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News

Kelley Farmer Kicks Off Kentucky Spring Classic With Clean Sweep of Conformation Hunters

RELEASE: May 16, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Emily Riden for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Kelley Farmer and Skorekeeper (Phelps Media Group)
Kelley Farmer and Skorekeeper (Phelps Media Group)
Lexington, KY
- Clear, sunny skies and lush Kentucky bluegrass welcomed riders back to the Kentucky Horse Park for week two of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows. The Kentucky Spring Classic runs today through May 19 and attracts the best of the best for five days of 'AA' rated hunter competition. Among those leading riders are Kelley Farmer and Shawn Casady, both of whom topped the leaderboard today.

After a successful first week in Kentucky, Farmer returned to the Stonelea Ring to kick things off by sweeping all four of the day's Conformation Hunter classes with Skorekeeper, owned by Larry Glefke and Quail Run Partnership of Keswick, VA.

The seven-year-old gelding is a relatively new mount for Farmer, having just been purchased following the winter circuit in Florida. The pair made their debut in Lexington, VA before traveling to Lexington, KY to finish in the ribbons in last week's Kentucky Spring Horse Show. After traveling to Tennessee this past weekend to finish sixth in the Memphis in May USHJA International Hunter Derby, Skorekeeper came back to Kentucky ready to win.

"That was his first derby ever, and then he came back here today like he was an old, made horse," Farmer shared. "When I showed him at Lexington, VA, he was still making very green mistakes. It's funny what a couple weeks of showing and a derby will do. He came back today like he really knew what he was doing. I couldn't be happier with him. I was thrilled."

And with good reason. Skorekeeper started the morning with a blue ribbon in the Conformation Hunter model class and then delivered two back-to-back polished rounds over the Bobby Murphy designed Conformation Hunter courses to take first place in both classes.

"Bobby does a great job," Farmer commented. "He builds so that the horse jump really well. He builds them fences out, and he builds them beautifully. Today rode really smoothly and really comfortably, and the horses all jumped well."

Farmer and Skorekeeper finished the day with another blue ribbon, this time in the Conformation Hunter under saddle class, leaving the pair well ahead of the pack going into the awarding of the division championship tomorrow.

Farmer also saw success in the same division aboard her second mount Dancing Solo, owned by Larry Glefke and Dr. Kenneth Garber of Keswick, VA. The duo finished second over the first course as well as second in the under saddle.

"We're just doing Dancing Solo once before we go to Devon. With Skorekeeper, he needs to get a little more showing under his belt because he doesn't have as much. She just needed to get out and do a horse show before Devon," Farmer explained. "I'm lucky to be in the position I'm in right now with so many great horses."

In the combined Second Year and High Performance Hunters, it was Shawn Casady who led the jog following the second course. Casady finished high in the ribbons in both of the over fences classes and the hack aboard Ascot, owned by the HJ Group LLC of Sewickley, PA.

Today marked only the second time Casady has shown Ascot, with the first time being last week in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby where they finished sixth.

"He's awesome. He's slow and big strided, and he spends his time in the air over the fence," Casady stated. "I liked the courses today. It wasn't just your average diagonal seven or five stride, there was a four stride that was kind of sharp out of the corner. They were nice courses and decorated beautifully too."

Winning the first class of the Second Year and High Performance Hunter division were Caroline Weeden and Lucky Times, owned by Old Willow Farms LLC of Northfield, IL.

Weeden, Casady and Farmer will be among those returning tomorrow to vie for the hunter division championships as competition continues at the Kentucky Horse Park. Among the highlight events of the week is the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby, the second in the $50,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series, a seven event series that culminates with the $15,000 Leading Hunter Rider Awards.

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