Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 28, 2019 – Week Eight of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued on Thursday, where the Green 3’6” Hunter division wrapped up in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Christopher Payne rode Bond, a 7-year-old gelding owned by ShadowFax Equestrian LLC, to the championship ribbon after two days of competition. Tara Metzner and Lion, a 9-year-old Selle Français gelding owned by Davlyn Farms LLC, took the reserve tricolor with consistent placings in the over fences rounds.
Top professionals once again brought fresh talent to the division, giving their horses valuable experience in the hunter ring. Many competed two horses, including Payne, Scott Stewart and Peter Pletcher. With 20 competitive entries, almost half of the rounds were awarded scores in the 80s, as horses showed off for the judges.
Payne and Bond received scores of 83.75 and 84.5 over fences on Wednesday to kick-off the division, earning a third and fourth place, respectively. However, they outdid themselves on Thursday, scoring an 86 and an 87 to take the blue ribbon in both over fences classes to secure their place in the winner’s circle. Bond has only shown for four weeks at WEF, the first of which was his first-ever horse show.
Metzner and Lion won the handy round on Wednesday with an 86, and their scores of 85 and 86 on Thursday took second place in both over fences classes to put them in the reserve championship position.
WEF Week Eight continues through Sunday, March 3, as many of the Green 3’6” Hunters will take to the rings again throughout the weekend with their amateurs to compete for more tricolor ribbons.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Christopher Payne – Green 3’6” Hunter division champion
“He’s just coming 7 this year, he was just imported last year. He hadn’t shown until this circuit. This is his fourth show. He has had to do double duty — learn how to do the hunters with the professional and then also do the small juniors with [Isha Swani], who owns him. He is figuring out his job out here and also carrying her around as well. In the barn, he’s the sweetest horse. He would have his nose on your shoulder all day if you let him.”
Plans for the rest of WEF:
“We’re going to keep doing the Green 3’6” and gaining experience there, and then he will also continue to do the small juniors. With Isha, he is perfect. She gets up there and just drops the reins and he does his beautiful jump and it all works out well.”