Rachel Boggus Achieves Goal in Winning ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals
Upper Marlboro, MD – October 3, 2014 – Two major finals were held today at The Capital Challenge Horse Show, presented by The Gochman Family. In the WCHR Professional Finals, sponsored by the John R. Ingram Fund, the top six hunter riders in the country went head to head over three rounds, and Kelley Farmer took the top spot. Rachel Boggus achieved her goal of six years by winning the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals, sponsored by ARIAT International. The Capital Challenge Horse Show, held at the Prince George's Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, runs through Sunday, October 5.
The WCHR Pro Finals used the same three-round format as last year. Riders switched on two donated horses for the first two rounds, then brought a horse of their own for the third and final handy round. In the first round, the high score went to Sandy Ferrell on All The Right Moves, with an 88.16. In round two, Hunt Tosh and Askaro jumped to a high score of 91.33.
But it was still Ferrell in the lead after round two, with a total of 177.16 after a solid second round of 89 on Game On. Tosh sat in second place with 174.66, just in front of Kelley Farmer and Scott Stewart who had equal scores of 173.66. John French had 168.33, and Tara Metzner was on 148.33.
It all came down to the handy round to determine the night's winner. While Kelley Farmer came into the round in fourth place, a spectacular round with her Regular Conformation horse Mindful sealed the win for her. The judges gave her scores of 92, 92, and 95 for an average of 93 and a three round total of 266.66.
“Fortunately, since my horse is an ex-grand prix horse and so light on his feet and light to ride, he’s an amazing handy horse,” Farmer explained. “He’s used to doing that at four-foot, so at 3’6” he thought it was really simple. Whatever I ask him, he’s willing and tries hard. When I walked the course I knew I could go inside smoothly to the hand gallop, and he’ll pretty much follow you wherever you want. There’s nothing you can’t ask him to do.”
Farmer, of Keswick, VA, also thanked the owners of her first two horses and the trainers that brought them to the Finals. “They were lovely, and thank you to Karen Healey and Jim Hagman. Those were really nice horses. I think they were all a really good group of horses.Thank you to everyone who loaned us horses,” she said.
Three more riders went after her, and while Ferrell had a solid lead, a mistake cross-cantering after the first jump landed her in fifth place with a total of 254.16.
Ferrell praised course designer Kenny Krome's courses for the night. She talked about her strategy for the handy round, and what happened to take her from first to fifth. “I didn’t get to see the first few riders go, but you know we had a little different strategy. We tried the first jump off the left lead. My horse is much more of a left-leaded horse, so that was the approach I took,” she recalled. “I didn’t get in trouble with the jump, but upon landing, he landed hard and spooked from the flowers. What are you going to do? He’s been amazing this week, and I’m certainly not going to be upset with my horse. We had a little bit of bad luck, but that’s okay.”
Second place went to Hunt Tosh, who had a good handy round score of 88.33 on Libretto, and he finished with 262.99.
Tosh rode Libretto for the first time on Monday, and was offered the ride by trainer Tammy Provost two weeks ago in Kentucky. Tosh explained that his First Year horse wasn't ready, and his other horse at Capital Challenge is “a little funny with crowds and at night.” He added, “When Tammy told me I could use him in Kentucky, I kind of just stuck with him. I've seen him a couple times, and I knew he would go in and be simple and do everything I asked him.”
Tosh enjoyed the ride on Libretto. “He was super and fun to ride,” he said. “That was the first time I jumped around a course, tonight. He went great. It was a fun class tonight. We all have a good time together; during the week, and on a night like tonight. We had a blast.”
Scott Stewart rode Reality in the handy round and scored 88 for a total of 261.66, finishing in third place. Stewart has the most experience in the WCHR Pro Finals, and spoke about the three-round format saying, “I like the format for the most part. It's good for the crowd. It’s a fun class and moves quickly because we did just three rounds.”
Fourth place went to John French, who finished on 255.33. French rode his handy hunter horse, Y Wonder Y, for the first time today. “I've seen him in California because Jenny Karazissis rides him. Gail, the owner, was nice enough to let me borrow him. It's hard to find a horse that's not already been showing in the professionals, juniors, amateurs, for this class. Like Hunt said, I didn't have too many options,” he explained. “But he was really good tonight. I'm really happy that they loaned him to me.”
Tara Metzner, riding in her first ever WCHR Pro Finals, had a great handy round on Illusion with an 89.33 and a total of 237.66 for sixth place. “He's a super horse,” she said of Illusion. “I've ridden him for about a year on and off, for Destry Spielberg. I can't thank her enough for allowing me to ride him. He's brave and handy, and he'll do all the tricks, anything I ask. I had a great time.”
Talking about her first experience in the WCHR Pro Finals, she said, “I had a fantastic time tonight. For me, qualifying for this class was a complete shock and just an extra bonus. I had a super time. The horses I had were a little bit spooky, but you know what, I found the jumps, and I was excited that I did that. It was amazing, and these guys all gave me a riding lesson. I was honored to be in the bunch.”
Ferrell praised the USHJA and Capital Challenge teams for making this night special for the riders and fans of the hunter sport. “We as riders and trainers who participate need to remember that the people behind the scenes are working very, very hard to make this a nice night for all of us. I just wanted to say thank you to Geoff (Teall), Louise Serio, and everyone else on the team out there who does this for us and for making this happen.”
Farmer broke her collarbone in a fall on August 3 and had surgery on August 11, and she came back to the show ring two weeks ago in Kentucky. She wanted to make sure she had a show in hand before coming to Capital Challenge. “I was a little bit ahead of schedule coming back to riding,” she admitted. “I was going a little stir crazy being on the ground. But I’m happy to be back.”
Farmer called her win tonight “a relief,” since she made winning the class a goal for the past six times she has competed in the class. “My horse won tonight. He's an amazing animal, and I could not have done it without that horse. (He) belongs to Ken and Selma Garber of Kensel LLC. We got him shortly before Devon at Kentucky Spring. He's as amazing as you saw this evening. He has never let me down, (and) no matter what you ask him to do, he's capable. I'm very fortunate to have him.”
For her win tonight in the WCHR Professional Finals, Farmer was presented with the “All the Way” Perpetual Trophy, donated by Elizabeth Busch Burke and Lysa Burke Horkan. The Far West Farms Perpetual Trophy donated by the Karazissis Family was given to Askaro, owned by Emily Hilton, as the Best Horse.
All of the riders thanked the owners for letting them use their horses in the WCHR Professional Finals. The horses in tonight’s class were:
Rounds 1 & 2
All The Right Moves, owned by East Coast Sport Horses
Askaro, Emily Hilton
Canthano, Elvenstar Farm
O So Soxy, Ponies & Palms Show Stables LLC
October Road, Emma Tchen
Game On, Gabrielle Bendall
Mindful, Larry Glefke & Kensel, LLC
Libretto, Alliy Moyer
Illusion, Destry Spielberg
Y Wonder Y, West Coast Equine Partners LLC
Fifty Shades, Meredith Lipke
Reality, Krista & Alexa Weisman
1 KELLEY FARMER: ASKARO, CANTHANO, MINDFUL
89.00 86.00 87.00 87.33
87.00 85.00 87.00 86.33
92.00 92.00 95.00 93.00 266.66
2 HUNT TOSH: CANTHANO, ASKARO, LIBRETTO
85.00 82.00 83.00 83.33
92.00 91.00 91.00 91.33
91.00 85.00 89.00 88.33 262.99
3 SCOTT STEWART: GAME ON, ALL THE RIGHT MOVES, REALITY
87.00 84.00 84.00 85.00
89.00 88.00 89.00 88.66
90.00 88.00 86.00 88.00 261.66
4 JOHN FRENCH: OCTOBER ROAD, O SO SOXY, Y WONDER Y
86.00 85.00 85.00 85.33
85.00 80.00 84.00 83.00
87.00 86.00 88.00 87.00 255.33
5 SANDY FERRELL: ALL THE RIGHT MOVES, GAME ON, FIFTY SHADES
87.50 89.00 88.00 88.16
90.00 89.00 88.00 89.00
73.00 80.00 78.00 77.00 254.16
6 TARA METZNER: O SO SOXY, OCTOBER ROAD, ILLUSION
83.00 76.00 75.00 78.00
76.00 75.00 60.00 70.33
88.00 89.00 91.00 89.33 237.66
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