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Kelley Farmer Leads Professional Hunter Divisions at Kentucky Spring Horse Show

RELEASE: May 9, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Emily Riden for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Kelley Farmer and Taken jumping to back-to-back blue ribbons in Thursday's High Performance Hunter division of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. (Emily Riden)
Kelley Farmer and Taken jumping to back-to-back blue ribbons in Thursday's High Performance Hunter division of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. (Emily Riden)
Lexington, KY
-  Fresh off wins in Lexington, Virginia, Kelley Farmer made the trip to Lexington, Kentucky and once again topped the leader board during the first day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows. Farmer swept the field of top hunter riders in both of today's High Performance Hunter classes aboard Taken, kicking off the five-days of top-notch hunter competition held throughout the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, May 8-12, 2013 at the Kentucky Horse Park.

"I love it out here. We rent a farm here in Kentucky for the spring and summer, so it's nice to come out and enjoy it," Farmer stated. "The horses were all great this morning."

Farmer and Taken's back-to-back scores of 85 secured them the top call over both of the day's Skip Bailey designed High Performance courses in the Stonelea Ring.

"It's a lovely ring to ride in. You can really canter and then when you build big, full jumps in there the horses jump so nice. Skip [Bailey] always builds them so that the horses jump well and have to try hard," Farmer shared. "Taken jumped great today. He's always a good boy for me."

Finishing just behind the experienced Taken in the first class of the High Performance division it was again Farmer, this time aboard green mount Adelmo, owned by Jay Golding of Gordonsville, VA. Farmer and Adelmo earned a score of 84 to take second in the eight-year-old's High Performance debut. The High Performance divisions provided the ideal opportunity for Farmer to prepare both horses for this weekend's USHJA Hunter Derbies, which will be held this Saturday, May 11, 2013 in the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Also earning a score of 84, were Scott Stewart and Dedication, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker of Middleburg, VA. The pair finished with the red ribbon in the second class of the High Performance division.

Stewart continuously proved to be another dominating force in today's professional hunter divisions in the Stonelea Ring, as he swept the Regular Conformation over fences classes aboard Beholden, owned by Fashion Farm of New York, NY. Scores of 87 and 85 had the pair jogging in the first place position just ahead of Jennifer Alfano riding Timber Ridge and Hunt Tosh aboard Cold Harbor who each took the second place position in the first and second classes respectively.

"Beholden was great. I was really happy with him because I only showed him a few times in Florida, and it hasn't been since week three or four there, so he was really good. He was maybe the best he's been this year," Scott commented. "The hardest part about him is he has such a big stride you have to go a bit slow. If you go at a normal pace you'd be leaving out strides, so it's a little hard to go that slow and jump the bigger jumps, but he's figuring that out. Today was the best he's done that."

Adding to Stewart's high placings for the day was Concept, owned by Alexa and Krista Weisman of Sherborn, MA, whom Stewart rode to a first and third place finish in the morning's Green Conformation Hunter classes.

In the Second Year Green Hunters, the blue ribbon over the first course went to Farmer and On the Hour, owned by Jessica Stitt of Elburn, IL.

"He's a lot like Taken and Mythical in that he's a little horse with a lot of jump and a lot of stride and he tries hard," Farmer said regarding On the Hour. "He's a blast to ride. You can pick up a gallop and go."

Finishing with the top award over the second course of the Second Year Green Hunters were Caroline Weeden and Lucky Times, owned by Old Willow Farms LLC of Northfield, IL.

All of the professional hunter divisions will conclude Friday in the Stonelea Ring with championship and reserve championship awards. This week's highlight events include the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Saturday evening, as well as the first $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby. The $50,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series features seven events that culminate with the $15,000 Leading Hunter Rider Awards.

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