Ocala, FL - March 10, 2009 - Consistency was key for Telluride Farm's horses and riders this winter at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Coming home with top ribbons and excellent rounds in the show ring, the students at Telluride Farm continued to be contenders at one of the most competitive horse shows in the nation. Diane Carney, who is the trainer for Telluride Farm, accompanied her students to Ocala, FL, for the show and added numerous ribbons to the hunter/jumper farm's tack room curtain. Telluride Farm is based in Hampshire, IL.
Caitie Hope of Barrington, IL, had a successful show in Ocala, coming home with excellent scores in the equitation classes. This past week she received scores in the mid-80s in the WIHS Equitation; she finished third overall after winning fourth place ribbons in both the hunter phase and the jumper phase. The previous week, she finished fourth overall in the WIHS class.
Hope rode beautifully in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, receiving a standing ovation for her spectacular handy hunter round and finishing ninth overall out of 62 exhibitors. Carney reported, "From my perspective, the HITS Ocala team and Rian Beals, the course designer, created a fantastic and correct derby course. The tracks flowed nicely and there was obviously a tremendous amount of forethought and experience that went into it. The class went off without a hitch, and the exhibitors clearly enjoyed themselves and had great sportsmanship. Spectators were tail-gaiting with their golf carts, and it was 'standing room only' for the crowd throughout the entire class."
Carney noted, "Caitie rode really well in the derby and had an excellent handy hunter trip. She got a total of 16 bonus points, which was great."
Hope rode a catch-ride named Walkaway for Don Stewart, Jr. in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter division. The pair earned consistent second and third place ribbons and took home the reserve championship at last week's competition. Hope was also a strong contender in the Junior Jumper division aboard Ozaliat, owned by Janet Sassmanshausen.
In the Children's Hunter division, Alex Carlins rode That'll Do for reserve championship honors and Lauren McGraw won ribbons on Cactus. McGraw also won the reserve championship in one of the Children's Equitation divisions.
"Alex came down the first week and got a feel for what it's like to show at a bigger venue," commented Carney. "This was about his sixth horse show with Telluride Farm, and I think it was a great learning experience for him. The second week, he came back and rode with amazing focus and concentration and won the reserve championship." She added, "This was also Lauren's first big out of town horse show, and it was a big step for her. She rode great and really learned a lot."
Tracey Berkos and Ginny Bartholomay rode well in the older adult hunter and equitation classes as well. Berkos won three classes in an adult equitation division and was champion, and Bartholomay earned third, fourth, and fifth place ribbons in the older adult hunters.
The horses and riders at Telluride Farm will compete next at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL.
Carney is based out of Hampshire, IL, at her hunter/jumper show stable, Telluride Farm. She has been both an active participant and influential trainer in the hunter and jumper community for many years. Her contributions to the industry extend to the many clinics that she teaches every year, in addition to those that she hosts annually for U.S. Show Jumping Chef d'Equipe George H. Morris and top hunter/jumper trainer Don Stewart Jr.