Tracey London's travel plans to Florida didn't work out as she'd hoped, so this season she only made it down to the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington for Week 7.
It turns out, she didn't need any warm-up weeks, as she guided her Goodman to championship honors in the B section of the Adult Amateur, 36-50, section and also earned top ribbons on her second mount, Smile.
"Tracey does it right," said trainer Liza Boyd. "She lives in Savannah (Georgia) and meets us at the shows. This week, she showed up well prepared to step in the ring and win in Palm Beach. She has three boys, so she has to balance showing and family. But she naturally has a great foundation from riding with Quiet Hill Farm as a junior.
"She also practices a lot at home and trains with Courtney Goldstein at Black Ankle, LLC in Savannah," added Liza. "Courtney's care of the horses is phenomenal, and they always come to me really prepared, which makes my job really easy. They're ready to go in the ring and be successful."
Tracey leases Goodman on a week-to-week basis from owner Kathryn Coster as the 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding is for sale. The pair won the under saddle and two over fences classes on their way to the tricolor ribbon.
"He's a really good amateur or junior hunter; he isn't fazed by a thing," said Liza. "I have to thank Andrew Lustig as well. With me being pregnant and unable to ride, Andrew stepped up and did a lot of flatwork with Smile the two weeks before Tracey arrived in Florida."
Liza also credited her brother Hardin Towell for his contributions: he guided Smile to the reserve championship in the WEF 3' Open Hunter section as a prelude to Tracey's rides over the weekend. "Tracey let me do Smile all of last year. He did the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Program, which gave him a great foundation, and now he's ready for her," said Liza. "They're almost ready to step up to the Amateur-Owners, which is very exciting."
As Week 7 marked Finally Farm's final week in Wellington, Liza was pleased with the ribbons hanging on the tack room banner but happiest with the experience her horses and riders had gained competing against some of the best in the country.
"Brie Tiffany and Divine also picked up more top ribbons in the 3'3" Amateur-Owner, 18-35, section this week, including a blue in the under saddle," said Liza. "She's really stepped up her game, and with MTM Cash she was very competitive in the Adult Amateurs."
Liza also credited Sarah Isgett for her progress over the four weeks aboard Vasco, noting that her performances in the equitation and medal classes had improved and were rewarded with ribbons, including a seventh in the THIS Medal during Week 7.
Catherine Sharp finished up her circuit with excellent performances in the Small Pony Hunter section aboard I Candy. "She was consistently in the ribbons, and was sixth in her final handy class down here," said Liza. "She worked really hard, and it showed. She had lessons every Tuesday without stirrups, and by the end of circuit she looked like a much more educated rider. I'm very proud of her."
Finally Farm riders and horses head home this week and, after a week off, they'll travel to Aiken, South Carolina, for the Aiken Challenge Series V, March 5-9.