From the Capital Challenge in Maryland to the National Horse Show in Kentucky, the Finally Farm clients and horses took top ribbons during the East Coast Fall Indoor show season in October and November.
In addition to Liza Boyd's victory in the WCHR Professional Finals at the Capital Challenge, she piloted Stella Styslinger's O'Ryan to third place in the $25,000 WCHR Professional Challenge.
In the Pro Finals, where riders compete on two catch rides and then a horse of their choosing, Liza started out strongly. She earned an average score of 90 in the first round to move into the second place position, and an average score of 90.50 in the second round moved her to the top of the leaderboard where she would remain through the end of the class.
“I had a little bit of luck of the draw,” said Boyd of her second mount, Redfield Farm’s Carolino. “I got the horse that was a little bit nervous the first round for Scott (Stewart), and Scott did a beautiful job of warming him up for me. So, I kind of felt like the amateur rider that got to get on after the pro rode it around. Thank you, Scott!”
The 2017 WCHR Pro Finals was one of the most closely contested Pro Finals in recent memory, with scores in the first and second rounds just fractions apart. It was up to riders to set themselves apart aboard their own mounts in the handy round, and they each pulled out all the stops.
“We had to go for it in the handy. Everyone was amazing in the handy,” said Liza, who elected to ride her veteran partner O’Ryan. “I was actually probably the most nervous on O’Ryan, which I thought it was going to be the opposite going into, but I think Tori Colvin really put the pressure on us going first and doing those really, really hard turns.”
To read more about Liza's WCHR Professional Finals victory, please click here.
Elly Ficca and Quatrain also jumped to impressive performances during the Capital Challenge, taking fifth place in the WCHR 3'3" Junior Hunter Challenge and top ribbons in the section.
With the WCHR season concluding at the Capital Challenge, the Regional winners were invited into the ring for presentations. Finally Farm was well represented in the Southeast Region:
- Junior 3'6" - First Place - Stella Styslinger
- Junior 3'3" - First Place - Maggie Hill
- Junior 3'3" - Second Place - Elly Ficca
- Junior 3'3" - Fifth Place - Sarah Ekola
- Handy - Tie First Place - Liza Boyd
- Professional - Second Place - Liza Boyd
- Pony - Second Place - Zola Thompson
- Adult Amateur - Fourth Place - Megan Schall
- Amateur-Owner, 3'3" - Sixth Place - Mary Carton Mitchener
During the Pennsylvania National, the success continued. Maggie Hill and Coco Chanel won a class in the competitive 3'3" Large Junior section and earned ribbons in every class. Elly Ficca and Quatrain also took ribbons in the 3'3" Small Juniors, while Stella Styslinger and her horses Cassanto and O'Ryan earned excellent ribbons in the 3'6" Junior Hunters.
Then it was on to the Washington International Horse Show, where trainer Jack Towell helped Stella to excellent ribbons in the Small Junior, 16-17, section with O'Ryan and in the Large Junior, 16-17, section with Cassanto, including a second place in the Stake Class.
"Washington was a little bittersweet. It was Stella's last show as a junior, but her second place was a great round and great way to end up," said Liza. "She’s enjoying UVA, but it's a little sad that she's done with the juniors. She'll take some time off now and get back going in spring or summer as an amateur."
While Washington was going on, Liza took a contingent of horses and riders to the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina, where they enjoyed beautiful fall weather and a fun horse show.
In addition to riding her Justified in the Adult Jumpers, Kelly Maloney returned to the ring aboard her long-time partner Fieona. "We put her back in the jumper ring, and it was so much fun," said Liza. "Fieona has done the Hunter Derbies with me and the Adult Hunters, and she hadn't been a jumper in years. Kelly bought her as a 5-year-old, and she became Hardin’s grand prix horse and my derby horse. In the Adult Jumpers, she looks so happy out there. She does it like she’s cantering around the derby course with good style and going around like a hunter."
Finally Farm also welcomed new client Amy Nolan, of Wilmington, North Carolina, to the barn. She keeps her horses at home and will meet Finally Farm at the shows.
"She rode great and was champion on her horse Curuba in the Adult Amateur, 36-49, section, and she got nice ribbons on her other horse, Extra Credit. We're very excited to have her in the barn!"
Lily Bennett and Zimba continued their top performances in the Low Junior Jumpers. They placed second in every outing to earn the reserve championship.
"She was so solid in every class," said Liza. "It was tough competition and technical courses. She even had one day on international field, which was fun. She’s getting really competitive, and it’s great."
Likewise, Elle Boyd is showing her consistency in the show ring and won the Short Stirrup Classic with Otis Spunkmeyer.
"It was so exciting, and I was so proud of her," said Liza. "It was a cold and windy day, and they didn’t show until 4 p.m. She had a little rough time in first class, but then she was tough. It was a long course, and I never thought she’d remember it, but she did. She rode well, and she was proud of herself! It was her first Classic and she won!"
The indoor show season culminated at the National Horse Show in Kentucky, where Quatrain and Elly Ficca starred during their final competition together. The pair won both over fences classes the first day in the 3'3" Junior Hunters and ultimately earned the reserve championship.
"How exciting it was that Elly and Quatrain ended their partnership with such a fantastic finish," said Liza. "Elly is moving up to the 3'6" Juniors next year, so Quatrain is now available for the next rider to win on!"
In addition to enjoying the horse shows, the Towell and Boyd families celebrated the wedding of Blake Boyd's younger sister Margie. She and Aaron Warren were married in Camden, South Carolina, and Elle and Adeline served as flower girls.
Special thanks to the Finally Farm team for all of the wonderful behind-the-scenes photos in the gallery below!