Kelley Farmer Returns to Equifest to Win It All in $15K USHJA International Hunter Derby

The final day of World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week at Lamplight Equestrian Center began on Sunday morning, set in the picturesque Grand Prix Arena. As the sun rose through the trees, championship horses and riders gathered in the schooling arena to make their final preparations for the day full of highlight events. In the highly anticipated $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, Kelley Farmer and Consent took to the arena, showing judges and spectators why they deserve to be on top.

Kelley Farmer and Consent. Photo by Phelps Sports

Farmer, a well-known and very successful hunter rider, is no stranger to derbies, leading the USHJA International Hunter Derby Lifetime Standing for Rider Money Won with an incredible $1,680,984 to her name. Her partner for the Sunday morning event was Consent, a 7-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by David Glefke and Kent Farrington LLC. The eye-catching gelding is known for his impressive jump, often propelling himself above the standards while simultaneously making the courses look effortless. Two panels of judges watched on as the pair rode to impeccable distances that showcased Consent’s scope during the first round. Scoring a total first round score of 191 with four high option fences, Farmer established herself as the leader of the class by 15 points.

Coming into the handy round last, spectators stood, watching with anticipation as Farmer and Consent picked up their canter to take a direct approach to the first vertical in course designer Paul Jewel’s handy course. Farmer navigated a seamless ride through rollback turns and a trot jump, taking all four high option jumps to score a 197. Upon exiting the ring, Farmer smiled and patted Consent, knowing that their trip was more than enough to take home the win. Seconds later their overall score of 388 was announced, putting them at the top of the 14 horse order by 23 points to claiming the $15,000 International Hunter Derby title once again.

“He was great in the first round and he felt great today,” shared an elated Farmer. “He always tries really, really hard and he always gives me 110%, so he is a lot of fun to ride. I was far enough ahead [going into the handy round] that I just didn’t want to make a stupid mistake. He is not going to do anything to let me down so I needed to not do anything to let him down.”

Kelley Farmer and Consent. Photo by Phelps Sports

Receiving the reserve honors in the competitive class was Jennifer Alfano and David Glefke’s Untouched. The 7-year-old Holsteiner mare put out her best effort as a catch ride for Alfano. Judges awarded the mare a 173.5 in the first round. Originally not in the top three of the competitive field of horses, Alfano and Untouched laid it all on the line in the handy, coming back with a score of 191.5 to give them a total of 365 and give them the leg-up needed to take second place.

Last year’s winners of the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, Dorothy Douglas and MTM Exceptional, jumped to the third place position in the class. MTM Exceptional is a 10-year-old Holsteiner owned by Abigail Davenport. The gelding received a first round score of 166.5, improving in the handy to score a 198. Their overall score was 364.5, missing the second place position by a mere half of a point.

$15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby results:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Score / R2 Score / Total Score
1. Consent / Kelley Farmer / Glefke & Kent Farrington LLC / 191 / 197 / 388
2. Untouched / Jennifer Alfano / David Glefke / 173.5 / 191.5 / 365
3. MTM Exceptional / Dorothy Douglas / Abigail Davenport / 166.5 / 198 / 364.5
4. Enchanted / Kelley Farmer / Christel Weller / 176 / 186 / 362
5. S & L Lion King / Dorothy Douglas / S & L Farms / 173.5 / 185 / 359
6. Flamboyant / Holly Shepherd / Debbie Holland / 153 / 181 / 334
7. Poetic / Ryan Sassmannshausen / Melissa Williams / 167 / 166 / 333
8. As Quoted / Kelley Farmer / David Glefke / 183 / 148 / 331
9. Anthemis Z / Jordan Lubow / Jordan Lubow / 157 / 171 / 328
10. Ollivander / Callie Rheinheimer / Wind Haven Farm /  154 / 154 / 308
11. MTM Amour / Katherine Le Blanc / Jeanne Pitre / 150 / 157 / 307
12. Midas / Holly Shepherd / Margret Camp / 143 / 64 / 207