Wellington, FL – February 18, 2012 – The $50,000 WCHR Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular was held under the lights at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival on Saturday night with an exciting victory for 14-year-old Victoria Colvin riding Dr. Betsee Parker’s Way Cool. The pair edged out last year’s winners, Louise Serio and Bryan Baldwin’s Castle Rock, who finished second. Colvin also took home third place honors riding Inclusive, owned by Scott Stewart. Elizabeth Boyd and Brunello finished fourth after a win in the first round.
Week six of the FTI WEF, sponsored by Equine Couture/Tuff Rider will run through February 19. The $50,000 G&C Farm Jumper Derby is the highlight event on Sunday at The Stadium at 3 p.m. The 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 1, 2012, and they will be awarding more than $6 million in prize money through the circuit.
Thirty-two horse and rider combinations qualified to compete in tonight’s class after showing throughout the week in the junior, amateur and professional hunter divisions. Skip Bailey set the course for the two rounds of competition. The judges included Scott Fitton, Scott Williamson, Bill Moroney, Jim Clapperton, Mary Lisa Leffler, Patrick Rhodes, Karen Healey, and Dee Thomas.
Victoria Colvin and Way Cool finished the class with an impressive two round total of 180.06 for the victory. The pair scored an 88.56 in round one with individual scores of 89, 91, 89, and 85.25 from the four judging panels. In round two, high scores of 93, 93, 90.5 and 89.5 averaged out to a 90.25 score to put the duo in first place.
Louise Serio and Castle Rock finished with a two round total of 178.37 for second place. The pair finished the first round with an 88.12 total with scores of 87, 90, 86.5 and 89, then moved up with a 90.25 average in round two with scores of 92, 92, 89.5 and 87.5.
Colvin and her other mount Inclusive finished with a two round total of 177.25 for third place with a round one average of 88.25 and an 89 point total in round two. Elizabeth Boyd and Brunello, owned by Boyd and Janet Peterson, led the first round with an 89.37 total and finished the second round with an 87.75 for a 177.12 total to finish in fourth place overall.
Other special awards were presented following the first round of competition. Costar, owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, was presented with the Mark Gregory Memorial Award as the best conditioned horse in round one. Casallo, owned by Erin McGuire and ridden by Elizabeth Boyd, earned the Charlie Weaver Memorial Award as the highest scoring conformation horse in the first round with an 87.87.
Class winner Way Cool is a ten-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Embassy. Way Cool and Colvin qualified for tonight’s class after earning the reserve championship in the Antares Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division earlier in the day. Colvin was champion in the division with Inclusive.
Colvin, of Loxahatchee, FL, trains with four-time WCHR Professional Champion Scott Stewart. Although she went last in the second round and had to put in a good round to come out on top, Colvin says she did not feel any nerves. “I don’t get nervous,” she stated. “I didn’t feel any pressure. My mom is the one who gets nervous and I think Scott gets a bit nervous. I thought it was good. I knew I had to pick up his feet. I thought I was going to have a rail because he was very tired, but he was perfect.”
Just 14 years old, Colvin is one of the youngest riders to ever win this class. Commenting on beating out her own trainer and other top professionals, Colvin smiled, “It’s a lot of fun. It was really cool.”
Colvin and Way Cool have been showing together all circuit, but this was their first time in the International Arena at night under the bright lights. “He was a bit more aware and jumped higher and nicer,” Colvin noted. “He really rises to the occasion; he is amazing. He jumps so well, and has such a nice canter.”
Colvin enjoyed the courses tonight. “They were open and nice, and they really made for a flowing ride,” she said.
Second place finisher Louise Serio commented on the course as well, explaining, “When we walked it, it looked very simple, but it rode differently. It really did have a flow to it, especially in the second round.”
Serio explained that Castle Rock felt great in both rounds. “He is so reliable and just knows his job. I was confident going into my rounds that he was going to be sharp. He is unbelievable to ride, and he walks into the ring and wants to win. It is an amazing feeling to have a horse like that,” she smiled.
“Castle Rock only shows in Florida and then he returns home to Tampa and turns out. That lifestyle works so well for him and he lives such a happy, healthy life,” she added.
Fourth place finisher Elizabeth Boyd also won this class as a junior. She was happy with her rounds aboard Brunello.
“He felt amazing. He really shines under the lights,” she declared. “He was definitely a bit tired for the second round. He made such a hard effort and jumped every jump out in the first round.”
Concluding WCHR competition for week six, the $5,000 Peggy Cone Memorial WCHR Adult Classic will be held in the International Arena Sunday morning, followed by the $5,000 WCHR Amateur Owner 3’3 Classic. For full results please visit www.showgroundslive.com.
About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival
The 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 11 through April 1. The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $6 million in prize money will be awarded.
About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,800 employees located in 23 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.4 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2010. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.
Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.