The Finally Farm team got off to a phenomenal start as the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, commenced on January 7.
The media spotlight shined on Finally Farm from the start, as trainer Liza Boyd was featured in Thursday's Equestrian Sport Productions Press Release. Highlights from the January 8 release included:
Elizabeth Boyd and Ghostwriter Top Equine Tack and Nutritionals First Year Green Hunter Section A
Elizabeth Boyd and Ghostwriter topped both classes today in the Equine Tack and Nutritionals First Year Green Hunters to claim the section A championship. Ghostwriter, owned by Madeline Thatcher and Pony Lane Farm of Bluffdale, Utah, also finished first yesterday in the handy hunter round.
The Section B champion was Kelley Farmer riding David Glefke and Kensel, LLC's Mindset. Farmer and Mindset finished third in both classes today and won the under saddle and an over fences class yesterday.
With two second-place finishes today, Amy Guth's Bossa Nova, ridden by Louise Serio, ended up as reserve champion of section A. La Bonita, ridden by Scott Stewart and owned by David Gochman, was the reserve champion of section B. The pair finished first and fourth over fences and took home second in the under saddle.
Ghostwriter, an 8-year-old gelding, is a new mount for Boyd after being purchased four days ago from Lane Change Farm. Not only is Ghostwriter new to Boyd, but new to the United States. Having only been here for a little over a month, this was only his second show and he is already off to a great start.
Highlighting Boyd and Ghostwriter's championship performance was their winning handy round. Boyd explained, "They gave some really great options, and I was able to really go for it in the handy making the inside turns."
Boyd went on to say that she felt comfortable going into the handy round after talking to Farmer. Farmer had practiced handy elements with Ghostwriter at home and knew he was ready to do it in the ring.
Thatcher is currently a student at Clemson University in South Carolina and will come next week to show her horse in the younger amateur owners. With Thatcher away at school, Boyd was excited to be able to show Ghostwriter this week. After a great first performance, Boyd said, "He [Ghostwriter] is going to be really super in the amateur-owner (division) and the derbies."
Farmer, who previously rode Ghostwriter, was all smiles as she watched her horse shine with a new rider. "When my horses get to go somewhere else and go like that, it's a good day," exclaimed Farmer.
Following a successful start to a 2015 season, Boyd also commented, "The footing felt amazing, and the jumps were beautiful."
More Top Performances
Liza was also thrilled to see the Finally Farm banner covered with many more ribbons after Week 1. In addition to Ghostwriter's championship, Liza guided Avatar Real Estate LLC's Dalliance to the Performance Working Hunter 3'3" Section A Championship and Pony Lane Farm's Scripted to the Second Year Green Hunter Reserve Championship.
Finally Farm students also made their presence known in the Junior Hunter 3'3" section, where Laura Critz and Quatrain, Trinity and Mary Carton Mitchener, Maraschino and Lily Bennett and Beaujolais and Grayanna Grigg all brought home excellent ribbons in the 26-horse field.
Likewise, Addison Byrd riding Too Cool and Alley Milam aboard Castelli placed well in their respective section, with excellent performances in the Small Junior, 16-17 hunters.
Finally Farm riders return to the ring for WEF Week 2, beginning on January 14.