Wellington, FL - Kelley Farmer and Larry Glefke's new mount, Taken, dominated the professional divisions today at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). The pair took home the championship ribbons and coolers in both the First Year Green Working Hunter and the Regular Working Hunter divisions, both of which are kindly sponsored by Western Hay and Suncoast Bedding.
Farmer has only had the ride on Taken, a seven-year-old warmblood gelding, since two weeks ago, when Glefke bought him from jumper rider, Ali Nilforushan. "He had not shown in this country. He did a little bit of jumpers in Europe, but he's not old, so he hadn't done much," Farmer noted of Taken.
Although they have only shown for two weekends together, they pair has received three championships at the FTI WEF. "He was a hunter from the first moment Kelley put her leg over him. We've had some great horses this year, but he's amazing. There's nothing we've asked him to do so far that he can't do," owner/trainer Larry Glefke explained.
Taken and Farmer, of Keswick, VA, were consistent this week, and placed first, third, first, and second over fences, as well as sixth in the under saddle to repeat their performance from last week and claim the Regular Working Hunter Championship.
They also received three first place ribbons over fences in the First Year Green Working Hunters, and received scores of 86, 88, and 86 throughout the week. The reserve champion ribbon in the Regular Working Hunters was awarded to Amy Momrow and Star Quest's Serenade, owned by Deborah Brenner. The reserve championship in the First Year Green Working Hunters was awarded to Cookie Beck and Last Call, owned by Lisa Cudahy.
Farmer described Taken as "unbelievable." "He's like a little ball. He's quiet, he goes in a rubber bit, and I wear long spurs. He's fun to ride because he's got a ton of ability, and he's super careful, but not nervous at all. He barely ever rubs the jumps," Farmer beamed.
Farmer and Glefke believe that Taken will get sold soon, but in the meantime they will try to get him qualified for the prestigious Devon Horse Show. "He's an amazing animal. These kinds of horses make it easy," Farmer commented.
The remainder of week nine's competition will feature Pony, Children's, Junior, and Amateur Hunters. Hunter competition will conclude on Sunday, March 14.
The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 13 through April 4. WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are "AA" rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $5.5 million in prize money will be awarded.
Photo Credits: Kelley Farmer and Taken were the First Year Green and Regular Working Hunter champions during week nine of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.© 2010 Randi Muster/Mustphoto, Inc., Official Sport Photographer of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.