Friday’s $50,000 International Hunter Derby, the marquis Hunter class of the Tryon Spring 6/92nd Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Charity Horse Show at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), saw Kelley Farmer (USA) and In Writing top the first round on a score of 186. Due to weather forcing competition to halt, their first-round score would be enough to take the win. In second, Aaron Vale (USA) and Iwan, a 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Quasimodo VD Molendreef) owned by Madison Rauschenbach, received a total score of 182, while Jennifer Alfano (USA) rode Channing, a 2010 German Sporthorse gelding (Crossfire x Korg) owned by Olivia Woods, to their place on the podium on a score of 169. Josh Dolan (USA) and Menelik, Signe Ostby’s 2010 Hanoverian stallion (Monte Bellini x Statella P), also scored 169, receiving a base score of 83 from the tie-breaker judge to collect fourth place.
Kelley Farmer on In Writing. Photo by TIEC.
Farmer and the 2009 Holsteiner gelding (Quirado x Pandora VLL) owned by David Glefke and Wendy Hofmeister navigated the Lewis Pack (USA) course alongside 21 other horse-and-rider pairs, and added four points for high options. “The course was lovely, and I have to say, I’ve got to brag on my horse a little bit. I have an incredible animal, which makes my life really easy,” Farmer detailed. “The first three jumps were nice, and kind of got you into the course, and for the fourth to fifth bending line you had to have a horse with a bit of scope to jump the high option. But, I know my horse has all the ability in the world, so I never really worry with him – it’s a nice problem to have – when I walk a course, I know that pretty much anything they can build, he can do it.”
Aaron Vale on Iwan. Photo by TIEC.
Horse shows at TIEC are currently closed to spectators with stringent safety protocols in place for competitors. “It is nice to actually get back to a horse show – we were getting a little bit stir-crazy, I think, like everyone!” Farmer commented on her first show experience since COVID-19 halted horse shows earlier in the year. “It’s funny, because [as things started getting canceled] I had a lot of young horses in particular that really just needed to go to horse shows. In Writing won a lot during the circuit in Florida, but we were really just at a point where we really needed to do something – we were just at a point where he needed to come to a show.”
Jennifer Alfano on Channing. Photo by TIEC.
While Farmer described In Writing as an “experienced, simple horse who knows his job as a Hunter,” she explained that planning the best course of action during a lengthy pause in competition was a bit of a challenge:
“You get to a moment where you can only do so much at home to keep them fit and not over-school or over-jump. We are all so used to showing so regularly that it was a bit awkward to navigate,” she admitted. “Fortunately, in Kentucky at home, we have some beautiful hills and fields where we could keep [In Writing] fit and ready to go. But it is really nice to be back in the horse show ring. There are not many places that give nice money away for Hunter classes anymore, and that’s a shame, so we appreciate having a show that does.”
Josh Dolan on Menelik. Photo by TIEC.
“They do a great job at this horse show. We love coming here,” Farmer concluded. “The footing is nice, the stalls are nice, it’s nice for the horses – all the people involved in making it happen, this lovely facility – they’ve gone above and beyond to make sure we are all safe and followed our orders. The horse show and management have done their part and more to make sure that we all get to keep horse showing. I know it was not an easy task, so I applaud their effort for sure.”
For full results of this class, click here. The Tryon Spring 6/92nd Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Charity Horse Show continues through Sunday, June 7, featuring Hunter, Jumper, and Equitation competition. Live ring feeds are available here.