Lexington, Ky.- May 14, 2016 – Sunday was ‘Derby Day’ in the Claiborne Ring at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show with the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby as well as the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby. The International Hunter Derby was dominated by Kelley Farmer who took the top two spots on Baltimore and Point Being and had a total of five horses in the class. The third spot went to Peter Wylde and Quax.

Farmer took the lead in the first round on Baltimore, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding with a score of 189, taking all four high options on the Bobby Murphy designed course. “When you jump the high options, he can jump careful it doesn’t matter where you get. Long or deep, he doesn’t really care,” Farmer said. “He is that dependable, that careful, that brave, that’s him. No matter what I ask him he tries.”Kelley Farmer and Baltimore PresentationKelley Farmer and Baltimore Presentation. Photo: Sarah Harper/Phelps Media Group.

With five horses in the class, Farmer was able to use each round to improve her plan for the next. “When we walked the handy and we saw the inside turns I thought they were ugly to be totally honest,” she explained. “I did them on Need I Say because he is handy. I thought if he can do them then at least I know how hard or not hard they are. I kind of knew what I was going to do on Need I Say and was a little bit play it by ear on the rest depending on what everyone else did and the horses and how it was going.”

Farmer and Baltimore excelled in the handy, pulling in scores of 89 and 90 from the judges. Adding on 4 points for taking the high options, and 7 and 5 handy points, respectively. Bringing their total score to 388. She was full of praise for Baltimore’s performance in the handy round. “Baltimore can get so high and so careful and land and turn he is so catty and his front end is so automatic. He’s a fantastic horse.”

Farmer also impressed the judges on Point Being bringing in a score of 369 and taking all of the high options in both rounds. Peter Wylde and Quax were right behind her in third place with a score of 368.5.Peter Wylde and QuaxPeter Wylde and Quax. Photo: Sarah Harper/Phelps Media Group.

Earlier in the day Geoffery Hesslink excelled in the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby winning aboard Rookie, an 8-year-old Warmblood gelding, and taking third place with Esco. Douglas Boyd took second place with Calido’s Son.

The $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby is part of the $40,0000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series which is returning for the fifth year in a row at the Kentucky Horse Park. The five-part series a $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Bonus presented at the conclusion of the series.Geoffrey Hesslink and RookieGeoffrey Hesslink and Rookie. Photo: Sarah Harper/Phelps Media Group.

Hesslink started off the first round with a score of 90, taking all four high options. “My first round was a little conservative,” he said. “I was a little nervous with how the class was going, but I decided to do all the high options and I think that really paid off because not many other people did.”

Hesslink returned in the handy round taking three of the high options to a score of 89 and a total score of 179. “I liked my handy round a lot better,” he admitted. “I went all out and tried to do all the inside turns. I tend to be better at those and I thought both horses were amazing.

Hesslink praised the course design for its ability to play to each horse’s strengths. “I thought the course was great it was a lot of singles and long run approaches,” he explained. “You were able to show your horses stride and ride the course out of a rhythm.”

Geoffrey Hesslink and Rookie PresentationGeoffrey Hesslink and Rookie. Photo: Sarah Harper/Phelps Media Group.

Douglas Boyd and Calido’s Son were right behind Hesslink in second place with a score of 178. Hesslink rounded out the top three with a score of 176 aboard his second mount Esco.

Hesslink was enthusiastic about his experience here in Kentucky. “I came here last summer for the first time,” he said. “I really liked it and that’s why I’m back this year. I think the Kentucky Horse Park is an amazing facility and they do a great job here with everything from the jumps to the events and the prestige, they make it really nice for the spectators and riders.”

The Kentucky Spring Classic will continue May 18–22, 2016 with the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby in the Stonelea Ring on Saturday May 21, 2016. It will also offer WIHS and NAL qualifiers plus $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Classics.

For more information about the Kentucky Horse Shows please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.