From the Short Stirrup to Grand Prix ring, the Finally Farm team made great strides during WEF 4, held February 1-5 in Wellington, Florida.
Elle Boyd made her Short Stirrup debut aboard Otis Spunkmeyer, moving up from the Crossrails section, and earning the championship tricolor, with friend Mary Jo Serio and Pongo also winning a class and earning the reserve championship.
"It was great having trainers and grandparents Louise Serio and Jack Towell at the Short Stirrup ring," said Liza Boyd, Elle's mother. "Everyone had a great time, and it was so much fun!
"The night before, Elle and I walked the course," said Liza. "It was a big jump from the cross rails, where they go twice around the outside. The Short Stirrup courses are real hunter courses, with diagonals and outside lines. We walked the course and the lines and talked about her plan, so she was well prepared."
This week, Quatrain earned double tricolors, taking the Junior Hunter 3'3" championship with Elly Ficca and the reserve championship in the 3'3" Performance Working Hunters with Liza.
"I showed him just one day, and he won both classes," said Liza of her longtime partner. "I wanted to get him into the Grand Hunter Ring one day since Elly showed him both days in that ring. It was exciting for those kids to be able to show there, and the courses were really technical, with handy classes with hard rollbacks and always a trot jump."
Liza credited Quatrain, a 13-year-old Westphalian (by Quatro), for his continued success and his longevity in the sport.
"He still has that freshness and spark, and that’s what keeps him so good," said Liza. "Even as veteran in the sport, he loves his job and is amazing. He feels like he has years left in him."
Liza recalled veterinarian Diane Scheireck telling her when they purchased Quatrain as an 8-year-old that he was a horse with longevity. And, through their collaboration on healthcare, fitness and training, Quatrain has indeed become yet another poster child for the Finally Farm tradition of maintaining and successfully showing these campaigners well into their teen years. In fact, the 19-year-old superstar Brunello is now back in work in Camden after a winter break in preparation for the 2017 competition year.
Maggie and Parkland continued their ribbon collection in the 3'3" Juniors, and she also showed Tasty to excellent results. "Again, she had fun showing in the Grand Hunter Ring, and it was great for those kids to be out there and experiencing the increased challenges," said Liza. "When we go home, they’ll have great exposure down here and be ready to step it up."
After Lily Bennett moved into the jumper ring full time, McKayla Langmeier took over the ride on her Maraschino. Their top ribbons resulted in the Small Junior Hunter championship during Week 4. "Maraschino is for sale now since Lily is focusing on the jumpers, and we really appreciate McKayla showing her for us. She's a great rider and really fun to work with," said Liza.
Abigail Poss enjoyed another successful week in the equitation aboard Upset De Talma. "I was so proud of her this week. In addition to eighth in the ASPCA Maclay, she stepped up and did the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 3*, where she had to jump the open water in the de Nemethy Ring," said Liza.
"This was her first Talent Search, and there happened to be a bending line to the open water and a tight line afterward, and she did it all so well," Liza added. "She and her horse were well prepared, and I have to credit Jack and Tamara (Berkowitz) for schooling him and practicing the open water. It was team effort and everyone deserves congratulations!"
The Finally Farm team also sent congratulations to Evergate LLC, Jennifer Gates and trainer Hardin Towell for their spectacular week at the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit, where Jenn guided Pumped Up Kicks to third place in the featured $216,000 Ariat Grand Prix CSI4*, her best finish to date at that level. Jenn also received the Leading Lady Rider Award.
Hardin piloted Emilie De Diamant AS to 16th in the class with one rail down and also placed third in the $35,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 4 earlier in the week. Hardin also contested the Longines Palm Beach Masters, at Deeridge Farms in Wellington, where he and SF Ariantha had just one rail down in the $216,000 Longines FEI World Cup class on Sunday after jumping clear and placing fifth in the $35,000 Longines FEI World Cup Qualifier on Friday.
"We're so happy for Jenn, Hardin, Sayre and the entire Evergate team for such an amazing day," said Liza. "We were fortunate to be able to go over to the Stadium and watch them go. Jenn has come such a long way in her riding career, starting in the Short Stirrup division herself, and her performance in the grand prix this week was a testament to her hard work and dedication in the sport.
"It was such a rewarding week, from Elle in the Short Stirrup to Jenn in the Grand Prix ring, and we're so thrilled that we're able to share such great achievements and moments with our Finally Farm family, clients and friends," concluded Liza.