heritage Farms’ Vaillero into third.
Martien van der Hoeven only came to Gulfport, Miss., for one week this winter, but he made it worth his while when he rode Cellino to the top of today’s $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.
That derby specialist spends most of his time in a paddock and enjoying light hacks in a field at home, only getting his mane braided when there’s a big derby on the schedule. And today Cellino’s experience came in handy today, helping him top the field of 35 to take the blue for Julie Thompson.
World Championship Hunter Rider program officials have selected Mindful as their Hunter of the Year. The 11-year-old gelding will receive the Peter Wetherill Cup during the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular for his achievement.
Kelley Farmer and Mindful couldn’t have had a much better trip to the Verizon Center for the Washington International Horse Show. They won every single class they entered, sweeping the high performance and the regular conformation divisions to win the grand hunter championship for owners Ken and Selma Garber.
“Good horses try to win, and he tries to win all the time,” said Farmer, Keswick, Va. “If he doesn’t, it just because I’ve gotten in his way.”
Todd Minikus is used to getting nice ribbons at the Washington International Horse Show. After all, the veteran grand prix rider been coming here for years, and he's won the show’s biggest class, the President’s Cup CSI-W twice, most recently in 2009 on Alaska. But this year he’s found his schedule busier much earlier in the week.
Minikus rode LPF Woodford to the high performance reserve championship behind Kelley Farmer and Mindful for Susan Wagner of LPF LLC.