October 22, 2014--Kelley Farmer guided Mindful to the overall Grand Hunter Championship after sweeping two divisions.
Kelley Farmer and Mindful were in a league of their own this week to win the 2014 WIHS Grand Hunter Championship and receive the Rave Review Challenge Trophy, donated by Stoney Hill. The ten-year-old Hanoverian gelding swept every class in both the High Performance Working Hunter and Regular Conformation Hunter divisions to earn each championship tricolor.
In the High Performance Working Hunters, sponsored by The Wasserman Foundation, Mindful and Farmer accepted The “NOT ALWAYS” Challenge Trophy donated by Miss Peggy Steinman along with championship prizes for winning all four classes in the division. Todd Minikus and LPF LLC's LPF Woodford finished in reserve after placing second, third and fourth over fences and third in the under saddle.
In the Regular Conformation Hunters, sponsored by Lynn Ellen Rice, Farmer and Mindful once again topped every class and were presented with The Mary Farren Perpetual Trophy. Glefke and Kensell LLC's Why earned reserve honors ridden by Elizabeth Sanden-Mulvey. The pair placed second, second, and third over fences as well as fourth under saddle.
“He is an unreal horse. He is unbelievable,” Farmer said of Mindful. “I can't say enough about him. I am very lucky. He tries to win all the time, he wants to win, and he doesn't let me down. He has so much ability. When he doesn’t win, it's my fault. It's just because I have gotten in his way. He is an awesome animal, and he has been unreal.”
In addition to the grand championship, Mindful's owners, Glefke and Kensell LLC, were presented with the Leading Hunter Owner Award sponsored by The Reid Family. Mindful and Farmer were also presented with the special Protocol Trophy, sponsored by Platinum Performance, as the overall High Point High Performance Working Hunter from the Devon Horse Show, Pennsylvania National Horse Show, and Washington International Horse Show.
“Mythical won the Protocol last year, and Rosalynn won it three years ago. It is a very hard trophy to win, and I think it is very special,” Farmer stated. “For those three different venues that are so different, I think that is really a testament to a really good horse. It takes a hell of a horse to do it, and I am very proud that I have had three horses do it. All three of them were unbelievable animals and all three of them were capable of winning no matter the circumstances. It is really a true sign of a great horse.”
Showing in the city did not faze Mindful this week, who has proven himself in many different environments and even had a very successful jumper career before turning to the hunters. “He is out of a Thoroughbred mare, so he has enough blood to make him careful and aware, but he is a quiet horse,” Farmer mused. “He has so much ability that this is really easy for him. There is nothing that I have asked him to do that he thought was hard or that he hasn't given us 100%.”
Farmer has been showing at WIHS since she was a child on ponies, but noted that you never lose that special feeling of nerves and excitement showing in the nation's capital. “It always gives you a special feeling,” she said. “If you don't get that feeling, then you should stop. It's the best feeling in the world when you walk to the ring. It's do or die. It's excitement.”