The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival continued Thursday as professional riders sought championship honors in various hunter divisions. This year, the High Performance Working Hunter division, sponsored by The Sanctuary at PBIEC, has been added to the list of divisions for competition. The new division is open to all riders and horses, and includes fences ranging in height from 4' to 4'6".
While eight horse and rider combinations competed over a two-day period, only one stood above them all. Kelley Farmer, riding her and Larry Glefke's mount Rosalynn, topped the field winning all five of the division's classes. The five-for-five winning streak was quite a feat for Rosalynn and Farmer as it is the first week of showing at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, which contines through April 3.
Reserve Champion was awarded to Summer Place, owned by Pony Lane Farm, and ridden by Maggie Jayne. Jayne and Summer Place were awarded ribbons in each jumping class, including three seconds and a third.
Farmer, who hails from Keswick, VA, has been riding Rosalynn for about a year and a half. However, only recently did Glefke and Farmer actually purchase Rosalynn, a 9-year-old Oldenburg mare by Lanciano. "She is just laid back and tries really hard," beamed Farmer.
Farmer had only positive things to say about the addition of a new division to the hunter line-up. The fence height in the High Performance Working Hunter division is the highest offered for hunter riders and horses to compete over. "Anything that lets horses with the ability to jump this high and showcase their talent is a good addition," stated Farmer.
Action continues tomorrow and through the weekend for hunter and equitation divisions at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. While the professional hunter divisions came to a close today, the amateur and junior divisions will continue. Among the competition for championships tomorrow will be the Camping World Amateur Adult 51 and Over Hunters, Section A. Horses and riders will be on course beginning at 8 a.m. in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Field.