Tag Archives: Scott Stewart

Scott Stewart and Catch Me Win $100k WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular

Scott Stewart and Catch Me. Photos © Sportfot.

Marilyn Little and Clearwater Top $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic; Lucy Deslauriers and Hester Win $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Welcome

Wellington, FL – February 18, 2017 – For the second year in a row, Scott Stewart and Catch Me won the WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular, the highlight class of week six on Saturday, February 18, at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL.

Over the 21-year history of the class, Stewart has been a dedicated participant, but it wasn’t until 2016 that he found himself in the winner’s circle. This year, Stewart piloted not only the stunning ten-year-old grey Holsteiner gelding to a repeat victory, but also a green six-year-old KWPN gelding, Private Life, to the second place position.

The WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular takes place during World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week at WEF as the feature “Saturday Night Lights” event. The United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) founded WCHR in 1992 to recognize hunter riders and the Hunter Spectacular debuted shortly after. Each year, hunter riders look forward to the chance to compete under the lights in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Stewart took the top two spots, while Elizabeth Boyd and Maraschino finished third, and rounding out the top four was Maggie Jayne and Standing Ovation.

Thirty of the country’s top professionals, juniors, and amateurs tackled the two-round course, which is offered at three heights (3’6″, 3’9″, and 4′) and designed by Patrick Rodes. The top 12 riders returned for the second round. Each of the competitors qualified for the class by winning either champion or reserve in one of the specified hunter divisions during WCHR week at WEF or through another WCHR designation.

Scores came from three panels of judges, including Rick Fancher and Tammy Provost on panel one, Jim Clapperton and Shane George on panel two, and Chris Wynne and Mary Lisa Leffler on panel three. Overall placings were decided by combining scores from the first and second rounds.

Stewart, of Wellington, FL, and Catch Me topped the first round with a score of 94.00, and while their score of 88.66 wasn’t the highest in the second round, their two round total of 182.60 was enough for the win. Catch Me is owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC and is no stranger to the winner’s circle. The gelding by Casiro was recently named 2016 USEF’s National Horse of the Year and has been champion numerous times during the 2017 winter circuit.

“He’s been really good this whole circuit,” Stewart detailed. “I think he’s an even better horse than last year. He was a blast to ride, and after knowing that last year he was so good, I could relax a bit more this year and just have fun. The course rode nice, and it was inviting for the horses.”

As Becky Gochman, who also rides Catch Me in the Amateur-Owner Hunters, put it, “Everything is icing on the cake at this point. I’m thrilled with past performances, and I look forward to future performances. Whatever happens, I feel relaxed and filled with gratitude. This sport means a lot to me and my family.”

Stewart rode Private Life to a second place finish in the gelding’s first Hunter Spectacular. Dr. Betsee Parker owns the 2011 KWPN gelding by Verdi. The gelding was sitting in third place with a score of 88.66 going into the second round, but after topping the second round, earning a 92.33, he finished in second place, tallying 180.99 total points.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Stewart explained. “He’s always brave and rides like a made-up horse, but he’s only just turning six years old. This was his fourth horse show at 3’6″. I was really thrilled with him. He couldn’t have been any better.”

Earlier in the week, Stewart and Private Life swept the High Performance Working Hunter Division, impressively winning all four classes for the championship title and a coveted spot in the feature Saturday night class. The Hunter Spectacular is limited two entries per rider and although Stewart qualified several more experienced mounts, he opted to compete Private Life as one of his two mounts.

“He went really well this week,” Stewart stated. “Even though he’s the greenest, he’s probably my easiest horse to ride. He just acts really grown up and rides like a junior hunter. Not only does he jump well, but he’s really comfortable to ride.”

Elizabeth Boyd knows just what it takes to win the feature event, having won the class on several occasions including the inaugural year. After an unexpected dismount from her first ride, Boyd of Camden, SC returned to redeem herself. Boyd guided Lily Bennett’s Maraschino to a total score of 176.83 for third place. Maraschino is a ten-year-old Warmblood mare that Boyd has ridden on and off since 2014.

“She’s a great mare,” Boyd praised. “She’s definitely not the typical chestnut mare. She’s super happy and wonderful to be around. The Langmeiers started her; they sort of brought her along as a First Year horse. Then we bought her for a client named Lily Bennett. Now Lily is doing jumpers primarily, and she’s for sale. I’m fortunate enough to get to ride her, and she’s such a trier. I’m really proud of her.”

Describing her plan going into the second round, Boyd said, “[Scott and Maggie] did it so well because [they] went inside to the one big oxer and then around to the third jump. [They] just went forward and flowing. I just tried to copy what they did; they rode forward.”

Maggie Jayne of Elgin, IL rode a new mount, Standing Ovation, to an overall score of 176.49 and fourth place.  Standing Ovation is a 2007 stallion by Last Man Standing. The pair earned scores of 87.83 and 88.66 in the first and second rounds, respectively. The stallion was purchased by Pony Lane Farm in December and has only competed in the hunters a handful of times. Jayne qualified her mount for the class by earning the reserve ribbon in the High Performance Conformation Hunter division.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Jayne explained. “After the first round, I knew the second round would be even better, because he normally gets better as he goes. He was sensational. Maddy [Thatcher] rides him in the Amateur-Owners, and I normally do him in the green conformation, but this week I did the Regular Conformation. He’s a stallion and he knows he’s a stallion, but he’s an absolute gentleman to ride.”

Jennifer Bliss finished in fifth place aboard Poker Face, an entry of Harris Hill Farm, LLC, with scores of 87.00 and 88.33 for a 175.33 total. Previous winner of the Hunter Spectacular, Victoria Colvin earned scores of 84.33 and 88.00 for a total of 172.33 aboard Koala for a sixth place finish.

Junior and Amateur Hunter Champions Crowned in International Arena

The Junior Hunters took their turn in the International Arena on Saturday. Augusta Iwasaki of Calabasas, CA topped both 15 & Under divisions, while Sophie Gochman of Palm Beach, FL captured the two reserve titles. Iwasaki piloted Lyn Pederson’s Small Affair to the championship award in the Engel & Völkers Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division. The pair won the handy and an over fences round, as well as placing fourth under saddle and third in the stake.

“He was perfect this week,” Iwasaki praised the 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Elf d’Or. “He’s funny because he thinks he can get away with whatever he wants. He’s a great horse though.”

The gelding has a strong track record in the division this year, winning the championship weeks one, two, and three of WEF. Sophie Gochman guided Garfield, an entry of Rose Hill Farm, to a win in the stake round and a second place finish over fences to earn the reserve ribbon. The striking chestnut gelding by Coriano has a long list of accolades collected over the years with numerous junior riders.

In the Small Junior Hunters 15 & Under, Iwasaki and Illusion, owned by Iwasaki & Reilly, were named champions after wins in the stake and handy rounds. Illusion is an 18-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Lord Sinclair. Gochman and Mythical placed second in both the handy and an over fences round, and third under saddle to secure the reserve title. Mythical is a 13-year-old Westphalian gelding by Cornet Obolensky that has been a part of the Gochman family since 2013.

Iwasaki enjoyed showing her veteran mount in the International Arena. “Riding in the International is a lot of fun,” she said. “You get to gallop more because it’s bigger, which is exciting. [Illusion] felt really good and more excited than normal in the ring today.”

Taylor St. Jacques of Glen Allen, VA and Emma Kurtz of Wellington, FL each won a champion and reserve ribbon in the Junior Hunter 16-17 divisions. St. Jacques and Rose Hill Farm’s William Hill found their way to the Staller Small Junior Hunter 16-17 championship. In addition to placing second under saddle, the pair topped two over fences classes with scores of 90 and 91. Kurtz and Wisdom, an entry of Rivers Edge, settled for reserve honors after winning the under saddle and placing second and third over fences.

“He was absolutely incredible today,” St. Jacques said of the 2010 Bayer gelding by Coronas. “As soon as we walked into that ring and started trotting around, I knew he was ready to win. I could feel it. Being here means a lot to me. Not everyone gets this opportunity, so it’s pretty special.”

Emma Kurtz and Dedication came out on top in the Bruno Delgrange Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division. The pair won the under saddle and stake round and placed third over fences and sixth in the handy. Kurtz has ridden Dr. Betsee Parker’s coming 12-year-old gelding by Casado since last summer. In the over fences portion, St. Jacques and Point Being, owned by Derby Lane, LLC, earned two seconds and a sixth place ribbon to claim the reserve honors.

“I thought the ride went really well,” Kurtz detailed. “The course was nice. It was fun and interesting for the horses. Dedication can be grumpy. He’ll wait for a treat with his ears straight back. He’s awesome though, and we love him.”

The Lugano Diamonds Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 division was dominated by Callie Seaman of Greenwich, CT. At just her third show following back surgery, Seaman took the champion and reserve titles aboard her own Chicago and Skorekeeper, respectively. Chicago is a new mount for Seaman.

The nine-year-old Warmblood gelding won two over fences classes and placed second under saddle, while Skorekeeper finished first in the handy, second in the stake, third over fences, and fourth under saddle for the reserve honor.

“He’s a really special horse,” Seaman said of Chicago. “I didn’t come out expecting to be champion this weekend. I’ve had a few really good rounds with him, but I’m still figuring him out so it was really exciting to be so consistent and solid on him.”

John Ingram of Nashville, TN narrowly beat out Jane Gaston of The Plains, VA for the championship award in the Hunt Ltd. Amateur-Owner Hunters Over 35. A difference of half of a point determined who received the championship and reserve awards. Ingram rode his long-time partner Airport 48, owned by John & Stephanie Ingram, LLC, to a win in the stake round and two second place finishes over fences. Gaston rode her own Because to two wins and a fifth place finish over fences, and sixth place under saddle.

“Airport is like a comfortable pair of shoes,” Ingram described of his 2003 Holsteiner gelding. “You know what you’re going to get, and he just likes this week. I’ve been very fortunate to qualify [for the WCHR Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular] the last two years so maybe the third time is the charm. Maybe I’ll make it to the second round!”

Marilyn Little and Clearwater Top $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic 

USA’s Marilyn Little won the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic riding Clearwater on Saturday of week six at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival.

Marilyn Little and Clearwater

Jumping a course set by Richard Jeffery (GBR) on the derby field at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, Little and Karen O’Connor’s Clearwater topped a class of 34 and a three-horse jump-off to take victory. They cleared the short course in 39.27 seconds.

France’s Marie Hecart and Myself de Breve stopped the clock in 41.96 seconds for second place. Mavis Spencer (USA) and Neil Jones Equestrian’s Chacco finished third with four faults for a rail, as well as one time fault, in the jump-off.

Saturday’s win was a quick comeback for Little, who was leading the $100,000 Land Rover Wellington Eventing Showcase two weeks ago when she and her mount, RF Scandalous, took a bad fall on the cross-country course. Although RF Scandalous was unharmed, Little hit her head and took some time to recover.

“The last time I was out here I had a fall in the Eventing, so this is a little bit of redemption for me on the field,” she acknowledged. “After the fall, I have been getting better and better. Yesterday was the first day that I really felt like I was back to myself. A week ago, it was dicey. I hit my head pretty hard. Luckily, I had an airvest on and a great helmet that really cushioned me. It could have been a lot worse, but here we are. We are still playing the game, and I am happy to be here.

“It was a great course today. It was really exciting, and Clearwater is so much fun to ride in the jump-offs,” Little continued, speaking of the ten-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Clearway x Come On). “He is young, but he really loves the fields. He has been a little bit unlucky over the last few weeks, but he has been getting progressively better over the last year. He has jumped some really big classes, so this was nice to back him down to the 1.50m.”

Speaking of her winning jump-off, Little explained, “I knew that Marie’s horse in particular can be very fast. I have known that horse for a long time. It is clever, and fast, and Marie is always super competitive. Initially, I thought if I laid down a good clear round, Mavis would have to chase me, but then once I knew that Marie was in the jump-off, everything changed. I knew that I was going to have to lay down something that could win no matter how many people were in the jump-off. Luckily, he is a really quick horse. This was his first time out on that field, so he was a little bit lost, but he really looks. He is always looking for the flags; that is what we say about eventers.”

Lucy Deslauriers and Hester Win $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Welcome, presented by EnTrust Capital

Lucy Deslauriers (17) of New York, NY guided Lisa Deslauriers’ Hester to victory in Saturday morning’s $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Welcome, presented by EnTrust Capital, on the derby field at PBIEC. The 2015 winners of the Under 25 Series overall, the pair perfected Richard Jeffery’s (GBR) speed track in 69.57 seconds.

Forty-eight entries started over the first round speed course, and nine completed clear rounds. Second place went to Mackenzie Drazan (USA) and Waliba VDL in 70.85 seconds. Third place was presented to Jessica Mendoza (GBR) riding Horst van de Mispelaere with a time of 72.42 seconds. Lauren Fischer (USA) took fourth and fifth place honors, guiding Tosca de Feugre through the times in 73.74 seconds and stopping the clock in 75.83 seconds riding My Pleasure, both horses under the ownership of Cheryl Fischer.

“He’s back!” Deslauriers smiled after Saturday’s win. “He has been on a break since the National Horse Show (in November). Besides yesterday’s warm-up class, this is his first real class back this year, so I really could not be happier. He is really happy to be showing, and I am so happy with him.”

Deslauriers (17) is a full-time student in New York City and travels to compete in Wellington every weekend. She trains with her father, Olympian Mario Deslauriers, and mother, former international show jumper Lisa Deslauriers. She has been a top junior rider, as well as a winner of many Under 25 and international competitions throughout North America.

Many of Deslauriers’ victories have come aboard Hester, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Wandor van de Mispelaere x Palestro vd Begijnakker) that she has ridden for almost four years. Saturday’s course caused problems for many competitors, but Deslauriers and Hester’s experience together was a great advantage.

“I thought it was a pretty steep track, especially for the welcome,” she noted. “The last few jumps were quite big and the double liverpools definitely caught a few people. Luckily, Hester is quite brave, so I do not really have to worry about that. There was a careful plank, and the short turn to the double in front of the bank caught a bunch of people as well. Throughout the course there were a lot of tough places.

“He really thrives on grass fields,” Deslauriers detailed. “He has a huge stride, and he just gets to open up, and really show what he can do. I really just stay out of the way and let him do his thing.”

Deslauriers has also been showing some young horses that she is bringing along with her father this winter and hopes to move up to compete with Hester in some FEI classes now that the gelding is back in action.

The Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, continues with its $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Entrust Capital, on Sunday, February 19.

The series was expanded to ten events in 2017, offering a total of $245,000 in prize money for the circuit. Developed as a bridge to the international level of grand prix competition, the Series gives athletes, both human and equine, an opportunity to compete under a myriad of conditions, including jumping on grass, under the lights at night, and in team competition; all important elements that competitors will face as their international careers progress. The series concludes with a $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Final, which the top 30 riders in the point standings will be invited to contest on Sunday, April 2.

The sixth week of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival concludes on Sunday with the $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series, presented by EnTrust Capital and $50,000 National Grand Prix on the derby field at Equestrian Village at PBIEC. Hunters wrap up competition in the International Arena with three classics. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Hunters Reign for World Championship Hunter Rider Week at WEF

Catch Me and Scott Stewart. Photos © Sportfot.

Samuel Parot and Atlantis Win $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 6

Wellington, FL – February 16, 2017 -The highly anticipated World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) kicked off on Wednesday, February 15, highlighting the traditional grace and beauty of the hunter discipline at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.

Scott Stewart rode Catch Me to the championship title and Cameo to reserve honors in the Antares High Performance Hunter division for WCHR week. Stewart piloted Catch Me, owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC, to win the handy with an impressive score of 95, an over fences class, and the under saddle. The coming ten-year-old gelding by Casiro has a long list of accolades to his name, including a win in last year’s Hunter Spectacular. Stewart guided Dr. Betsee Parker’s Cameo to a first place finish in the stake class and second place under saddle.

“Catch Me is a horse of a lifetime,” Becky Gochman praised. “He has surpassed any preconceived notion of what we had thought he might become. Everything is icing on the cake at this point. We’ve figured him out, and I think he’s figured out that we want to do what is best for him. It’s been a complete joy.”

Lucador, another entry of Dr. Betsee Parker, and Stewart were named champions of the Shapley’s Grooming Products High Performance Conformation division. Although WCHR week is the nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding’s first outing of 2017, Lucador proved to be in top form. The pair won the handy round, and an over fences class, and placed second in the stake, model, and under saddle. Stewart also secured the reserve title aboard Fun, owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC, earning first place in the stake, model, and under saddle, and second and third place in the other two over fences classes.

“He was good today,” Stewart said of Lucador. “He has so much experience – this is our fourth year together – that I don’t worry about him. He’s like a big pony; you have to do it his way a little bit, but he’s great.”

Havens Schatt of Georgetown, KY and Aristocrat, owned by Tracy Scheriff-Muser, were crowned champions of the Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunters 3’9″ with three wins. The pair topped two over fences rounds, scoring a 90 in each, and the under saddle. Schatt started riding the 2008 gelding by Balou du Rouet five years ago, right after he was first started under saddle. Scott Stewart and Fashion Farm’s Captivate settled for the reserve title with a win the handy class, second place under saddle, and fourth and fifth place finishes over fences.

“He has so much ability,” Schatt detailed. “This year, he’s really coming into his own, consistency-wise. His father is Balou du Rouet, whose offspring have the reputation that they need to trust you before they perform for you. He’s a fun horse to have and a bit of a challenge in that he’s slightly different every time you get on him.”

Scott Stewart claimed champion and reserve honors in the Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’6″ division. Riding Rivers Edge’s Luster, Stewart won the under saddle, the handy round, and placed second in an over fences class to earn the championship ribbon. The reserve ribbon went to Wonderly, a 2009 Brandenburger gelding by Burberry owned by Dr. Betsee Parker. Stewart piloted Wonderly to a win in the stake class and third place finishes in the handy and under saddle.

“Luster is really fun to ride,” Stewart explained of the 2010 Westphalian gelding by Coranado LL. “He’s such a good jumper. This [WCHR week] is his fourth horse show of the year, and he’s been champion and reserve leading up to this.”

Private Life, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, swept the Shapley’s Equine Grooming Products Green Conformation Hunter division, winning all five classes with Scott Stewart in the irons. Stewart had nothing but compliments for the KWPN gelding by Verdi.

“He’s awesome!” Stewart exclaimed. “He’s actually the youngest, just turning six this year, and rides like a made horse even though he’s green.”

Jannifer Hannan of Wakefield, RI and Best Regards secured reserve honors in the Shapley’s Equine Grooming Products Green Conformation Hunter division. Hannan piloted Patricia Fulchino’s 2008 Holsteiner stallion to second place ribbons in the model, an over fences class, and under saddle, and a third place ribbon in the stake round.

The CWD Saddlery Performance Hunter 3’6″ division yielded a remarkable 101 competitors on Thursday afternoon. Due to the number of entries, two championships were awarded. Elizabeth Boyd of Camden, SC and Stella Styslinger’s Cassanto captured the first championship ribbon. The pair earned the high score of the division with a 92 in the stake round. Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL guided Koala, owned by John & Stephanie Ingram, LLC, to win the other championship ribbon.

Samuel Parot and Atlantis Win $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Round 6

Competing in the Global Arena at Equestrian Village at PBIEC, Chile’s Samuel Parot and Atlantis were victorious in Thursday’s $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 6 at the 2017 WEF.

Richard Jeffery (GBR) set the course for 61 entries in the WEF Challenge Cup, qualifying 22 for the jump-off, with four opting not to return. Completing the short course without fault, Parot and Atlantis clocked the fastest round in 31.94 seconds for the win.

Brazil’s Pedro Muylaert finished second in 33.68 seconds riding Stenio de Silva’s Prince Royal Z MFS. Laura Chapot (USA) and Mary Chapot’s ISHD Dual Star placed third in 33.79 seconds, and Daniel Coyle (IRL) riding Ariel and Susan Grange’s Cita finished fourth in 33.92 seconds.

Samuel Parot and Atlantis

“When you walked the course, you thought it was more difficult, but there were a lot clear today,” Parot noted. “The horse felt very comfortable. In the jump-off, it was difficult. You had a turn to the combination that made a lot of problems.”

Parot purchased Atlantis, a top ranked 14-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Andiamo Z x Royal Bravour L), just before the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. Together the pair has been incredibly successful at the international grand prix level.

“He is a very good horse. He won a lot of grand prixs last year,” Parot stated. “He is very fast. He is always pulling, so I ride him in a hackamore at home because he is very sensitive. I work him on the flat a lot and do not jump too much at home, but he knows when he is at the show. He is brave and has a very good head. He is fast and careful. He is a really top horse.”

The change in venue this week suited Parot and Atlantis, jumping in the smaller Global Arena instead of the expansive International Arena on the main WEF showgrounds.

“I like competing in this arena. It is the same as indoors,” Parot acknowledged. “This horse is very fast, but he is a little strong in the mouth, so for him it is very good. He turns very quickly, and he feels super in the space. I like jumping in the smaller rings too. You need a horse that is careful and has the scope and speed. This horse has everything.”

Jumper competition continues at Equestrian Village on Friday featuring the $130,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* in the evening, while the third day of WCHR competition will host more championship presentations on the main show grounds. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 Win $130k Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 5

Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5. Photos © Sportfot.

 Scott Stewart and Fun Prevail in Shapley’s Grooming Products High Performance Conformation Hunters

Wellington, FL – February 9, 2017 – Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze topped the $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 5 riding Fine Lady 5 on Thursday at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

2012 London Olympic course designer Robert Ellis (GBR) built the track for 55 competitors in Thursday’s class. Fourteen horses advanced to the jump-off with Lamaze and Fine Lady 5, owned by Artisan Farms, LLC and Torrey Pines Stable, returning third to post a fault-free round in 41.23 seconds. His time could not be beat and gave Lamaze his second WEF Challenge Cup Series victory of the 2017 season after also winning round 3 with Houston.

Hardin Towell (USA) came the closest to bumping Lamaze from the top, but finished double clear in 43.72 seconds for second place riding Lucifer V, owned by Evergate Stables, LLC. From the lead-off position in the jump-off, Margie Engle (USA) settled for third with a double-clear effort in 45.27 seconds aboard Royce for owner Gladewinds Partners, LLC.

Mexico’s Alberto Michan stopped the clock clear in 45.69 seconds for fourth riding GC Chopin’s Bushi, owned by Iron Horse Farm, and Ben Maher (GBR) rounded out the top five with a double-clear finish in 45.80 seconds aboard Don Vito for Poden Farms.

“She is really an unbelievable horse,” said Lamaze of Fine Lady 5, the mount he piloted to an individual bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. “I have said it before: no one wants to compare anyone to Hickstead, but she is getting there slowly. For me, it is going to be the second horse of a lifetime.”

Thursday’s victory marked Lamaze’s 25th WEF Challenge Cup win in his career, four of which were in the irons of Fine Lady 5, a 14-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth FRH x Drosselklang II).

“I have been doing [the WEF Challenge Cup Series] for quite some time,” he said. “I think for [Fine Lady 5], she suits every sort of competition.”

Second place rider, Hardin Towell, was pleased with Lucifer V’s performance, saying, “We were riding for second today. I knew I wasn’t going to catch [Eric]. Fine Lady is fast, and they looked fast today. I set my plan and went as quickly as I felt I could to leave up the jumps.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Thursday, Luis Larrazabal (VEN) won the $8,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m CSI 2* speed class riding Atlodetto FZ, owned by San Francisco Stables, LLC.

The $2,500 Engel & Völkers High Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class saw a win for Cristobal Collado (MEX) riding Creativo, owned by E2 Stables, while Emma Heise (USA) riding Broekie claimed the $1,500 Sleepy P Ranch High Junior Jumper speed class for Old Willow Farm.

Scott Stewart and Fun Named Champion Shapley’s Grooming Products High Performance Conformation Hunters

Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL rode Fun, owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC, to win the championship in the Shapley’s Grooming Products High Performance Conformation Hunters during WEF 5. The pair won the model, the stake, and an over fences class, earned second place in the handy, and third place under saddle for an impressive total of 35 points.

Scott Stewart and Fun

“He is really fun,” said Stewart. “He was a little tired yesterday because the weather was so hot. Yesterday wasn’t his best day, but today he was a little bit fresher and jumped better. He is a blast to ride and really sweet.”

Fun is a coming seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Chello III VDL. Stewart has campaigned the gelding since 2015 and the pair also claimed the championship in the High Performance Conformation Hunters during week one and week three of WEF.

“We did him in the Pre-Greens a couple years ago,” said Stewart. “Last year he did the Green Conformation Hunters and Becky [Gochman] also shows him in the 3’3″ Amateurs.”

Havens Schatt of Georgetown, KY and Custom Made settled for the reserve champion title with a total of 29 points. The pair won the handy and the under saddle, earned third place in the model and an over fences class, fourth place in the stake, and fifth place in another over fences class. Custom Made, owned by Shaw Johnson Price, is a 2005 Mecklenburg gelding by Chambertin that Price also shows in the Amateur-Owner division.

The fifth week of WEF continues on Friday featuring the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m CSI 5* and the $35,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI 2* in the International Arena. Also on Friday, the Ariat National Adult Medal will decide a winner. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Tejada and Coyle Share Victory in $35k Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2

Alvaro Tejada and Voltaral Palo Blanco. Photos © Sportfot.

Private Life Stands Out for Second Straight Week

Wellington, FL – January 19, 2017 – Week two of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) featured the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 on Thursday, January 19, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. With a California Split to award two winners, Guatemala’s Alvaro Tejada jumped Agroprosa’s Voltaral Palo Blanco to the win in Section A, while Ireland’s Daniel Coyle rode Ariel and Susan Grange’s Cita to victory in Section B.

WEF 2 course designer Ana Catalina Harris Cruz (MEX) saw 119 entries jump her first round track for Thursday’s WEF Challenge Cup, with 28 horse and rider combinations clear for the jump-off. After three entries opted out, 25 starters returned over the short course, and 20 of those clocked double clear rounds. Tejada and Voltaral Palo Blanco had the fast time in 40.82 seconds to win Section A. Coyle and Cita were close behind in 40.86 seconds to earn the win Section B.

McLain Ward (USA) and Contessina Della Caccia placed second in Section A with their time of 40.94 seconds. Beat Mandli (SUI) and Grant Road Partners’ Zander were third in 41.44 seconds.

Emily Moffitt (GBR) and It’s Real Love vd Smis Z, owned by Poden Farms, finished second in Section B in 41.01 seconds. Laura Chapot (USA) guided Mary Chapot’s ISHD Dual Star to third place honors in 41.47 seconds.

Tejada’s mount, Voltaral Palo Blanco, is a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Voltaire x Contender) that last competed in Wellington two years ago before the pair represented Guatemala at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada.

“For me this is very exciting. This is probably one of the biggest wins in my riding career. I am very proud of it because Voltaral Palo Blanco is a homebred mare,” Tejada said of his horse that had 2016 off with an injury. “My grandfather bred her in Guatemala five years ago, before he passed away, so she is a special horse for me. She tries so hard for me, and she would do anything for me.

“I was really quick. I saw Daniel go, and he was super-fast,” said Tejada, who went last in the jump-off. “I thought it was going to be impossible to catch him, but the mare was feeling great. You have to take the opportunity and go for it when the horse is feeling good. I think the difference in time was a millisecond everywhere. I took a risk to the double; I did eight strides because I saw Daniel do that. It was really risky, but I had to do it in order to win.”

Coyle and Cita, a 13-year-old Holsteiner mare (Casall x Pik Ramiro), just joined up this winter and already earned a major victory with their win in week one’s $75,000 Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Grand Prix. Now qualified for Saturday night’s grand prix, Coyle feels confident that their partnership is on the right path.

“I think I understand her now and understand the way she likes to go,” he explained. “She does not like to be told off too much. If you can just let her jump the jumps, and steer her to the right place, she is brilliant.”

Describing his jump-off, Coyle noted, “I actually was planning not to go crazy today. I just went forward from the first jump and tried to stay the same pace. I did eight strides to the double, but it wasn’t crazy. She is naturally very quick. I have only ridden her a handful of times and she is brilliant to me, so I have to be very happy. She is a real winner, and I really hope she goes well on Saturday night as well.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Thursday, McLain Ward (USA) and Danielle Torano’s Callas III took victory in the $8,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m jump-off class.

Private Life Stands Out for Second Straight Week

The championship of Shapley’s Grooming Products Green Conformation Hunter Division went to Scott Stewart, of Wellington, FL, aboard Rivers Edge’s Private Life. Stewart and Private Life were also crowned champions of the division at WEF 1. This week, the pair won the model, the handy, the stake, an over fences class, placed second in another over fences class and third under saddle.

Scott Stewart and Private Life

He did well last year and was champion a bunch of times. He won the Future Hunter Classic at Capital Challenge last fall,” said Stewart of the coming six-year-old gelding by Verdi. “He’s really the easiest horse to ride. He’s just very laid back and the same every day.”

Looking forward, Stewart emphasized, “Week Six is our goal.” Week Six is the WCHR World Championship Hunter Week, when hunters take center stage in the International Arena.

Taking the reserve honors was Tamara Provost, of Westfield, IN, and Bridget Hallman’s Salt. They earned third in the model, fourth in the handy, fourth in the stake, second under saddle, and second and fourth over fences. Salt is a seven-year-old grey gelding that Provost started riding last May.

“He doesn’t have a lot of show miles, so I’m just really proud of him,” Provost said of her mount. “He always tries to please.”

The second week of WEF continues on Friday featuring the $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m in the International Arena. Also on Friday, the Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 50+ Sec. A championship will be decided. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Todd Minikus and Valinski S Take $35k Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 1

Todd Minikus and Valinski S. Photo © Sportfot.

Scott Stewart and Celebration Win Top Honors in Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’6″ Division

Wellington, FL – January 12, 2017 – Day two of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL saw a win for USA’s Todd Minikus riding Valinski S in the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 1 in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

2016 Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set the track for Thursday’s $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup to start the 12-week series, with a win for Todd Minikus aboard Wyndmont’s 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Valinski S (Nijinski x Julius). The horse, an Olympic veteran that competed in Rio de Janeiro with Australia’s Matt Williams in 2016, is a new mount for Minikus in January. The pair is already on its second win of the season after also topping the $50,000 Nutrena National Grand Prix at Equestrian Sport Productions’ Holiday Finale last Sunday.

On day two of WEF, fifty-two entries started in round one of the WEF Challenge Cup, with ten advancing to the jump-off and another six clear rounds over the short course. Second to go, but first to clear the shortened track, Minikus and Valinski S set an unbeatable pace of 37.99 seconds for the win.

Marilyn Little (USA) and Karen O’Connor’s Clearwater finished second in 38.33 seconds. Emanuel Andrade (VEN) and Dipssy placed third with their time of 40.99 seconds. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and The Blue Buckle Group’s Cobolt, Emily Moffitt (USA) and Poden Farm’s Harriri, and Quentin Judge (USA) aboard Double H Farm’s HH Quatuor rounded out the top six with double clear rounds. Minikus had another Wyndmont mount, Zephyr, in the jump-off as well and finished seventh with a fast time, but one rail down.

Remarking on his win, Minikus stated, “Valinski also won the grand prix last week, so that’s two classes in a row for him, which is outstanding. Wyndmont has a great team getting those horses ready for me. I just ride them here in the ring. They are doing a good job and making it easy for me, so I can’t take all the credit.

“He has always been a very good horse,” Minikus continued. “When they first got him years ago, Michael Dorman rode him, and I always really liked him. I even asked about him a couple years ago and then it’s funny how things come around. They called a couple weeks ago and asked if I would ride him. Obviously he jumped great for Matt at the Olympics, so it’s not a fluke. He is a top horse.”

Speaking of his strategy for the jump-off, Minikus detailed, “He went so fast for me last Sunday to win that $50,000 class. Basically it is just: ‘Put your foot to the floor and hang on.’ A couple weeks ago when I showed him, I think he didn’t understand how fast I really wanted to go when I said I wanted to go. I think he thought I was joking a little bit, but I think he is getting the drift of it now because that was really fast today.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Thursday, the morning began with a victory for Peter Wylde (USA) riding Beechwood Stables LLC’s Shakira Z in the $8,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m jump-off. Minikus was also the winner of the afternoon’s $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m jump-off riding Wyndmont’s Cas.

Scott Stewart and Celebration Take Top Honors in Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’6″ Division

The Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’6″ division finished Thursday morning with Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL taking the championship aboard Dr. Betsee Parker’s Celebration. Over the two days of competition, the pair placed first under saddle, second in the handy, second in the stake, and first and second over fences. Stewart also took reserve honors on Rivers Edge’s Luster, who earned second under saddle, first in the handy, seventh in the stake, and third and fifth over fences.

Scott Stewart and Celebration

Winning runs in the family for Celebration, as he is the son of Dr. Betsee Parker’s extremely successful horse, Dedication. Celebration is a seven-year-old Wurttemberg gelding.

“Betsee bought him as a coming three year in Germany,” Stewart said. “He did well in the Pre-Greens, and last year I did him just two times in the First Years and he was a little green still, so we reinstated him.”

Stewart had nothing but praise for Celebration, saying, “He’s really sweet and laid back. He’s really brave. He doesn’t do a warm-up or anything. He’s nice to ride.”

Looking forward with his mount, Stewart highlighted week six WCHR World Championship Hunter Week, when hunters show in the International Arena. “We try to peak for week six, and we’ll do the First Years,” said Stewart.

The first week of WEF continues on Friday with the Engel & Völkers High Amateur-Owner Jumpers featured in the International Arena and the Triple Crown Adult Amateur 36-49 Hunters crowning championship honors in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Catch Me and Scott Stewart Sweep WIHS Grand Hunter Championship and Leading Rider Titles

Scott Stewart and Catch Me. Photos by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Shaw Johnson Price and Custom Made, Virginia Fout and Carma Win Amateur-Owner Grand Championships

October 26, 2016 – Washington, D.C. – The 2016 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) continued with its second day of competition featuring the presentation of championship honors in the professional and amateur-owner hunter divisions on Wednesday at Verizon Center in downtown Washington D.C. For the ninth time, Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL earned the WIHS Leading Hunter Rider title after winning both the WIHS Grand Hunter Championship and WIHS Grand Green Working Hunter Championship aboard David Gochman’s Catch Me.

Stewart guided Catch Me to the division championship in the Second Year Green Working Hunters on their way to top honors on Wednesday. The pair won the under saddle and finished first, second, and second over fences. John French and Iwasaki & Reilly’s Small Gesture earned reserve honors with two wins over fences, as well as a third place under saddle.

For the Grand Green Working Hunter Championship, Stewart and Catch Me were awarded the Claire Lang Miller Challenge Trophy. For the overall WIHS Grand Hunter Championship, they accepted the Rave Review Challenge Trophy, donated by Stoney Hill. Catch Me’s owner, David Gochman, was also presented with an award as the Leading Hunter Owner.

Catch Me is a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding (sired by Casiro) that Stewart began riding in 2015. The pair started off the year strong with a win in the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular in Florida, but Catch Me then spent several months off due to illness, and just started back in competition at the end of the summer. The gelding returned to the show ring without missing a beat, however, and Stewart explained that he has matured a lot in 2016 and has been winning ever since. The pair recently won the Grand Hunter Championship at the Capital Challenge Horse Show and the Grand Green Hunter Championship at Pennsylvania National Horse Show, as well as taking a major win in the $25,000 WCHR Pro Challenge at Capital Challenge.

Describing the beautiful gray gelding, Stewart detailed, “He used to be really spooky, and this year we have been able to do more. I don’t think he showed that much as a Pre-Green horse and we got him as a First Year. He hasn’t shown a lot, but he shows enough now that we just know how to get him ready and he is in the groove. He has been so consistent this year. He has won every big class I have gone in, and he is just really on right now. I think we both know each other 100% now, so it just clicks.”

Speaking of his rounds with Catch Me this week, Stewart added, “He was awesome in every round. He didn’t touch a jump. He went perfect. He got beat twice, but I’m not sure how. I don’t think he could go any better. He has just been so great.”

Stewart also earned the division championship in the Green Conformation Hunters, sponsored by The Ingram Family. He rode David Gochman’s Fun to two wins over fences and a third place under saddle to earn the Valiant Hawk Memorial Challenge Trophy, donated by Mrs. Stephen J. Clark. Fifi Schmidt and Elizabeth Phillips’ No Doubt took the reserve championship with three second-place ribbons and one third place.

“Fun was awesome,” Stewart noted. “He got a little green today, but I didn’t expect him to be this good in these environments yet because he is only six years old. I am thrilled with him. I didn’t think he would be this consistent.”

Stewart continued, “I’m fortunate that all of my horses are pretty quiet, and my staff does an amazing job preparing them. They do everything. I don’t even ride in the ring in the morning. I get here before the class and show. It just works out for me better mentally, but these horses are not very difficult fortunately.”

Stewart also took reserve honors in both the High Performance and Regular Conformation divisions to secure the Leading Rider title. He earned a $5,000 bonus for the Leading Hunter Rider Award, sponsored by Dr. Betsee Parker. It was fittingly renamed this year as The Scott Stewart Leading Hunter Rider Award, for Stewart who has earned the title nine times now in his great career.

Also showing on Wednesday, John French and Laura Wasserman’s Boss earned the Mary Farren Perpetual Trophy for the Regular Conformation Hunter championship with first and second place ribbons over fences and a win under saddle. The pair earned an impressive high score of 94 in the stake class. Stewart and Dr. Betsee Parker’s Lucador finished in reserve with a win under saddle, as well as second and third place ribbons over fences.

John Bragg and Ann Thornton’s Early August took home two championship tricolors this week. In the High Performance Working Hunter division, sponsored by Jacqueline B. Mars, the pair placed first, first, and fifth over fences, and second under saddle to earn the “NOT ALWAYS” Challenge Trophy, donated by Miss Peggy Steinman. Stewart earned those reserve honors aboard Dr. Betsee Parker’s Cameo with a win and sixth place ribbon over fences, as well as a win under saddle.

Stewart and Cameo were then presented the special Protocol Trophy, sponsored by Platinum Performance. The trophy is awarded to the overall High Point High Performance Working Hunter from the Devon Horse Show, Pennsylvania National Horse Show, and Washington International Horse Show.

Stewart will continue on to the National Horse Show in Kentucky and then give his horses a break in Florida before the start of the winter season. Commenting on his years of success at WIHS, the rider acknowledged, “This is one of my favorite shows. I love D.C. and I love being here. It is a really special show.”

Concluding the professional divisions, John Bragg and Early August earned their second championship of the day in the First Year Green Working Hunter division to top off a fantastic two days at WIHS. They earned second, second, and fifth place ribbons over fences and won the under saddle. Nick Haness finished in reserve with Lindsay Maxwell’s Technicolor after earning first and second place ribbons over fences. Hillary Johnson and Copper Fox LLC’s Voyager were awarded the Windy Acres Challenge Trophy for the best Green Working Hunter stake round. They earned a high score of 90 in the First Year division.

Shaw Johnson Price and Custom Made, Virginia Fout and Carma Win Amateur-Owner Grand Championships

The Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions concluded their second day of competition at WIHS on Wednesday and awarded championship honors as well.

The Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” championship and the Frank Counselman Memorial Perpetual Trophy were awarded to Shaw Johnson Price, of Chestertown, MD, and her own Custom Made, an 11-year-old Mecklenburg gelding (sired by Chambertin). The pair earned the championship in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” Over 35 division, sponsored by Cembell Industries, with a win under saddle and second, second, and fourth place ribbons over fences. Virginia Fout and her own Cristiano finished in reserve with first, third, and sixth place ribbons over fences.

Shaw Johnson Price and Custom Made
Shaw Johnson Price and Custom Made

Price was then presented the Leading Amateur-Owner Hunter Rider Award for the 3’6” level. The rider was joined at WIHS by her trainer, Havens Schatt, who also showed Custom Made in professional classes this week. Price started showing the gelding at the beginning of 2015 and had great results at the 3’3” level, including a championship win at the 2015 Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg. This year, they moved up to the 3’6” height and have continued to excel. They recently earned champion and grand champion honors at Harrisburg, and decided that the gelding was ready to face the impressive atmosphere at Verizon Center for the first time.

“We were not quite sure he was ready for the atmosphere here last year, but now he really knows his job,” Price stated. “He is sweet, and I think he really likes going in the ring. He seems to know when it’s a big deal. He is always pleasant and happy and looks for the jumps. His ears are forward, and he is very consistent.”

The partnership with Custom Made took a little while to develop, as Price explained, but with the help of Schatt and her team, the horse has come a long way.

“We thought we would get on him and go right into the 3’6”, but he turned out to be a bit more of a project,” Price detailed. “Havens worked with him, and he has just slowly progressed and gotten better and better. I have a wonderful horse and a great trainer. Wayne Robinson is our groom, and he is fantastic. We have a really good team right now, so it has been great.”

Price earned grand hunter and leading rider titles at WIHS once before, but took some time off from showing and was back for the first time in many years. She has two teenage daughters that keep her busy and also loves to sail with her husband. Price competes next at the National Horse Show in Kentucky. Custom Made will return home to Schatt’s Milestone Farm in Lexington before heading to Florida for the winter.

In the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 18-35 division, the championship was awarded to Samantha Schaefer aboard her own Classified. The pair earned first, third, and fourth place ribbons over fences and a third place under saddle. Kelly Tropin and Libertas Farm LLC’s Chablis finished in reserve with three second-place ribbons and one fourth-place finish. Schaefer and Classified also earned the award for best 3’6” stake round with their high score of 91. Sponsored by Lynn Ellen Rice, the award presents the Shari Hollis Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by the Late Col. J. B. Hollis and Ms. Jeannie Hollis.

Continuing the day, the Amateur-Owner Working Hunter 3’3” 18-35 division presented both championship and reserve championship honors to Margot Peroni of Califon, NJ. Peroni rode her own Encore B to the championship with a win under saddle and second and fifth place ribbons over fences. She also rode her own Orlon to first, second, and sixth place ribbons over fences.

At the conclusion of the afternoon, Virginia Fout of Los Angeles, CA rode her 12-year-old Warmblood gelding Carma (sired by Rhodium) to the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Over 35 division championship. The pair won two classes over fences, as well as the under saddle. Daryl Portela and Isalou, Inc.’s Argentus finished as reserve champions with first and second place finishes over fences. They also earned a special award for the Best Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Stake Round with a score of 87.

For their consistency, Carma and Fout were named Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Champions, sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Earnest M. Oare, and Fout earned the Leading Amateur-Owner Hunter Rider title for the 3’3” division overall.

Fout is originally from Middleburg, VA and moved to California 20 years ago. She grew up in a family of equestrians and lived on the family farm where her father was a racehorse trainer and her mother fox hunted. Fout’s sister became a three-day eventer, and her brother is a jockey. For Fout, it has always been horses. She went to college in California, got married and had a baby, but she continued to ride while also juggling a busy career. She owns her own event production company that does major events such as Elton John’s famous Oscar party.

Traveling across the country to compete while she also has an event going on in California this week was demanding, but for Fout, it paid off.

“Days like this make it all worth it,” she smiled. “It’s funny; the only time I have ever won a blue ribbon at Washington was in 1984 at Hunt Night with my mom and my sister at the old US Air Arena. So this is pretty big and pretty amazing.”

Speaking of Carma, Fout detailed, “He is magic. I’m so fortunate. He is a horse I got from one of my stable mates, Montana Coady. He came back from a long injury a couple years prior. I was lucky enough to get to buy him last fall and we have formed a great partnership. He’s tricky, but when he’s good, he’s magic. I just love him, and he’s so special, and I’m so lucky. It is sort of a dream come true with him. We call him a movie star because that is what he feels like.

“He likes a very quiet ride,” Fout continued. “If you’re quiet, he’s quiet. If you’re not quiet, hold on. I have learned how to ride him. He is sensitive, but I have learned to stay quiet. In the first class today, he had a rail down at the first jump and then it was a disaster after that. But when he’s good, he is phenomenal.”

Fout had Jenny Ross helping her at WIHS this week. She will go to her family’s farm in The Plains, VA until the end of the week before flying back to California to spend Halloween with her daughter. She then heads up to Kentucky for her final horse show of the year.

Hunter competition at the 2016 Washington International Horse Show continues on Thursday with the beginning of Junior Hunter competition in the morning. In the jumpers, Low and High Junior/Amateur-Owner competition will be featured in the afternoon, along with a $35,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake. The evening session will welcome local horse lovers, riders, trainers, and their families for Barn Night, presented by Dover Saddlery with the generous support of The Peterson Family Foundation and National Harbor, beginning at 6 p.m. The $35,000 International Jumper Accumulator costume class will be the highlight competition of the evening. For full results, visit www.wihs.org.

Contact: Lauren Fisher
Jump Media
lauren@jumpmediallc.com
www.jumpmediallc.com

Scott Stewart and Catch Me Repeat WCHR Pro Challenge Victory at Capital Challenge

Scott Stewart and Catch Me. Photos by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Amber Henter Wins WCHR Developing Pro Challenge

Upper Marlboro, MD – October 5, 2016 – The Capital Challenge Horse Show, presented by World Equestrian Center, continued on Wednesday evening with two major classes for professional riders. Repeating their 2015 victory, Scott Stewart and Catch Me won the $25,000 WCHR World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Professional Challenge, presented by The Gochman Family. In the $5,000 WCHR Developing Professional Challenge, presented by the John R. Ingram Fund, Amber Henter rode Si Bene to the win. The Capital Challenge Horse Show, held at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, runs through Sunday, October 5. Every class of the show is live streamed and available to watch online at tv.coth.com or www.capitalchallenge.org.

The $25,000 WCHR Pro Challenge had 33 entries, and 12 were called back for the second round. Stewart and Catch Me, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Casiro owned by David Gochman, set the scores to beat in the first round with judges’ scores of 95, 93, and 92 for an average of 93.33.

While Stewart, of Wellington, FL, has been in plenty of pressure-filled situations, returning for the second round tonight gave him some trepidation. “It’s always hard coming back,” he acknowledged. “The first round felt great too, then trying to have to do it again… then I saw John [French] go, and he had such a good round, so I knew it had to be just as good.”

Luckily, Stewart was sitting on Catch Me, a horse he calls “one of a kind”. They returned with judges’ scores of 95, 96, and 95 for a second round score of 95.33 and a total of 188.66. They would finish more than nine points ahead of the second place finishers.

“I thought that that was probably one of the best rounds that I’ve ever had on any horse,” Stewart revealed.

For their win, Stewart and Catch Me were presented with the Little Brook Farm Perpetual Trophy, donated by Gary Duffy.

Second place went to John French and Boss, who scored 88.33 and 91 for a total of 179.33. Elizabeth Boyd and O’Ryan placed third with scores of 87.66 and 88.66 for a two-round total of 176.32.

“It feels awesome,” Stewart said of his win. “He tries so hard. Even though he’s a little bit tired, he went in there, and he really tried. I think even from round one, the scores seemed higher than they’ve ever been for everybody (in the class). It seemed like it was a good class, so it means a lot to be able to do that. It’s all the horse really. That’s a special horse. There’s not too many like him. He’s a mover, he jumps great, he’s so nice to ride. It’s easy. He’s just phenomenal.”

Last year’s win was a special one for Stewart as Catch Me had recently returned to the show ring after a life-threatening illness. This year, he felt more prepared and ready to go for the win.

He noted, “I think he’s even stronger this year, physically. He was good (last year), but he started to get better, better, and better. He was a little bit greener at indoors last year. He was very good here, but this year he’s even more relaxed. It feels like he has even more jump.”

Stewart thanked the Gochman family for the opportunity to ride such a special horse.

“I’m lucky the Gochmans are letting me ride him. I just want to thank [them] for letting me ride him and supporting him. It’s nice to ride a great horse like that for a great family,” he said.

Riders for Friday’s $5,000 WCHR Professional Finals, sponsored by Madison Hills Farm, have been determined. Going head-to-head in the competition will be John French, Kelley Farmer, Scott Stewart, Hunt Tosh, John Bragg, and Katie Gardner.

Amber Henter Tops Developing Pro Challenge

Amber Henter of St. Petersburg, FL rode to the top of the Developing Pro Challenge, sponsored by the John R. Ingram Fund, with two solid performances on Si Bene, a nine-year-old gelding owned by Findlay’s Ridge Group. In recognition of their win, Henter and Si Bene received the Bittersweet Trophy, presented by Rachel Kennedy.

Amber Henter and Si Bene
Amber Henter and Si Bene

Henter, who is just 24 years old, has been training with and riding for Findlay’s Ridge and Val Renihan for just over a year in her first job as a professional. Her main ride has been Si Bene, who competes in the First Year Green Hunters. This was Si Bene’s first indoor horse show, and the first big competition for Henter, who graduated from the University of South Carolina and rode for the equestrian team.

“I’d first like to say how much I appreciate [Val], and all that she’s done for me,” Henter said. “She couldn’t be here tonight (because) she’s getting ready for USET Finals. We’re really missing her tonight, but I know she would have done anything to be here. It’s been a crazy year, but I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve gotten back into things. It’s really nice. Since Val wasn’t here, I’d like to thank Louise Serio for helping me.”

Henter and Si Bene led from the start with a first round score of 87.41, and they returned just as strong despite the pressure to record a second round score of 87.16 for a total of 174.57.

Second place went to Geoffrey Hesslink on Chabliano Z. They scored 86.33 and 87.66 for a two round total of 173.99. Erica Quinn and Kodachrome placed third with scores of 85.08 and 87.33 for a 172.41 total.

Henter did not have it in her original plan to compete in the Developing Pro Challenge because she “hadn’t ridden that much.” She explained, “Last year was my first time going to indoors in five years, and not competing, I was just training. I knew about the class and I was like, ‘You know what, I might as well give it a try.’ He just showed in the First Year division, and he’s the only one that I showed this week. I know him so well, so I was really hoping that we’d have a great outcome just because he deserves it all the way. We’ve kind of been teetering in the ribbons all year. I feel like he finally got his recognition this week.”

Leading the class and returning on top was “definitely a little nerve-wracking,” she admitted. “I haven’t had pressure on me in a while. I knew everyone was counting on me no matter how I did, so it was nice. It was a good feeling going in the ring knowing that it was okay to make a mistake, but if I didn’t that was even better.”

She said of her victory, “I think that tonight was a big step in my career and in feeling confident moving forward, knowing that I can be successful. Hopefully I will keep on track and keep pushing forward. We have Harrisburg next week, and I’d really like ‘Zip’ to get a nice show in. I just want to keep moving forward off of that.”

For additional information, full results, and live stream coverage from Capital Challenge, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org.

About the Capital Challenge Horse Show
Now in its 23rd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter and equitation competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, the 2016 edition of the Capital Challenge Horse Show will take place October 1-9. The nine days of competition will include prestigious equitation events and the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Finals with many of the country’s best horses and riders competing in junior, amateur, and professional hunter divisions.

Emily Riden
Jump Media
emily@jumpmediallc.com

Scott Stewart and John French Claim Major Championships at Capital Challenge Horse Show

Scott Stewart and Private Life. Photos by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Upper Marlboro, Maryland – The Wednesday afternoon session of the Capital Challenge Horse Show, presented by the World Equestrian Center, featured the $25,000 Future Hunter North American Championships, sponsored by the Wheeler Family and Madison Hills Farm, and the awarding of the professional hunter grand championships. Scott Stewart rode Private Life to the win in the $25,000 Future Hunter North American Championship, while Boss claimed the Grand Hunter Championship with John French in the irons. The 2016 Capital Challenge Horse Show, held at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center, continues through Sunday, October 9. Every class of the show is live streamed and available to watch online at tv.coth.com or www.capitalchallenge.org.

The $25,000 Future Hunter North American Championships featured a start list of 30 of the best young horses in the country, with the top 12 returning for a second round. Stewart and Private Life scored an 88.00 in the first round to move into the third place position, and they sealed the victory with a score of 90.16 in the second round for a 178.16 total.

For their win, Private Life and Stewart were awarded the Beverly Brooks Solter Memorial Trophy, donated by Hilary Scheer Gerhardt and Zan Martin Dillon.

“He was awesome. This is his first time jumping indoors with me, so I was really happy with him,” Stewart, of Wellington, FL, said of Private Life, a five year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding purchased by Stewart’s own Rivers Edge in November 2015. “He’s five, but he acts like he’s ten. He acts like an old horse. He’s really easy going.”

Private Life was not the only mount ridden to success by Stewart. With six total entries in the class, Stewart claimed five of the top seven placings.

“All of my horses were good today. I was really happy with all of them,” Stewart said. “This is a great class. It’s just a great showcase for the young horses.”

The only rider able to edge Stewart out of the top four was the 2014 and 2015 class winner Hunt Tosh, of Milton, GA. This time Tosh finished in second riding Chicago for owner Douglas Wheeler. Tosh and the seven-year-old Warmblood gelding earned scores of 89.33 and 88.50 for a 177.83 total.

“This is such a good class,” Tosh said. “They always have such nice horses here. It can be a little overwhelming (being in) this ring for the first time, but he went in there very relaxed. I think he was a little tired with it being day three [of competition], but the atmosphere helped out a little bit. He jumped beautifully both rounds.”

Rounding out the top three were Stewart and Luster, also owned by Rivers Edge. The pair earned a 173.99 total with a first round score of 87.33 and a second round score of 86.66.

Following the conclusion of the $25,000 Future Hunter North American Championships, Tosh and Chicago were also presented with the Grand Future Hunter Championship title, sponsored by David Belford & Christopher Payne and New Hope LLC & Susan Moriconi. They were awarded the “A Rare Diamond” Perpetual Trophy, donated by “The Friends of Mickey.”

The EMO Future Trip of the Show went to Peter Pletcher riding Entourage, who scored 91.5.

Capital Challenge Names Grand Hunter Champions

Concluding the 2016 Capital Challenge professional hunter divisions, the Regular Conformation Hunter Championship went to John French of Woodside, CA and Boss, owned by Laura Wasserman. The ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding claimed two firsts and two seconds over fences, as well as second in the model and second under saddle before taking the championship.

John French and Boss
John French and Boss

The championship came down to an extremely close race between French and Boss and the eventual reserve champions, Stewart and Lucador, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker. Stewart and the eight-year-old gelding claimed two firsts and a second over fences and the wins in both the model and the under saddle.

“I didn’t even know I was champion!” French said. “It was so close between Scott and me. Lucador is awesome to be champion over. It’s pretty hard, and that’s a super horse. We were kind of neck-and-neck. There was just one class where Lucador maybe had a mistake, and I guess that was enough.”

French started riding Boss as a pre-green horse and has brought him along ever since, successfully earning numerous championships along the way.

“He used to have steering issues at the beginning,” French said. “He just wants to pose with his neck instead of turning his neck. He just keeps it in his posed position. We had to work on turning. He’s gotten better and better. I was really happy with him today in the handy because of that. Sometimes that can be a little bit harder. He really was good in that.

“He has such a nice head carriage. Some horses you have to try to get them round. He has such a beautiful arch in his neck; his way of going just always looks like he’s posing because of the way he’s going around the course, but it’s just the way that he’s put together,” French said.

French and Boss’s performance was not only enough for the Regular Conformation Hunter Championship, it secured them the Grand Conformation Championship, sponsored by Eight Oaks, the Grand Hunter Championship, sponsored by RSB Farms, Inc., Rob Bielefeld, and Chrystal Knight, and the Tribute Perpetual Trophy, donated by Scott Stewart. It also earned French his first Capital Challenge Leading Hunter Rider Award, sponsored by the Gibson Family & The Shadyside Farm.

“Again, I didn’t even realize that was going to happen,” French said. “This is the toughest, I think, of all the horse shows because everybody’s here. There are a lot more horses here than any of the other indoors. To be grand champion at this show is pretty special.”

French continued, “This horse show’s great. The top horses come here. It’s the biggest divisions, and they’ve got the special young horse classes. It’s not only a great show for the horses, but for the riders. The riders get a lot of recognition here too with the [WCHR Professional Challenge] and the [WCHR Professional Finals]. It showcases the riders as well as the horses.”

For French, making the trip to Capital Challenge from California each year is extra special, as he called Maryland home for 25 years.

“To come back home is always nice,” French said. “I’ve gotten a few people who have come up to me today: ‘Do you remember me from 25 years ago?’ or ‘We used to ride together when we were kids!’ It’s always fun when people come up and say things like that.”

In the Green Conformation Hunters, the Championship went to Fun, ridden by Scott Stewart for owner David Gochman. The six-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding won both the under saddle and the model, as well as taking two firsts and a second over fences. The reserve championship in the Green Conformation Hunters went to Tosh and Patriot, owned by the Wheeler Family.

Taking the championship in the First Year Green Hunters Section A were Hope Glynn, of Petaluma, CA, and Fandango HX for owners Redfield Farm and Karen Trione. Glynn and the six-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion finished first, first, and third over fences. Stewart and William Hill, owned by Rose Hill Farm, claimed the reserve championship.

In the First Year Green Working Hunters Section B, Kelley Farmer of Keswick, VA rode Publicized to the championship for owner Amanda Hone. The eight-year-old Zangersheide gelding swept three of the four over fences classes and finished second in the fourth before taking the division tri-color. Finishing in reserve were Stewart and Evermore for owner David Gochman.

Hone purchased Publicized in the fall of 2015, and it ended up being the horse that first connected her to Farmer and Lane Change Farm.

“I got a phone call from this guy who I’ve done business with before,” Hone explained. “He said, ‘We’ve got this really amazing horse. You’ve got to pull the trigger because we have someone coming to look at it tonight.’ We were questioning it, but we pulled the trigger. I called Kelley and told her that we had this horse, and I’d really like her to see it. It turns out, they actually had sent somebody over to look at it, and they were the ones coming to see it that night!”

“She bought the horse out from under us!” joked Larry Glefke of Lane Change Farm. “It’s now one of the best horses we’ve ever had.”

With his top performances in the First Year Green Working Hunters, Publicized was named the Grand First Year Green Working Hunter Champion, sponsored by Summer Hill Farms, Jordan Gilchrist, and Laura Hightower, and ultimately the Grand Green Working Hunter, sponsored by Balmoral – Traci and Carleton Brooks.

“What a horse. He’s such a beautiful jumper, and he’s so athletic and scopey,” Farmer said. “He’s a blast to ride. He has his own personality, but we like that. He’s beautiful to ride. There’s nothing that’s not available to you. He always wants to be careful; he always wants to be high in the air.”

The $1,000 Professional WCHR Under Saddle victory, sponsored by Arcadia Farm, went to Louise Serio and Eleventh Hour, owned by Meredith Lipke. They were presented with the Hollywood Challenge Trophy, donated by Paula Polk Lillard.

The EMO Professional Trip of the Show, sponsored by the EMO Agency, Inc., went to Stewart riding David Gochman’s Catch Me, who scored a 93.

Green Hunter and Young Hunter to Replace Future Hunters at Capital Challenge in 2017

Since 2001, the Future Hunters has been one of the premier divisions at the Capital Challenge Horse Show for young, up-and-coming hunters. The division was originally established to provide an avenue for pre-green horses to compete against their peers without encountering eligibility issues because Pre-Green specifications differed by zone. While this division has always highlighted great talent, it has never offered an opportunity for national points. In 2017, this will be changing as the Future Hunter division aligns with the new Green and Young Hunter divisions set forth by the USHJA and USEF. Competitors will still be given multiple sections in which to compete, but with the added benefit of accruing national points.

“At Capital Challenge we strive to promote the young horses in the format that we have utilized for over a decade,” said show manager Oliver Kennedy. “We are glad to see that our national governing body is transitioning into a format that has evolved from our original ideas.  Now our competitors can earn national accolades for their success at Capital Challenge.”

In 2017, as the Pre-Green, First Year, and Second Year Green divisions transition to the Green Hunter 3’0”, 3’3”, 3’6”, and 3’9” and a Young Hunter division is established, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will transform the Future Hunters into the Green and Young Hunter divisions.

The shift is part of comprehensive rule changes that go into effect on December 1, 2016. Under these changes, Pre-Green, First Year, and Second Year Green Hunters will be replaced with a simpler, more descriptive naming structure – Green Hunter 3’0”, 3’3”, 3’6” and 3’9.” In addition, Young Hunter sections based on age will be offered at 3’0”, 3’3” and 3’6”.

“It is normal to be attached to familiar names like First Year and Second Year Green, but this new structure provides very clear pathways for two distinct types of horses – horses that are young, and horses that are green. We know that young horses are almost always green, but green horses may not always be young,” explained Geoff Teall, USHJA National Vice President. “Now, we have a system that recognizes this and embraces horses no matter how they enter our sport. Also, the new section names make it easy for someone new to the sport to quickly understand what to expect from those classes.”

For more information about these changes, visit www.ushja.org/rules.

For additional information, full results, and live stream coverage from Capital Challenge, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org.

About the Capital Challenge Horse Show
Now in its 23rd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter and equitation competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, the 2016 edition of the Capital Challenge Horse Show will take place October 1-9. The nine days of competition will include prestigious equitation events and the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Finals with many of the country’s best horses and riders competing in junior, amateur, and professional hunter divisions.

Emily Riden
Jump Media
emily@jumpmediallc.com

Scott Stewart and Storm Watch Unstoppable in 2016 USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship

Scott Stewart and Storm Watch.

Aaron Vale Victorious in 1.40m Open Jumpers at Bluegrass Festival Horse Show

Lexington, Ky. – August 18, 2016 – Scott Stewart’s name is synonymous with winning hunters, and Thursday at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show was no different. Stewart had a total of seven entries that qualified for the final round in the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship, but it was Rivers Edge’s Storm Watch, who was in the lead after Wednesday’s second round with 520.5 points, who took home the prize. For the top thirty horse and rider combinations, it was an even playing field going into the championship round, as everyone had a clean slate.

Stewart and Storm Watch were the second pair to compete in the 3’3″ section, but as soon as the 6-year-old Oldenburg landed from the final fence, it was obvious that the pair had impressed the judges as well as the crowd outside the Kentucky Horse Park’s Walnut Arena. The three judging panels awarded them with scores of 91, 88, and 85.5 for a grand total of 264.5 points.

Thursday’s stellar performance by Storm Watch proved that Stewart had made the right decision to make time to try him out during his vacation in Holland.

“I bought him off a video. Randy Hendri sent me a video and I couldn’t go over to look at him, so it was almost two months before I got to go and the horse was still there,” Stewart said. “He was in Holland, and the week after the National Horse Show, we went over. We didn’t go over specifically to look at horses, but he was sort of in the area so we looked. It was supposed to be a vacation, but it was on the route.”

Stewart has recently returned to the show ring after time off from a pinched nerve in his neck. During his time recovering, Ken Berkeley took the reins for Stewart to prepare the horses before coming to Kentucky.

“Ken has been riding him at home, so he really got the horse ready for here,” Stewart said. “I wasn’t able to ride for a month or so, right after Devon. I got through the last day of Devon and this is my first show back. I rode at home last week, then came to Pony Finals. I went to some very good doctors in New York and they said I just needed physical therapy.”

Stewart said that Storm Watch’s way of going is slightly different than what he prefers, but the gray gelding is improving every day.

“He’s pretty laid back and quiet. He’s naturally a good jumper, but his balance is a little low.” Stewart continued, “He doesn’t pull, but it’s a little of a different ride for me. I don’t really like them that low, but he’s getting better and better.”

In addition to the tricolor ribbon, wool cooler, and generous prize money, Stewart was awarded a free lease for one year on a Sundowner Charter SE two-horse trailer.

Coming in second place was Lisa Hankin’s Hanoverian, Puissance R, ridden to victory by California’s Jenny Karazissis. The duo won the first round of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship on Tuesday, and Thursday’s efforts in the 3’3″ section proved that the mare is ready to show at the Capital Challenge Horse Show in October. Judges awarded them scores of 88, 89, and 87 for a total of 264 points.

“This is my first time doing the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship. I’m so excited to be here. We were going to choose between here and Capital Challenge,” Karazissis explained. I said, ‘She can come here and if she does well, she could do both.’ So I’m really glad that we made the trip and it was so worthwhile.”

In third place overall was Hunt Tosh and Douglas Wheeler’s Chicago, who campaigned in the 3’3″ section. Tosh led the 8-year-old gelding around the course to finish up with scores of 86, 84, and 92 for a total of 262 points.

All three hunter professionals agreed that the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship was a step in the right direction for the hunter sport. It is a great way to showcase the younger horses and it features good prize money, which attracts the owners.

The next event for hunter fans during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show is the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, which will take place over the course of two days. Some of the same hunter riders who went head-to-head Thursday will set their eyes on the prize for the derby championship, which starts on Friday at 8 a.m. in the Rolex stadium.

Aaron Vale Victorious in 1.40m Open Jumpers

After coming close to winning the 1.40m Open Jumper class on Wednesday, Aaron Vale and Acolina R returned on Thursday, this time taking home the blue ribbon with their double-clear round during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.

Going near the middle of the order in the Rolex Stadium, Vale and Sarah Turner’s Acolina R tripped the timers in 36.069 seconds in the jump-off and unseated Kyle Timm and Georgie B from their leading time of 37.727 seconds.

Aaron Vale and Acolina R
Aaron Vale and Acolina R

“I tried out a different bridle today,” Vale explained. “Acolina is hard to find the right bridle for, so more than anything I was trying a new piece of equipment, and it seemed to suit her pretty well. She kind of likes to go. I caught the fences off the turns really well, so she just ended up being really fast today.”

Vale said he got the ride on the 11-year-old mare about a year and half ago. Together, the duo has had top placings in grand prix events at a number of horse shows, including the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival and Kentucky Horse Shows.

“She gets a little wound up,” Vale explained, laughing. “Her energy probably gets in the way more often than it helps us, but when things come up right and I can do the turns smoothly and keep that gallop, her forwardness is definitely good. Controlling her across a technical course can be difficult, though. You live by the sword; you die by the sword.”

However, Vale said the course rode perfectly for the mare, who was unfazed by the sand sculptures that dotted the ring.

“She wasn’t worried about the sand at all,” Vale said. “It’s nice having the decorations for the [USHJA International Hunter] Derby fences. It livens the ring up. It’s such a big ring, but with the decorations there was more ambiance out there. The courses themselves were really fun and balanced today, and I really liked the tracks. It was a pretty course for my eye.”

Earlier in the day, Sharn Wordley continued his successful week with a win in the 1.35m Open Jumper division aboard Didienne.

“I just got Didienne,” Wordley said. “She’s a cool horse. I gave her a little warm-up yesterday to see how she was in the ring and get to know her, and she was really good. I thought today I’d give her a little try to see how fast she was, and she was really fast. I was only just cruising, and she was just naturally very fast and careful. She’s such a good horse in the ring.”

Wordley purchased the mare with Steve Tinti in Morocco about six months ago. After riding the 8-year-old for the past three weeks at home, this marks the duo’s first appearance together in the show ring.

“She’s a special horse,” Wordley said. “We kept her at our barn in Belgium for six months. My rider there did some shows with her there and got her trained up, because she hadn’t seen a whole lot yet when we got her. This is my first show on her, and she’s turned out to be a real pleasure of a horse; I really like her, and I’m excited about her future.”

Wordley said he plans to continue showing the mare in the 1.35m division, and will try her out in the 1.40m division next week.

“The 1.35m is probably enough for her now,” Wordley said. “She’s had a couple of months off, so from now on, we’ll just see where she’ll be comfortable. She’s improved so much in her rideability in the past three weeks that I’ve had her, so I’ll just see how quickly she wants to go, and she’ll tell me.”

The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show will resume on Friday with the beginning of the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, which will take place over the course of two days. Other highlight events include the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby. Jumper highlights include the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, and the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington.

For more information, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Scott Stewart and Storm Watch Take Over Lead in USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship

Scott Stewart and Storm Watch.

Sharn Wordley Claims Win in 1.40m Open Jumpers at Bluegrass Festival Horse Show

Lexington, Ky. – August 17, 2016 – Scott Stewart guided Rivers Edge’s Storm Watch into the new leading position on the second day of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship with a total of 520.5 points. Storm Watch is a 6-year-old Oldenburg by Chacco Blue, and even as a relatively new addition to the River’s Edge team, he has made his mark at the Kentucky Horse Park during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.

“We bought him at the end of last year, when he was still a stallion,” Stewart explained. “He got castrated, and then he was shown a couple times in Florida in the Pre-Green Hunters. Then, he did Kentucky Spring Horse Show and I haven’t really shown my horses since then, so he’s just been at home getting trained.”

The gray gelding placed fifth over the Patrick Rodes-designed course, after being tied for second place Tuesday.

“He was awesome. He was great both rounds. He’s very laid back. He likes to go like a hunter with his head and neck low,” Stewart said. “He’s probably one of the best jumpers I’ve ever had. He really tries hard every time over these jumps that are kind of small for him.”

Stewart’s plan for Thursday’s third and final round of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship will be simple and straightforward.

“He’s pretty laid-back, so I only jump a few verticals before I go in. He’s brave, so I’m not going to do too much. He’s pretty quiet as well,” Stewart said.

He continued, “Today, I only jumped three jumps and went in. They’re all getting a little tired.”

When asked about the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship, Scott said, “I think it’s great. It’s nice prize money for these young horses and we get to showcase them a little bit. It’s a very good thing for the hunters.”

While Storm Watch is currently in the lead overall, it was Tim Goguen and Davidson that captured the blue ribbon during the second over-fences round of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship.

Goguen was quick to mention that Davidson really tries to give it his all in the show ring, and that is what helped him both days.

“He went really well today and yesterday,” Goguen stated. “He’s just a trier; he’s been really good. He’s been going well for the past two days. He got a low score the first day from one of the judges. I think he was like 25th overall going in, but I think today moved him up a little bit.”

Davidson, a homebred warmblood, has only been showing under the expertise of Goguen since the end of June. Despite their short time together, Davidson has made it to the winner’s circle every time out.

“I started riding him at the Country Heir Horse Show, which was in June or July, and I’ve shown him maybe three times,” Goguen shared. “He’s been champion all three times. He’s just been a great horse.”

Davidson enters Thursday’s phase in the ninth place position, with a total of 513.5 points.

Dr. Betsee Parker’s Liberty Road is now in second place overall with 519 points. Chicago, owned by Douglas Wheeler, narrowly missed the second place spot with 518 points. Both horses were ridden by esteemed hunter rider, Hunt Tosh.

On Wednesday afternoon, a new winner for 2016 will be crowned as the championship will culminate after the top 30 horses battle it out for the coveted title. The course walk for the third and final round is set to begin at 3:15 p.m. and officials can begin walking the course at 4:15 p.m. The opening ceremonies will take place at 4:30 p.m., and the championship round is planned for a 5 p.m. start.

Sharn Wordley Claims Win in 1.40m Open Jumpers

As the jumper action began on Wednesday in the Rolex Arena, it was Sharn Wordley and Glamour Van De Kakebeek who brought home the blue ribbon in the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumper division at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.

The Rolex Arena was filled with intricate sand sculptures, fully decorated and ready for the USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals, which begin on Friday. Despite the decorations and the light rainfall, Wordley and Glamour Van De Kakebeek navigated the course successfully, going clear in a time of 66.018 seconds.

Sharn Wordley and Glamour Van De Kakebeek
Sharn Wordley and Glamour Van De Kakebeek

“My plan was to just go fast,” Wordley said. “There were a lot of fast people in this class, including Aaron Vale and Tori Colvin. I had to go reasonably quick if I wanted to beat those guys. With the course, I know Glamour Van De Kakebeek doesn’t spook at anything, so the sand sculptures didn’t bother him at all. I could have jumped over the sand pile, and it wouldn’t have mattered to him. He felt great today.”

Wordley said that he got the ride on the Kerry Anne LLC entry two months ago, and has been showing the 10-year-old gelding to successful finishes in the 1.40m division. His goal is to eventually show the gelding in FEI ranked classes.

“It’s been really easy getting to know him,” Wordley said. “The first show I went to with him, we won a class. The second and third shows, he was champion in the 1.40m. I’d say I’ve done about seven classes with him, and he’s won five of them.”

The gelding was previously owned by Darragh Kenny, who alerted Wordley when he realized the two would be a great match.

“I had a horse that I bought from Darragh,” Wordley explained. “But he called me saying he had another horse that would be more suited to me. So, he sent me Glamour Van De Kakebeek, and he was right – this one is a great little horse. He’s a real winner, and he just wants to get out there and go as fast as he can.”

Finishing second to Wordley was another rider known for his speedy rounds – Aaron Vale. Vale turned in a clear round aboard Acolina R, tripping the timers just behind Wordley in 66.871 seconds. With a time of 67.328 seconds, Wordley also came in third with Caiman De Sequoias, who is owned by Sharn Wordley and The Sky Group.

Earlier in the day, the 1.35m Open Jumpers had the stage in the Rolex Arena, and it was Richard Rinehart and Virginia Bartholomay’s Donnalaris who swept the field of 32 entries to earn the win.

“I took it as a good sign that it stopped raining before my round,” Rinehart said. “Donnalaris was just awesome. My plan was to try not to take any chances, but to save time where I could. I’m really lucky to have Donnalaris to ride.”

Rinehart, who is based in Indianapolis, said he began riding the 8-year-old mare during July of last year.

“She’s got girl-power,” Rinehart laughed. “She’s very brave, and she gets it done. She’s so nice to ride, and she’s really obedient. I feel like she’s always trying to please. And she likes this ring, even with the sand. I just really wanted her to jump the Diane Carney jump clean, because she’s my trainer, so I’m happy that she did.”

The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show will resume on Thursday with the finale of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship. Other highlight events include the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, which will take place over the course of two days, and the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby. Jumper highlights include the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, and the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington. For more information, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
PhelpsMediaGroup.com