Traverse City, MI - July 6, 2011 - Perfect summer weather greeted the first day of the first week of Horse Shows by the Bay in Traverse City, MI. The professional hunters took full advantage of the perfect weather and perfect footing in the R.L. Polk Family Main Hunter Ring. Kelley Farmer of Keswick, Va., and Straight Talk, owned by CH Farm, LLC, won big today in the $2,500 First Year Green Working Hunter, sponsored by Equisport Insurance Agency-Dan and Beth Graves. Cookie Beck and Erynn Ballard split the winnings in the Second Year Green Working Hunters.
Kelley Farmer had a fantastic day on all three of her rides in the First Year Green Hunter division today, topping each class on Straight Talk. She and Straight Talk had strong, smooth, confident rides in both classes and went straight to the top of the under saddle class. Coin Toss, owned by Am Free, Inc., jumped into second in both over fences classes and the under saddle with Farmer aboard.
"My horses were great! I'm so happy with all of them, actually. It's a beautiful place and they try to do everything, you know, last year the footing needed a little fixing and they did it and it's beautiful now. That's why I come back, my horses love it here, and everything you ask Alex [Rheinheimer] to do it will be done. She goes out of her way to go above and beyond to make a beautiful horse show," Farmer exclaimed.
Peter Pletcher of Magnolia, TX, also made quite an impression today in the Equisport Insurance Agency First Year Green Hunter division on both of his mounts. Peter and Valobra, owned by Eva Bisso, earned both a fourth and fifth place ribbon over fences and a third under saddle. Sue Copeland's Isaiah and Pletcher won a fourth and a fifth over fences and a sixth in the under saddle class.
In the Second Year Green Hunter division, both Cookie Beck and Erynn Ballard had two mounts and managed to split the wins. Erynn was able to jump her way to the top two spots of the first over fences class, winning it on Sigfried, owned by Susanne Stroh of Elizabeth, CO, and Choco Mousse, owned by Claire Thomas, followed right behind in second place. And Beck took the top two spots in the second over fences class. Jumping to first on Last Call, owned by Lisa Cudahy, and earning second on Ooh La La, also owned by Lisa Cudahy. Last Call and Cookie were also able to take home the blue ribbon in the Second Year Green under saddle.
"The show has been so accommodating, and the weather couldn't be more perfect. Plus, it's close to home and it suits every horse I brought. The town is wonderful, too, and we definitely want to come back for the whole month next year!" said Erynn Ballard after her winning rides.
Beautiful scenery, footing that's better than ever, and a fantastic facility seem to be the running themes of the first day of Horse Shows by the Bay. There is much more to look forward to in the coming weeks. During Series II, held July 13-17, highlights include a new $10,000 Horse Shows by the Bay Open Hunter Classic, a new $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Classic, as well as a $30,000 Grand Traverse Bay Grand Prix and VIP Sponsor Luncheon. Series III, taking place July 20-24, includes a $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, a $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Amateur-Owner Jumper Prix, and a $30,000 Grand Prix of the Great Lakes and VIP Sponsor Luncheon During the fourth and final week of competition, exciting events include the $30,000 D-BRAIDER Cherry Capital Classic Grand Prix, as well as a $10,000 Children's/Adult Jumper Prix and VIP Sponsor Luncheon.
For more information or to view schedules, please visit www.horseshowsbythebay.com or call 231-267-3700.
Photo: Kelley Farmer and Straight Talk Credit: Katie Anich/PMG