Finally Farm riders and horses traveled to the Aiken Spring Classic Masters, held April 15-19, where they enjoyed this traditional South Carolina spring show as well as Easter Weekend festivities.
A highlight of the show was the debut of Finally Farm and Janet Peterson’s newest derby horse, Trinity. Purchased from Holly Hill Farm, Trinity is a 7-year-old American-bred by the famous hunter stallion Popeye K and out of a Thoroughbred-Quarter Horse mare.
With Liza Boyd currently out of the saddle, Caitlin Venezia traveled to Aiken to show Trinity. They earned top ribbons in the Green Working Hunter section before Trinity made his International Derby debut in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.
Liza first noticed Trinity last year during in the Pre-Green Hunters and admired his presence and scope. She tried him at Capital Challenge in October. “I really liked him, but the timing wasn’t quite right,” said Boyd. “Then, the last week of Florida, my parents watched him go and really liked him. Holly Hill trainer Patty Harnois noted that she thought he’d make a good derby horse for me.”
This time the timing couldn’t have been better, as Mrs. Peterson had sold her derby horse Quatrain over the winter to junior rider Laura Critz and was looking for a replacement.
“Plus, it’s six weeks to go before my baby is born, so I’ll be riding again soon,” said Liza with a smile. “Caitlin showed him at Aiken for me so I could watch. She also prepared him, and I was able to observe that as well. They won the Handy in the First Years, but in the Derby he had an unlucky rail. But it was his first International Derby, and I thought he went really well.”
In addition to his athletic ability, Liza was also attracted to the bay gelding’s character. “He seems to have the right brain for a derby horse, which is what you want,” she noted. “He looks scopey like Popeye K (his sire), and in my mind I had wanted a 7-year-old. At 5, they’re still so young and far away from the derby ring, and with a 10-year-old, before you know it he’s 12 or 13. This is the perfect age; he’s ready to go and do it all.”
Finally Farm-trained horses and riders collected a variety of ribbons in the Classic, Handy and Overall phases of the International Derby, with North C and Jaime Steinhaus placing sixth overall and Bethel’s Peri and Grace Howard jumping to eighth overall.
Quatrain continued his successes in the Junior Hunters, this time taking the Junior Hunter 3’3” reserve championship with Laura Critz and also the Performance Working Hunter 3’6” reserve championship with professional Daniel Geitner in the irons.
Casallo and Erin McGuire added to their ribbon collection in the Amateur-Owner Hunters, taking the tricolor, and Casallo also earned top ribbons in the Performance Working Hunter 3’6” section with Daniel Geitner.
In the jumpers, Brie Tiffany and her new jumper Milky Way continued to get to know one another with excellent results, receiving top ribbons in the 1.0m and Adult Amateur Jumper classes. “Brie was second in the Adult Amateurs, and it was really exciting,” said Liza. “She rode out on the grass field, up and down the hills, and did a great job.”
With the show concluding on Saturday, Finally Farm trainers and clients were able to spend Easter Sunday with family and friends.
Special thanks to the Finally Farm photographers and friends for these wonderful photos!