The Camden Spring Classic, April 7-10, proved to be a great homecoming for the Finally Farm team members that returned from the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit in Florida.
Trainers Jack Towell and Liza Boyd took a variety of hunters, jumpers and ponies to the show grounds just minutes from their home base, and in addition to winning top prizes, they enjoyed catching up with friends and cheering them on.
Although Liza didn’t win the featured $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, she was happy to place second and third overall behind winner Megan Rosenthal aboard Little Manhatten.
“I was just thrilled for Megan,” said Liza. “She’s a great kid, and she went for it in the Handy Round. I remember her as a little kid. She once drew a picture of Brunello and gave it to me when she was a pony kid. It’s great to see her come along, and this is her first year as a professional, and it was a well-deserved victory.”
Liza couldn’t have been happier with her young mounts Coronado and Shamrock. The show’s First and Second Year Green Hunter champions stepped up to the USHJA International Hunter Derbies this winter in Florida and have been performing better and better. The Camden Spring Classic derby was particularly challenging because it was held in the evening and a substantial crowd surrounded the ring, which sits in a bowl-like setting.
“They were great. Megan did all of the high options, and I was conservative,” Liza explained. “It was cold and windy, and the class was at night, and I wanted them to have a good experience. I think they walked away and learned from it and will be better horses. Sometimes if you take the high options on these young horses they’ll try too had and jump too high. That experience can set them back.”
Liza also guided Like I Said to sixth and Cellino to eighth overall. “They both had unfortunate rails,” said Liza, who then used the class to get to better know Like I Said, her newest Derby mount purchased by Pony Lane Farm during WEF.
Liza went into the Handy Round with nothing to lose, so she practiced the turns and bold rides. “I didn’t know her that well, so a good time to go for it,” said Liza, who won the Handy Round with the bay mare. “It was great to practice that pressure that we’ll have in the future. She was great.”
Liza’s daughter Elle also made her debut in the Walk-Trot-Canter section with Otis Spunkmeyer, taking blue ribbons in the section to tie for the championship.
“Elle’s classes went right before the derby, so I was more nervous for that,” said Liza laughing. “It was her first time showing at the canter, and I think she had lots of fun.”
Liza was also pleased with Pony Lane Farm’s Balleryna, who won the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive class and earned the Pre-Green Hunter championship. Liza also placed second in the Incentive class aboard Elizabeth Fogleman’s Sawyer for a tidy payout of $650 in the class.
“Balleryna is another nice chestnut and looks like Coronado,” said Liza of the 7-year-old Holsteiner (Bratt Z—Ranita). “She’s a nice up-and-coming mare who is brave scopey. She showed once in Florida, got used to the show atmosphere and we worked on getting her fitter and in condition. She was ready to go at Camden and went nicely.”
Sarah Livingston and Ne-Yo reunited with the Finally Farm trainers at Camden and had championship results in the 3’3” Junior Hunters. Sarah typically meets them at the horse shows and works at home with her trainer, Jennifer.
“I was so proud of Sarah and thankful to Jennifer,” said Liza. “They do such a good job. They take in everything I tell them and go home and work and follow through. That’s not easy to do, so it’s rewarding for them and fun for me to see them come back, make great progress and see the results of their dedication.”
Similarly, Liza gave a shout-out to Theresa Tolar who returned to Finally Farm after a hiatus to earn excellent ribbons in the Children’s Hunters aboard Atom.
Brie Tiffany and her new horse Chacor also scored top ribbons, including a second in the NAL/WIHS Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic and reserve championship in the section. “They are a great match, and I’m excited to see where they go,” said Liza. “I’m sure they’ll have a lot of fun and success this summer. He just came over from Europe this winter, and Brie is dedicated to getting him stronger and fitter and conditioned. Here at Camden you could tell he’s blossoming, and she’s worked really hard and it’s showing.”