Lexington, Ky. – May 9, 2019 – Hunter competition resumed in the Stonelea Ring on Thursday, highlighted by the presentation of the Grand Hunter Champion award to the horse and rider who accumulated the highest scores throughout professional hunter competition across Wednesday and Thursday. After competitive rides from a variety of competitors at the Kentucky Horse Park, it was Chris Payne and Fibonacci who ultimately claimed top honors and walked away with the Grand Hunter Champion prize.
Still Water Farm LLC’s Fibonacci garnered points with Payne throughout the High Performance Conformation Hunter division, sweeping both of Wednesday’s over fences rounds as well as the under saddle. The pair finished Thursday’s competition with an impressive score of 90 to win the handy round and a third place ribbon in the over fences to capture the High Performance Conformation Hunter award and ultimately the grand champion title.
Payne and Fibonacci boast an impressive list of accolades, most recently earning the circuit champion title in the High Performance Conformation Hunter accumulated through 12 weeks of competition at the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida.
The Grand Hunter Champion award is presented each year by Visse Wedell. Wedell has been a continuously great supporter of the Kentucky Horse Shows by sponsoring grand championship prizes in multiple divisions every year.
Hunter competition will resume Friday in the Stonelea Ring with the Open Hunter and Amateur Owner divisions beginning at 8 a.m. The Kentucky Spring Horse Show will culminate Sunday, May 12, with the $5,000 USHJA National Derby, sponsored by World Equestrian Center and Kentucky Horse Shows, followed by the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Chris Payne – Grand Hunter Champion
On his round:
“We just came back from Florida where he showed a few times there and ended up circuit champion there [at the Winter Equestrian Festival.] He has been a little rusty at home and I haven’t been going at it very hard with him since Florida, so I was worried we were a little rusty. He went in the ring and it actually paid off because he was a little bit sharp at the jumps and really put in a great effort.”
“He’s a really funny horse. He’s great to ride and he always gives you an amazing effort, but he also has a personality where you don’t know if he’s paying attention or thinking about his job and then all of a sudden he rises to the occasion.”
On Kentucky Horse Shows:
“Fibonacci loves Kentucky. It is such a wonderful place to show. The courses were set really fun – a little bit challenging, but it was really fun to come here and do that. The plan is to stay on this path to Devon.”