The Aiken Charity Horse Shows at Bruce’s Field are always special. And this year the Finally Farm team found ample success as well as enjoyment, May 2-13 in Aiken, South Carolina.
Liza Boyd continued gathering ribbons and accolades in the USHJA International Hunter Derbies, piloting Clemens and Easter to second and third places, respectively, during Week 2.
“Easter has gotten better and better and is so brave,” said Liza of her newest derby mount owned by Leonardo Aljure. “I got her after Florida, and she’s been great. She was third this week and fourth last week in the Hunter Classic and has certainly paid her way. She’s a real derby horse, and the more I do with her the more I like her.”
Although Liza sees a bright future for the 9-year-old and would like to keep her, Easter is for sale. With her scopey jump and attractiveness, she’ll likely find a new home quickly. Liza also showed the mare in the Second Year Green section with great ribbons. She’s already qualified for USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships and the USHJA Green Incentive Championship at 3’9” to be held in August at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
Liza credited Florida for helping Clemens step up another level in the derby classes. This show celebrated their one-year anniversary together, with Clemens owned in partnership with Westerly Farm and Finally Farm.
“He’s coming around so well, and I really appreciated how they highlighted the hunters here. They made the double schooling area into a big ring for $25,000 Aiken Premiere Hunter Classic and Derby where Clemens placed third and second. It took a lot of effort to move all of the jumps, but then we were able to really gallop. It’s hard to beat Tori Colvin, and she won both classes on Private Practice! But I was pleased with how my horses both went.”
Gigi Manigault and Bastille topped the field in the 3’3” Junior Hunters and also earned the Circuit Championship for the two weeks with a well-deserved championship.
“I want to give trainer Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw another big thank-you for such a lovely horse,” said Liza. “Gigi and Bastille are a great match.”
Cleopatra’s Smile and Elly Ficca earned championship honors the second week in the 3’6” Junior Hunters, with Elly receiving the Best Child Rider Award after winning the Combined Junior Hunter Classic.
During Week 2, Maggie Hill took the equitation ring by storm, riding For Side VDL to victory in the 3’3” USHJA Jumper Seat Medal, the NHS 3’3” Medal and the WIHS Hunter phase. They placed fourth in the WIHS Jumper Phase as well. Maggie went on to win the Dover Saddlery/USEF Medal and place second in the ASPCA Maclay riding Charmeur.
“She was amazing in the tests and doing hard inside turns,” said Liza of Maggie. “They were hard, technical courses and she was really prepared for the questions asked at Aiken. Charmeur is her lovely made up horse, and on her newer, younger horse we did the 1.0m jumpers to work on bending lines. He’s starting to get the equitation.”
Erin McGuire and Kasarr added more accolades to their resume at Aiken. The pair won the Welcome Stake the first week and were ninth the second week.
“Erin was great and was super pleased because these were some of the biggest classes she’s ever done,” said Liza. “She’s so good at looking the positives. The small mistakes were just Erin not having experienced that level. But she walked away confident.”
The Gordon sisters, Libbie and Abbie, both returned home with ample awards. Libbie moved up to the 3’6” Junior Hunters on Shamrock and was second in the Junior Hunter Classic. Libbie was champion on the Large Pony Small Wonder and Green Pony Champion with Small Romance during Week 1. Both girls earned top ribbons in the USHJA Pony Hunter Derby and Pony Hunter Classics, as well.
Elle Boyd made her Children’s Pony Hunter debut a winning one and was champion with Hershey’s Kiss. The pair won three classes on the way to the tricolor.
The Finally Farm team reunited with some friends during Aiken. Bridget Hallman returned after time apart and had great ribbons with Gala in the Amateur-Owners, and Halston took nice prizes in the Green Hunters.
After competing in successfully in the ponies, Catherine Sharp is back in the show ring and competing in the 3’3” equitation with Imperio. “She had the pony Church Mouse, who went to indoors and did it all,” said Liza. “And now she’s back riding with us. We’re excited to have her here again.”
Please enjoy this photo gallery from Aiken and the following Tryon Spring 3, where Liza and Clemens won the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and team Finally Farm earned yet more accolades!