Kelley Farmer and Mindful Victorious in $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Kentucky Spring Horse Show

RELEASE: May 10, 2014
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Emily Riden and Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Kelley Farmer and Mindful (Emily Riden/Phelps Media Group)
Kelley Farmer and Mindful (Emily Riden/Phelps Media Group)
Lexington, Ky.
- May 10, 2014 - When Larry Glefke and Kensel LLC purchased Mindful just a few weeks ago they did so with one intention - providing a top hunter derby contender for Kelley Farmer. Mindful proved tonight that he definitely fits that bill, as he and Farmer earned the victory in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.

Finishing in second place in the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park were Hayley Barnhill and John and Stephanie Ingram's Airport 48; third place went to So To Speak, another talented Larry Glefke and Kensel LLC owned entry ridden by Farmer.

Six-year-old So To Speak also proved to be a strong contender, leading at the end of the first round with scores from the two judging panels of 84 and 90. Those scores coupled with the bonus points awarded for Farmer's decision to take all four high option fences gave the pair a combined first round total of 182.

Mindful advanced to the second handy round just behind So To Speak with a combined score of 180. Rounding out the top three after the opening round over the Bobby Murphy designed course were Barnhill and Airport 48.

Entries returned in reverse order of their standings for the handy round, but, as Farmer was juggling three entries in the second round, she and Mindful moved up in the order and were the first of the top three to return.

From the opening vertical to the final high option fence, Farmer and Mindful laid down a seamless trip, and the judges agreed.  The two judging panels awarded them base scores of 89 and 88; with handy bonus and high option points added they would finish on a second round total of 199 and a 379 grand total, shooting them straight to the lead.

Barnhill and Airport 48 looked like they were going to give Farmer and Mindful a real run for their money, but judges scores of 88.5 and 80 left them short of the lead with a second round total of 189.5 and a final score of 363.5. While it would not give them the win, it would hold up for second place.

"I don't know the horse that well yet; he's very new to us," Barnhill said of Airport 48, who was a grand prix horse with Courtney Boyd prior to being purchased by the Ingrams. "We got him at the end of Florida, and we showed him one week after circuit in the 3'3" Performance Hunters. This is our first real week showing him. He's never done a derby or anything. I was really happy with the results."

Barnhill continued, "He's so fun to ride. He's easy; he's pretty much point and shoot to the jumps.  He's so scopey and careful. I just had to steer and find the jumps."

Before Barnhill and Airport 48 took officially claim the second place honor, Farmer had to turn in her final ride of
the night aboard So To Speak. The second place award or even the victory seemed to be very much in reach for the pair, but an unfortunate lead swap before the final fence would relegate them to the third place position.

"He's only 6-years-old. He's got a big future," owner and trainer Glefke said of So To Speak.

"That baby is so brave. He is not scared of anything," added Farmer. "I am so excited for him."

Farmer is equally excited about Mindful, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding purchased from Callie Schott less than three weeks ago. She has her sights set on this year's USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals with the new gelding, but until tonight, she had no idea how he would even perform in a hunter derby format.

"I was thrilled with him. I know a lot more about him now," Farmer said. "It's so easy for him. In both rounds, after a jump or two he settled in. Or rather, I settled, so he settled. It was our first derby. He was great at the show this week, but until you do it, you don't know what you are going to get."

Doing well with Mindful at this year's Derby Finals is a big target on Farmer's radar this year, so Farmer was appreciative of the opportunity to not only see how Mindful would perform in a hunter derby, but in a hunter derby in the same venue and setting as the Derby Finals.

"It's the only time we get to get in the ring before Derby Finals, and it's the same time of night when you have all of the shadows, and it's really dark," Farmer said.

"I thought Bobby Murphy built a nice course tonight. You had to ride a little at the wall, but at some point you are going to have to ride them at the first jump. It wasn't too trappy. You had room to canter. Riding to the oxers you had to have ability and a little scope, but there was nothing to scare them. The ones that made a mistake, I think it was more from shadows than the course. "

RESULTS: $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
1    190    MINDFUL     KELLEY FARMER     180.000    199.000    379.000%    
2    1149    AIRPORT 48     HAYLEY BARNHILL     174.000    189.500    363.500%
3    368    SO TO SPEAK     KELLEY FARMER     182.000    172.000    354.000%
4    366    WHY     EVAN COLUCCIO     149.000    189.001    338.001%
5    590    THE SPY     CAROLINE WEEDEN     160.000    178.000    338.000%
6    23    CALENTINO     DAVID BEISEL     148.000    187.000    335.000%
7    870    CHANNING     CHRISTOPHER PAYNE     149.000    154.000    303.000%
8    768    AS ALWAYS     JENNIFER HANNAN     131.000    167.000    298.000%
9    859    HUEHUETENANGO     ADRIENNE IVERSON     134.000    163.000    297.000%
10    274    ANNABELLE     JULIE FONTAINE     132.000    128.000    260.000%
11    373    TAKEN     KELLEY FARMER     150.000    86.000    236.000%
12    58    NANDINO     SAMANTHA COOPER     154.000    Withdr    154.000%