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Kelley Farmer Breezes into the Windy City to Claim First and Second in the Showplace Spring Spectacular III $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Kelley Farmer and So to Speak won the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, sponsored by Bull Run Equestrian, to kick off the third week of the Showplace Spring Spectacular Series.

Wayne, IL - June 17, 2014 -
 Showplace Spring Spectacular III started off its World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Week at Lamplight Equestrian Center with Show Manager Patrick Boyle living up to his reputation of doing it right, with a day dedicated to the hunter derbies.  Tuesday's competition featured the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby sponsored by Bull Run Equestrian along with the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Boyle doesn't stop there, he also hosted the $2,500 Showplace 2'6" Children's/Adult Hunter Derby and the $2,500 Showplace Pony Derby, sponsored by Littlewood Farm. Boyle pays attention to the details, making each derby special with top-notch presentations, awards, courses and hospitality like no other.

"I think Pat Boyle gets it right, setting aside a day to make the derbies as special as they are," said sponsor Diane Carney. 

Boyle’s USHJA International Hunter Derby is one of the prestigious derbies listed on the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame Trophy for Best Derby in 2007.  During the luncheon, they played the video that is shown at the Show Hunter Hall of Fame Dinner at Devon, which shows clips of all the derbies on the trophy, including Boyle’s. His hospitality included a lovely luncheon graciously sponsored by MDE Events, Brookwood Farm and Canterbury Farm. Waiters circulated around the VIP area with amazing appetizers, two beverage bars and a fantastic lunch.  Spectators enjoyed beautifully decorate tables with orders of go to keep score of their derby favorites as they enjoyed fantastic food and unlimited beverages. Boyle’s derby productions attract top riders from around the country for not only the prize money but also the quality of the class.

“We are absolutely thrilled to support Showplace Productions through our sponsorship of the Derby Day luncheon. Not only do we love supporting local shows, but this very special day allows us the opportunity to support the derby program in general, which is super. I love watching these talented horse and rider teams navigate those courses. It’s inspiring to see the hunters have such amazing opportunities.  I’m a huge fan!” said MDE (Michelle Durpetti Events) owner Michelle Durpetti.

Top rider Kelley Farmer had her day at the derby today, taking both the first and second place spots overall out of 30 riders.  So to Speak, owned by Kensel LLC, earned the win in the first round with a score of 192. In the handy, Farmer made the round smooth with economical turns and demonstrated her signature long run gallop to the last oxer, landing her a second round score of 202.50 making the total 394.50 for the win.

Larry Glefke, Kelley Farmer and winning mount So to Speak

Another Farmer mount, Unspoken owned by David Glefke, set the bar high as well with the second highest first round score of 182.50.  Farmer made calculated tight turns and rollbacks with this horse along with quite the gallop to the last jump, bringing in two scores of 10 for their handiness and a second round total of 205, winning the handy round, and a total of 387.50 for second place overall.

The Skip Bailey designed course had a unique arced two stride made of straw bales, several bold oxers along with plenty of room to gallop. The new LUXMAX U.S.A. Grand Prix Ring boasted its new LUXMAX LED screen, which allowed spectators to see the action from every angle.

Kelley Farmer and Unspoken

"This was the first time I have ridden in this ring since they redid the footing," said Farmer. "Last year it was not quite ready but it's beautiful. I thought that some of the horses had their eye on the Jumbotron, but I think you have to go with it. They have it at Derby Finals, and they have to learn about it if they act green about it."

"Skip builds courses where you can carry pace, and also he does a great job in the handy where if you want to take the chance, you can, and win. And he makes them so if you want to show a green horse and get around you can," added Farmer.

Why do Larry Glefke and Farmer return to Showplace year after year?

"This is home," said Farmer. "He gives good prize money and they do a beautiful job."

Glefke added, "The course designer. I know what to expect when Skipper [Skip Bailey] builds a course. I know I can bring my babies and he'll leave me a way out so I don't have to go in there and kill one. He makes the jumps inviting, and the big boys will have to jump. I am a big, big fan of Skip's courses. We are following him to Denver this year, and then we will be back in Chicago for the Chicago Hunter Derby."


Tammy Provost, another top hunter rider demonstrated her amazing talent on Santerno with accurate and smooth turns and a true hand gallop to the final oxer, landing with a big smile on her face and scores of 9 and 10 for handiness with an overall score of 380 for third place on the leader board.

Tamara Provost and Santerno

The next three places went to local Chicago area riders with Freddie Vazquez and Presently, owned by Mark Senn, taking fourth with a total of 366 followed by Meagan Murray on Emily Ablin's Well Versed with a total of 365. Sixth place was awarded to Granted Wish and Caitlyn Shiels with a total of 364.50 points.

$10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

A Derby Day Breakfast, sponsored by Telluride Farm and Diane Carney, welcomed exhibitors and spectators to the long anticipated Showplace Hunter Derby Day early Tuesday morning. The LUXMAX U.S.A. Grand Prix Ring opened with the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Galway Farms, with 47 contenders vying for the victory.

Only the top 12 returned for the handy course, which asked many questions of horse and rider alike. Bailey designed the course with pace in mind, asking the riders to spur on their horses with a hand gallop, open lines and varying options.

Maria Rasmussen and Memorable, owned by Over Fences Farm LLC, rode to the best scores of the classic and handy rounds. Their first-round score of 91 granted them the opportunity to return as the last of the 12, an advantage that is well worth the ride. 

Rasmussen took a different approach to the opening oxer, cantering down the center of the LUXMAX U.S.A. Grand Prix Ring and making a right rollback with the 6-year-old "Mo." This display of handiness, combined with her horse's classic hunter style and finesse over the four high options earned the duo the score of 94 for their handy round. They won the class by five points, leading the victory gallop.

"This is only his second derby, I was so impressed by how spectacular he jumped in the first round," Rasmussen said. "He is a pleaser, has a really good jump and a great stride."

Maria Rasmussen and Memorable

Rasmussen laughed, "I tried to take a different track than everyone else in the handy. To tell you the truth, I was kind of panicking at the in gate, and I was almost about to change my mind about the opening approach-but he was awesome. I loved the course, and I thought there were a lot of good options out there to really showcase the best of your horse." 

Molly McAdow and Charlie Brown, owned by Lanie Bricker, finished in the second place position with a score of 180 points for their scores of 89 and 91. Caitlyn Shiels and Kenya took home the third place for their 178.5-point effort.

"I really liked the course today," said McAdow. "It really gave you several opportunities to show off your horse.  That Grand Prix ring can be an eyeful, especially for the young horses but the course wasn't so tricky you couldn't get a young one around.  All three of my green horses made it to the second round so I was very happy with that fact alone. Charlie Brown was just fantastic to ride today."

$2,500 Showplace Pony Hunter Derby

Ponies descended on the Wisconsin Equine Arena as 25 young riders tacked up for the $2,500 Showplace Pony Hunter Derby, sponsored by Littlewood Farm. Bailey continued his impressive course design, testing the child-pony combinations with oxers, rollbacks and perfectly placed foliage. Ashley Vogel rode Scott Stewart's Promise Too to the first place award. They finished with a cumulative score of 163.5 points, also earning the highest markings in the handy round.

The 13-year-old Vogel of Mequon, WI, has been riding for about seven years and is a veteran of the derbies.  She is leasing Promise Too from Stewart, and has been riding the pony since the start of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL.  

Ashley Vogel and Promise Too

"After the first round I was a little nervous," said Vogel, "but my trainer, Cookie [Beck] says 'It's all for fun,' so I didn't worry." 

Even the pony knew it was good, scoring an 83, she whinnied after the last jump.

"She's so much fun and this was my first win in a derby," added Vogel. "Next year I think I'm moving up to horses, and I'm really going to miss her."

Natalie Jayne and Blueberry Hill finished in the second place with 163 points, just a hair behind Vogel. Elizabeth Woods rode to the third place finish with Hidden Springs Woodstar's two-round score of 157 points.

$2,500 Showplace 2'6" Children's/Adult Hunter Derby

Winner of the $2,500 Showplace 2'6" Children's/Adult Hunter Derby
was Jaime Willis, 14, of  St. Charles, IL. Wills rides with Linda Zema at Bull Run Equestrian Center and just started riding his winning mount, Bravo, a few weeks ago.  Even though it was her first hunter derby, she prevailed as the winner with scores of 83 and 85.

"We weren't going to keep him but after the first week I loved him so much we started leasing him," said Willis. "Spring Spectacular has been our first show and I was really happy with our rounds and just learning how to ride him."

Jaime Willis and Bravo

Willis was in second place after the first round, but her phenomenal handy effort earned the pair a cumulative score of 168 points.

"I was thinking - don't mess up the next jump - while I was going in the first round. It's fun to have those long run canter jumps.  I would have been happy not to win but I did want to win," added Willis.

Kaitlin Frei and Mirage galloped behind Wills during the victory gallop, proudly displaying their reserve tricolor. Charlotte Ruff and Top Hat, owned by Micaela Kennedy, weren't too far behind, riding to the third place with a score of 163.

The third and final week of the Showplace Spring Spectacular Series will kick off tomorrow with a full schedule of hunter and jumper events. For more information on the Showplace Spring Spectacular III please visit:

$25,000 USHJA Intl Hunter Derby
result    entry #    horse / owner    rider    
1    502    So To Speak   Kensel, LLC    Kelley Farmer
2    503    Unspoken   David Glefke    Kelley Farmer
3    401    Santerno   Brenda Christenson    Tamara Provost
4    531    Presently   Mark Senn    Freddie Vazquez
5    381    Well Versed   EMILY ABLIN    Meagan Murray
6    264    Granted Wish   Helen Lindsay    Caitlyn Shiels
7    390    MTM Yowza   MTM Farm    Tracy Fenney
8    532    Marneux    Cynthia Baffa    Freddie Vazquez
9    508    Scripted   Kensel, LLC    Kelley Farmer
10    507    Point Being   Kensel, LLC    Kelley Farmer
11    501    Mindful   David Glefke    Kelley Farmer
12    261    Small Enchantment    Michelle Durpetti    Caitlyn Shiels

$10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
result    entry #    horse / owner    rider    
1    194    Memorable   Over Fences Farm LLC    MARIA Rasmussen
2    170    Charlie Brown    Lanie Bricker    Molly McAdow    
3    259    Kenya   Michelle Durpetti    Caitlyn Shiels
4    292    Summer Place   Pony Lane Farm    Madeline Thatcher
5    404    Harko   Rebecca Horwitz    Tamara Provost
6    167    Sheldon Cooper   Heather Concklin    Molly McAdow
7    378    Rockafella   Rebecca Price    Meagan Murray
8    235    Epic    Tess Fortune    Tess Fortune

$2,500 Showplace Pony Hunter Derby
result    entry #    horse / owner    rider    
1    138    Promise Too   Scott Stewart   Ashley Vogel
2    315    Blueberry Hill     Natalie Jayne    Natalie Jayne
3    241    Hidden Springs Woodstar   Elizabeth Woods    Elizabeth Woods
4    326    Rockefeller     Charlotte Novy    Charlotte Novy
5    269    Blue James Blue   Micaela Kennedy    Carson Ruff
6    615    News Flash    Annabella Sanchez    Annabella Sanchez
7    425    Greystone's Star Bright    Julia Hasler    Julia Hasler
8    175    Kaptin Krunch     Hanna Egan    Hanna Egan

$2,500 Showplace Children's/Adult Hunter Derby
result    entry #    horse / owner    rider    
1    447    Bravo   Bull Run Equestrian Center    Jaime Wills
2    164    Mirage   Kaitlin Frei    Kaitlin Frei
3    278    Top Hat   Micaela Kennedy    Charlotte Ruff    
4    400    For Furioso   Liz Stein    Liz Stein
5    200    I Love Lucy    Tamara Provost    Cole Vitello
6    450    Hillcrest's Lucky Blue   Madison Walker    Madison Walker
7    439    Beau Noir   Natalie Alden    Natalie Alden
8    280    Rintoo    Christine Lies    Mary Gurley


All photos by: Kendall Bierer/Phelps Media Group. These photographs may only be used in relation to this Phelps Media Group press release.