Jayne, Farmer and Arani take top hunter awards Wednesday

Oct. 27, 2010 – Wednesday's Top Champions: Maggie Jayne rode Francesca to the Grand Hunter Championship. Kelley Farmer was named the Leading Hunter Rider and Stacy Arani and Bolero picked up the Grand Amateur-Owner Championship. Arani also was named the Leading Amateur-Owner Rider.

Grand Hunter Championship: Maggie Jayne and Francesca

A strong performance in the Regular Conformation Hunter division, where Jayne, of Elgin, IL, and Francesca were champions for the second year in a row, and a championship in the First Year Green Working Hunter with Summer Place, they were a cinch to take the grand championship. Both horses are owned by Pony Lane Farm.

“It means a lot because you work very hard to get here and if you come with happy, sound horses and do well, it’s a bonus. She (Francesca) loves it here; she likes spooky jumps and she loves the footing,” said Jayne. “She does well when there are three classes and she always does well in the hack and the model. It’s a good division for us. She is particular; she likes things her way.”

Francesca, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, also will show Thursday in the junior hunters with owner Madeline Thatcher. “Maddie and I are extremely different riders and she (Francesca) is able to cope with any ride,” said Jayne. “She never says no and she loves showing. She gets better the more she goes.”

Jayne just started riding Summer Place, an eight-year-old Sachsen-Anhaltiner Warmblood gelding, last week at Harrisburg. “We showed him in the conformation hunters just to get my feet wet on him. Everything went very well here,” said Jayne. “He’s just a very fancy, easy-going horse that we are happy to have. He’s a first year (horse), but very level headed. He's very soft, he has a huge stride and a big slow jump. He’s a little different. You have to take your time and go slow so it can be pretty, kind of like Francesca.”

Leading Hunter Rider: Kelley Farmer

With a championship or reserve in five hunter divisions, Kelley Farmer, of Keswick, VA, easily earned the title of Leading Hunter Rider.

“I've never been leading hunter rider here, and I really wanted to,” said Farmer. “It feels great. There are a lot of really nice horses and really good riders. It's a great achievement and I'm excited.”

Riding Listen, a six-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, owned by Jane Gaston of The Plains, VA, Farmer won the Green Conformation Hunter championship with two blues over fences and a second in the model. They were reserve champion in the Regular Conformation Division.

“He's just a good boy,” said Farmer of Listen. “He's a quiet horse, but he's still a baby. It's mentally exhausting for him. I was so proud of him. He certainly proved that he's a good horse.”

Farmer picked up another championship in the Regular Working Hunter Division with Rosalynn, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare of Warrenton, VA. They won two over fences classes and a second, and were fourth under saddle.

With this result, Farmer and Rosalynn were awarded the Protocol Trophy, presented to the Regular Working Hunter with the most points at the Devon Horse Show, Pennsylvania National Horse Show, and Washington International Horse Show combined.

Farmer also was reserve champion with Taken, owned by Nancy Yamling, in First Year Green Working Hunter, and reserve champion with Madison Free’s Bases Loaded in Second Year Green Working Hunter. 

Farmer credits her consistency over the past two days to top horses. “I couldn't ask for a better string of horses. It's a privilege to have animals like that. We get lucky when we have one nice horse, and they come and they go. I happen to be lucky enough right at this moment to have a string of them,” she said

Grand Amateur-Owner Champion: Stacy Arani and Bolero

The Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship went to Stacy Arani on Bolero, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding. They were division champions in the Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunters after they placed first, third and third over fences and sixth under saddle.

Arani of Dover, MA, also was presented with the Leading Amateur-Owner Hunter Rider award sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare.

“That was really fun,” said Arani. “I have never been champion at Indoors before. I was reserve last week at Harrisburg and that was so awesome for me because I had never been champion or reserve. I have the most amazing horse. He didn’t touch a jump here. He did everything I asked of him, and I love that about him.”

After Harrisburg, Arani focused on improving her performance. “He’s so consistent and he’s so good, so it’s kind of up to me,” she acknowledged. “I feel like I rode as well as I could today so whatever happened I was happy. It just comes down to everybody else and a lot of luck at these shows. A little bit of riding, a lot of luck.”

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