October 30, 2013--The Kentucky Horse Park hosts numerous, top-of-the-line horse shows throughout the year, but only once a year is the Alltech Arena transformed into the beautiful home of the prestigious Alltech National Horse Show. The final destination on the indoor horse show circuit, the Alltech National Horse Show welcomes the nation's top hunter and jumper riders. Among them are Kelley Farmer and Scott Stewart.
Both riders are bringing to a close a remarkable show year, so it is only fitting that they would continue their winning ways straight through to the end. Farmer kicked off the first day of the Alltech National Horse Show with wins in both the Regular Conformation Hunter Model and the Green Conformation Hunter Model, both with Quotable, owned by Kenneth and Selma Garber. From there, Farmer and Stewart alternated turns atop the leader board, as Stewart next took the win in the first Regular Conformation Hunter class aboard Everly, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker.
"I was really happy with her today," said Stewart of Everly, who just recently made her transition from the jumper to the hunter ring. "At the [Washington International Horse Show], she was a little bit spooky in the small ring, so this was more like she goes when she is outside. She was much more relaxed."
Following Everly and Stewart's win, it was again Farmer's turn to ride away with the blue, this time in the Regular Conformation Hunter Handy, again with Quotable - as their back and forth winning continued for much of the day.
Farmer earned two more victories with Quotable in the Green Conformation Hunter division, sponsored by Dr. Kenneth Garber. Their success gave them a clean sweep of the division thus far and an overwhelming lead in the point standings going into tomorrow's day of championships.
In the First Year Green Hunters, it was again the Farmer and Stewart show as Stewart earned the first over fences victory of the division, sponsored by Goshen Hill, aboard Rose Hill Farm's Starmont. Farmer took the top call in the handy round aboard Larry Glefke and Quail Run Partnership's Skorekeeper.
Starmont has enjoyed a relatively light show schedule throughout the year, but has seen success every time he has stepped into the ring. "He's really easy and straightforward," Stewart said. "He has a really big stride. He also has a tendency, when he goes in the ring, to act like he's going to spook, but then he doesn't at all. I'm happy with him today."
Starmont has definitely proved his success, as has Skorekeeper who has shot up quickly through the ranks with Farmer. "Skorekeeper really jumped right up to the head of the class," said owner Glefke. "He's really an incredible horse, and he just keeps getting better."
While Farmer has seen great success throughout the year with all of her mounts, there is something special about the National Horse Show.
"At [Madison Square Gardens] it was really, really special, but they've done a good job of trying to bring that prestige here to Kentucky," Farmer said. "It's a really special horse show, and I think it has finally found a home again."
Stewart shares slightly similar sentiments, "This is the best indoor ring to show in, so it's nice to end the year here. You have more space outside to ride you horses, so it's much more horse friendly."
Stewart continued his winning streak in the High Performance Hunters, sponsored by Mr. Richard L. Duchossois, and the Performance 3'6" Hunters, sponsored by SBS Farm, this time with Dr. Betsee Parker's Dedication. They earned the win in the first class of each division.
"Dedication's first course was the best he's ever done," said Stewart. "He's only 8 years old. It seems like he should be older. He shows enough, but not all the time. He's great to ride. When he goes his best, he's really fun."
In the handy round of the High Performance Hunters, a new name topped the leader board as Peter Lombardo upped the ante for the win with Ante Up, owned by Janie Andrew. In the handy round of the Performance 3'6" Hunters, the victory went to another Dr. Betsee Parker owned mount, Way Cool, ridden by Victoria Colvin.
In the Second Year Green Hunters, sponsored by Oare & Adikes-Hill, it was Hunt Tosh who dominated with Queen Latiffa - a mare that has now led the Second Year Green Hunter division throughout major horse shows all year, including the Devon Horse Show and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. Tosh and Latiffa earned back-to-back blue ribbons in today's classes, to lead heading into tomorrow.
In the Performance 3'3" Hunters, sponsored by PhelpsSports.com, Hunt Tosh and Designated captured the blue ribbon prize during the first class. During the handy round, it was Peter Lombardo and Typecast earning the top call to wrap up the day.
Today's hunter competition set up a fantastic six-day competition for the top horse and rider combinations from across the country. The Alltech National Horse Show, 130th Edition will continue tomorrow with the start of the Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunter divisions, and the professional hunter divisions will award championship and reserve championship honors to the top finishers.