Wellington, FL - This is the last week of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) for hunters to secure a tricolor, and Sandy Ferrell and Showman, owned by Alexa & Krista Weisman, ended on a great note when they received their third championship of the twelve-week FTI WEF in the Western Hay & Suncoast Bedding First Year Green Working Hunters.
Alexa and Krista Weisman bought Showman from Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley about two years ago, and owner Alexa Weisman also competes with her mount in the Amateur Hunter divisions.
Ferrell, of Bernville, PA, competed with Showman six times throughout the 2010 FTI WEF, and has been champion three times, and reserve champion twice in the First Year Green Working Hunters. This is a very impressive feat, especially for one of the most well-attended hunter divisions at the horse show. Ferrell described the eight-year-old Westphalian gelding as the "epitome of a show hunter. He's beautiful, elegant, talented, and he goes to win."
Ferrell also expressed her satisfaction with Showman's demeanor and natural instinct, and said, "He has a brain that is just to die for. Some horses have God given instincts to jump high and slow, and when they don't have it, it can be a very difficult thing to teach. That horse always tries to jump every jump with all he has."
After the 2010 FTI WEF comes to an end, Ferrell plans to give Showman a break before taking him to Lexington, VA, Kentucky, and Devon. "We kind of pick and choose for the summer. He's got a lot of points as far as being qualified for anywhere. We'll adjust to Alexa's schedule so she gets to spend some time on him before she heads back to school, then we'll get him ready for indoors," Ferrell explained of her summer plans with Showman.
Ferrell has opted not to compete with Showman in the $50,000 Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA Hunter Derby at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center this weekend, and explained, "I'm a big believer in stopping while I'm ahead. He's a first year horse and is just amazing. He has nothing to prove."
The featured hunter class of the week will begin Friday with the first round of the $50,000 Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA International Hunter Derby at approximately 3 p.m. in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Field. The final winner will be decided after the second round takes place under the lights in the International Arena on Saturday, April 3 following the 2010 FTI WEF Circuit Champion Awards, which will begin at approximately 6:00 p.m.
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: Sandy Ferrell and Showman Claimed the Western Hay and Suncoast Bedding First Year Green Working Hunter Championship © 2010 Randi Muster/Mustphoto, Inc., www.mustphoto.com, Official Sport Photographer of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.