Scott Stewart and Catch Me © Sportfot.
Wellington, FL – February 18, 2021 – The first hunter champions of the World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) competition were awarded on Thursday, February 18, at the sixth week of the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). More than 20 championships were presented in the professional hunter divisions, with top finishers qualifying for Saturday night’s $50,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular, the highlight hunter event of the season.
The High Performance Hunters, sponsored by Antarès Sellier France, came to an end in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring on Thursday morning. Scott Stewart, of Wellington, FL, piloted Gochman Sport Horses LLC’s Catch Me to the championship.
Stewart and Catch Me took home a blue ribbon in every over fences class and were third in the under saddle to earn the tricolor ribbon. The reserve champion title went to Jennifer Hannan, of Wakefield, RI, and her own Olympic Fire. The pair earned two seconds and two eighth place ribbons in the division.
Evan Coluccio, of Marshall, VA, claimed both champion and reserve in the High Performance Conformation Hunters. Coluccio rode The Lignelli Family’s Philadelphia Story, a nine-year-old Warmblood gelding, to top honors with two firsts, a second, and a third place ribbon. Balmoral’s Pritchard Hill earned reserve champion with a first, second, two thirds, and sixth place ribbons.
Ashlee Bond and Imagine Save the Best for Last in the $6,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers CSI3*
On the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village, Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Imagine, owned by Aurora Farms and Little Valley Farms, captured the Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers CSI3* to open FEI competition during Week 6 of WEF.
A total of 40 entries contested the two-phase track set by Catsy Cruz (MEX), which featured nine jumping efforts in the first phase, moving over to an additional six efforts in the second phase. With 15 passing the initial test, it was the best for last on the day as Bond and the eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Emerald x Heartbreaker jumped double clear and posted the fastest time of 26.24 seconds.
“We got her when she was five,” said Bond. “It was a partnership horse for a while, but we bought them out at the beginning of last year because we really felt like she was something special and really suited me. I know her really well, and she’s just one of those horses that is so naturally careful. She doesn’t really know what she can or can’t do.”
For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.