The picturesque grass arena at Deeridge Farms was the backdrop for the $2,500 USHJA International Welcome Stake, as the nation’s finest hunters took the spotlight at the Deeridge Derby, the final leg of the 2019 Palm Beach Masters Series®.

Canadian Christel Weller’s Enchanted and Kelley Farmer won the day with a stellar performance that produced a score of 88 from the judging panel of Linda Hough and Susie Schoellkopf. Victoria Colvin took second place with El Primero for owner Bryan Baldwin with a score of 86, while Forget Me Not Farms’ Unbelievable and Peter Pletcher finished third with a score of 85.5.

Enchanted, an 8-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare by Bustique, handled all the questions on Phil DeVita’s (USA) course with aplomb, despite having little experience with her pilot.

“This is the first class I have shown Enchanted in,” said Farmer after her win. “She belongs to a customer of Erynn Ballard’s, and she is for sale, so Erynn sent her to us to sell. She is a lovely mare. I was going to try to show her in the High Performance Division at least once before this, but then I schooled her, and she was really good, so I decided to just go with it.

“She is exactly like Erynn told me—she is brave, she is forward, she can jump anything, [and] she is light in the mouth,” Farmer continued. “She just walked out there today and did not care. I really don’t foresee us having her for very long. I am just going to enjoy her while I have her.”

Friday marked the first day of hunter competition at the Deeridge Derby, following young jumper divisions on Wednesday, Feb. 27 and Thursday, Feb. 28.

“The course today was very inviting,” Farmer said. “I think it was a nice course for the first day out. This is a lovely field and just an incredible horse show. How could you not like showing here? They do a great job with everything. I am a big fan of standalone shows and grass fields, so this, for us, is so special. I am very thankful that there are people like the Jacobs family who put on these types of shows. I wish there were more.”

The day began with three Green Incentive Stake classes at heights of 3’-3’3”, 3’6”, and 3’9”—all new to the Deeridge Derby program in 2019. Clockwork and Havens Schatt posted the highest score of the Green Incentive horses in capturing the $2,500 3’-3’3 Green Incentive Stake. Clockwork (Charisma x Perline W) negotiated the course in wonderful style to earn a top score of 88. White Lilli, owned by Robinson Ridge LLC, and rider Laura Bowery were second with a score of 83. Livin’ the Dream and Lexy Reed were third (78).

Callie Seaman’s Diamante, with Patricia Griffith riding, emerged victorious in the $2,500 3’6 Green Incentive Stake. The stunning dark bay Oldenburg, by Diarado out of Kampari W, garnered a score of 85 to take the class. Consent (Los Angeles x Fiones) and Kelley Farmer received the second place ribbon with a score of 84.5, while Maverick and Jeff Gogul were close behind in third (84).

Victoria Colvin piloted John and Stephanie Ingram’s Snowday to victory in the $2,500 3’9 Green Incentive Stake. Another Love, with Jennifer Bauersachs in the irons for Metitage Stables LLC, was second, and GT 40 and Tiffany Hammack were third.

Competition continues Saturday, March 2 with the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby and the first round the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.