Finally Farm took a short hiatus from Week 4 of the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit to experience The Ridge at Wellington’s Hunter Derby Day, held Friday February 5 in Wellington, Florida.
Trainer Liza Boyd entered her young derby mounts Coronado and Shamrock in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, the first major derby outing for both young horses.
“It was a great experience for them,” she said. “They were both a little green at times, but it was a new place and in a covered arena, so it was totally understandable.”
In the end, Pony Lane Farm’s 6-year-old Zangersheide stallion Coronado (Coriano Z—Chinchilla Overringe’s Z) placed eighth overall out of the field of 31 horses.
“I couldn’t be happier for him. Once again. people thought I had shown Brunello in the class because they look so much alike!” she added laughing.
Liza was pleased that photographer Andrew Ryback selected a photo of Coronado as one of his favorites from the day and posted it to his social media sites.
“Coronado really stepped up this week. He also did the High Performance Hunters on Wednesday, a section that had a lot of really good horses. He placed third and third over fences over some impressive courses designed by Phillip DeVita. He really proved his scope that day,” she said.
McKayla Langmeier added a few more tricolors to the Finally Farm banner during the week as she guided Maraschino to the Small Junior, 15 and under, championship for owner Lily Bennett, who was out of town.
It was a special show for McKayla and “Cherry” as they were reunited for the first time since Lily purchased the mare from her after the 2014 Pennsylvania National Horse Show where they were champions.
“It was fun to see her back on Maraschino, and she was so excited to ride Cherry again,” said Liza, who also guided Cherry to a score of 89 in the 3’6” Performance Working Hunter Handy class that week.
“The mare has really matured and gotten better and better,” she said. “I was able to do some turns and things I couldn’t have done last year, when she was a First Year Green horse.”
McKayla dominated the Small Junior, 15 and under, section, winning every over fences class—three aboard Maraschino and one with Laura Critz’s Quatrain, who finished as the reserve champion with two seconds over fences as well.
Maggie Hill added another Low Children’s Hunter tricolor to her collection, taking a championship aboard Black Ankle LLC’s Equanimity this week. Liza praised Maggie for her consistent riding, which has now resulted in multiple tricolors aboard three different horses.
‘The other two horses (she rides) needed a week off, so this was perfect. Our friends from Savannah, Georgia, trainer Courtney Goldstein and owner Ansley Johnson, allowed Maggie to show the mare. We’ve seen ‘Cha Cha’ for quite a long time because she does the Adult Amateurs with her owner. She’s a lovely mare, and it was nice of them to allow Maggie to show her this week.”
Hardin Towell and his jumpers earned a variety of placings during Week 4, with a highlight being 11th place out of 59 aboard Emilie De Diamant A in the $35,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round IV. They had just one rail down in the jump-off. The pair also had just one rail in the first round of the $216,000 Ariat CSI4* Grand Prix.