The Finally Farm team traveled to the Kentucky National Horse Show, September 17-21 in Lexington, for one of the fall's highlight horse shows and the Region 4 ASPCA Maclay Regionals.
After a long but enjoyable week of showing, many ribbons returned home to Camden, South Carolina, from the ponies to the open jumpers.
Sarah Isgett and Addison Byrd contested the Maclay Regionals, which drew 89 riders to vie for a spot in the ASPCA Maclay Finals, to be held during the National Horse Show. After a round over fences and a flat phase, both girls secured a coveted place at the finals.
"I'm really proud of them; they rode great," said trainer Liza Boyd. "They were both really prepared and had done their homework--all of their hard work during the year paid off."
Sarah contested the Maclay Regionals last year, but this was Addison's first year competing in the equitation division, and despite a block down on the wall she made the cut.
"The course was nice. It was short but asked quite a few questions," said Liza. "I was pleasantly surprised with the course because it was like flatwork over jumps. The riders had to close up their horses' strides and shorten to the end jump, which was a big wall, and then hand gallop to the last jump. Everyone seemed to have a good experience, and it wasn't one of those courses that won."
What made the show even more special was an email that Liza received from Sarah's mother, Donna Isgett, the morning after the Maclay Regionals.
"I still remember that day we rode in your golf cart in Atlanta and you asked me my goals for Sarah," read the email. "My response was, 'I want her to be a great horse woman.'
"You and your parents have done an amazing job of helping her to work toward that goal! She called me after her Maclay round and was so excited about how perfect Vasco had been--she said, 'I don't care how we place--he was so brave and perfect, and I turned every corner and the jump just came to me.' That's what I wanted! A kid that loved the sport and the partnership it required. I'm so proud and thankful to you all! You are truly making a meaningful difference in her life."
The Finally Farm team travels next to the Capital Challenge Horse Show in Maryland, where competition takes place September 27-October 5. Best of luck to all of our riders!