Mindful and Kelley Farmer Top $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

RELEASE: May 30, 2014
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Devon, Pa. - A $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby was held on Thursday afternoon, presented in honor of Kenneth and Sally Wheeler, with a win for Kelley Farmer of Keswick, VA, riding Glefke & Kensel LLC's Mindful. Mindful, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Graf Grannus x Bold Indian), won his first derby with Farmer just a few weeks ago in Kentucky after transitioning out of the jumpers this winter. He was also presented with the High Performance Hunter division championship on Wednesday.
Kelley Farmer and Mindful (The Book LLC)
Kelley Farmer and Mindful (The Book LLC)

“He is an amazing animal,” Farmer stated after their win. “Everything I have asked of him, he has not only given it to me, but far beyond. He has a ton of ability. He is so rideable, and the harder you ask him, the harder he tries.”

Thirty-three entries showed in the first round of Thursday's hunter derby competition over a natural course set by Allen Rheinheimer of Zionsville, IN. The exhibitors were scored by two panels of judges, including Jack Towell and Chris Wynne on panel one and William Ellis and Brian Lenehan on panel two. The top twelve scoring entries from round one returned in reverse order over a second-round handy course to determine top honors.

Hayley Barnhill and John and Stephanie Ingram's Airport 48 earned the high score of 184.5 to finish first in round one and added 204 points in round two to place second overall with a 388.5-point total.

Jennifer Alfano and Billie Steffee's Maggie May earned the second highest score in round one of 176.5 and scored a 193 in round two to finish third overall with 369.5 points.

Farmer had the third, fourth and fifth place scores in round one and finished first, fourth and ninth overall with her top three mounts. Farmer showed five horses in the class, all owned by Glefke & Kensel LLC. Mindful took the win, earning the third best score of 176 in round one and moving up to earn the top score of 217 in round two for a 393-point total. Scripted finished fourth with 360 points after scores of 176 and 184 in the two rounds of competition.

Barnhill was also aboard a new mount who has transitioned from the jumpers with Airport 48 and competing in his second derby. The pair finished second behind Farmer and Mindful in their Kentucky win as well.

Barnhill noted, “He was so great. I could not have expected him to be better. We got him as an equitation horse for Martha Ingram, but he is seeming to be very 'huntery.' He is amazing at this job.”

With Barnhill ahead in round one, Farmer knew she needed an impressive handy round to pull off the win, and Mindful put in a fantastic performance.

“The only way I was going to beat her is if I did what I did,” Farmer detailed. “I didn't know if it was possible to catch her, but I figured I would try. He is light on his feet, and he is so athletic. Anything I have asked of him that I thought was on the verge of not possible, he has done, and he has done easily. Every time I have walked in the ring and there was something hard, he has delivered completely.”

Jennifer Alfano was also very happy with her top finish aboard Maggie May, a young mare that she has brought along since the Pre-Green division. “I could not be happier with her. She just started doing the derbies this year, and she has actually been quite consistent. She really stepped up today, and I was thrilled with her,” Alfano stated. “She's getting the hang of the derby thing, so I am excited about the future for her. I think she likes it, and it is great to see her progress. She was really quite green when we got her and she was a little slow coming along, but it has been worth it.”

For full hunter derby results, please visit