Finally Farm horses and riders traveled to Conyers, Georgia, for the Atlanta Summer Classic shows and have captured a variety of accolades after week 1.
With Liza Boyd at home on maternity leave, trainers Jack Towell and Tamara Berkowitz have held down the fort with assistance from fellow professional rider Daniel Geitner.
Daniel guided Quatrain to two blue ribbons in the Performance Hunter 3'6" section before owner Laura Critz took over the reins for the Junior Hunter 3'3" reserve championship and second place in the classic. Daniel also jumped aboard Erin McGuire's Casallo and Kasarr for blues in the Low Hunters and Training Jumpers, respectively.
Erin continued her banner season with Casallo in the Amateur-Owner, 18-35, section with championship honors and victory in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3'6" Classic. Elizabeth Fogleman and Fonteyn HF also collected excellent ribbons in the same section, including a nice blue in the under saddle class.
Larson Mitchener and Graffiti took top call in the NAL/WIHS Adult Amateur Hunter Classic as well as other impressive placings in the Adult Amateur hunter sections.
In the jumper ring, Brie Tiffany and Milky Way added more ribbons to their growing collection in the High Children's/Adult Amateur section, and Erin and Kasarr also jumped to second and fourth places in the Junior/Amateur-Owner section at 1.40m.
Up at Spruce Meadows in Alberta, Canada, Hardin Towell continues to shine in the jumper arena aboard a variety of mounts.
During the opening day of the National Tournament, June 4, he guided Everest De Muze, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood, to victory in the Direct Energy Welcome 1.40m speed class over a field of 35 entries.
That same day he also rode the Swedish Warmblood gelding Cadence to second place in the Friends of the Meadows Welcome 1.30m and Cyraneiky, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare, to a clear round in the Friends of the Meadow Welcome 1.35m.
Aboard Lucifer V, an 8-year-old Westphalian, Hardin earned a check in the Coril Holdings Jumper 1.30m class that week with a double-clear round that garnered eighth place in a class of 43 starters.
Hardin concluded the tournament with the $210,000 CNOOC Nexen Cup Derby 1.50m, where he guided Man In Black to 12th place.
During the Continental Tournament, June 11-15, Hardin piloted Olympe De Brecey, a Selle Francais mare, to eighth place in the Friends of the Meadows Welcome 1.30m, and he also took 13th aboard Lucifer V. Both horses jumped around clear in the field of 28 starters.
He returned with Lucifer V for the Friends of the Meadows 1.30m class the following day and jumped double-clear for seventh place in a field of 36 starters. The pair topped off their impressive week with second place in the ATCO I-Tek Jumper 1.35m class with a double-clear performance that was just .27 seconds off the winning time posted by Olympic veteran Will Simpson.
On the home front in Camden, Liza and baby Adeline are doing well, and with help from family members, Liza and Blake are even getting some much-needed sleep. Liza plans to return to the show ring for the Charleston Summer Classics, July 8-19 in Charleston, South Carolina.
She's already back at the barn on a limited schedule and has resumed teaching and training. "I've actually ridden Ike [Brunello] already," she said with a smile. "I just wanted to get on and walk around the field, but, of course, I had to canter a cavaletti, just to make sure I could still see a distance. I was like, 'OK, there it is!' It feels good to be back and active again."