Finally Farm's Clemens continued to impress on the summer show circuit, this time winning the USHJA National Hunter Derby at the Charleston Summer Classic, July 11-16 on John's Island, South Carolina. In addition, the entire Finally Farm team enjoyed ample success as well, taking home nine championships and reserves in the hunters, jumpers and ponies.
Trainer Liza Boyd has been partnered with Clemens since the spring, and they're developing a strong partnership as they focus on the USHJA Derby classes. "At Charleston, I also did some jumper classes, which was really good for him. Also, because the Derby went in the jumper ring I wanted to get in that ring and familiarize him with the environment. There were end jumps and bending lines, so that was nice to do. For that horse show, it was good strategy."
Because this Derby went in the evening, Liza also wanted Clemens to experience the atmosphere, such as spectators around the ring and the different fences.
Liza was pleased with the Derby itself, which featured courses designed by Allen Rheinheimer.
"Allen did a great job. The courses were nice, with bending lines and unique fences. It was great practice and exposure for Clemens," she said.
Liza also piloted Capriccio to the 3'3"/3'6" Green Hunter championship and Karen Lackinger's Gratis to the 3' Green Hunter championship,
"Gratis was champion, which was good for him because he'll take a break now," said Liza. "He's not quite ready for Blowing Rock or Kentucky, so this was a great way for him to wrap up the summer. He'll go home now and trail ride and show again this fall in Aiken. We also like to give the young horses this valuable down time to relax."
Capriccio is a new face at Finally Farm, as Maggie Hill just began leasing him from owner Samantha Kench. Their debut in the 3'3" Juniors was a championship one, as the pair quickly clicked. Maggie also earned ribbons on Shamrock and Co Co Chanel for a strong showing in the section.
Finally Farm dominated the 3'6" Juniors, taking the championship with Trinity and reserve championship with Cassanto. Devin Seek took the reins aboard Mary Carton Mitchener's Trinity and Stella Styslinger's Cassanto and O'Ryan for the show, also winning the Junior Hunter Classic aboard O'Ryan.
A similar sweep occurred in the Medium Pony Hunters as Finally Farm-trained riders dominated. Behold and Dylan Driver earned the championship, while Zola Thompson's consistent performances with Elegance resulted in the reserve championship ribbon. Zola as well as second place in the Small/Medium Pony Hunter Classic.
"We trained Dylan because her trainer, Jessica Ogburn, couldn’t be there," said Liza. "She was fun to teach. Zola won the model and another class. She rode great."
Ellen Addison joined Finally Farm at Charleston and earned the Adult Amateur Hunter, 50 and over, section championship riding El Tindo. "She lives in Alabama, and her horse is really cute. She's hasn't shown in a while and intends to move back up to the 3'3" Amateurs at Blowing Rock. We look forward to having her in the barn!"