Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 25, 2018 – In the Green Hunter 3’9” Division, Holly Orlando and Lindsay Maxwell’s Baranus rode away with top honors, sweeping the over fences. While Baranus is not a stranger to showing at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), the 2018 circuit marks his debut in the hunter ring at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
The Oldenburg gelding by Balou Du Rouet was previously one of Ian Millar’s grand prix horses, but was purchased by Maxwell, an amateur rider, with the plan of developing him into a hunter.
According to US Equestrian (USEF): Hunter eligibility for a horse begins when a horse of any age, competes for the first time in any over fences class in the hunter division with jumps at 3’ in height or higher, which allowed Baranus to make his transition into the hunter ring.
With Orlando in the irons, the transition has been nothing short of amazing and “Bear,” as he is affectionately known, is quickly adapting to his new career that he began less than one year ago.
The talented pair came in fourth place under-saddle, but was unbeatable over-fences, making it a clean sweep of the division. In the handy, judges awarded them an impressive score of 86, and their stake round also received an 86.
The highly-anticipated sixth week of WEF, better known as World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Week is on the horizon for Baranus. Going forward, Maxwell explained that he will show in the hunter derby next weekend, have a week off to relax, and then return to show during Week Six.
Coming in reserve champion behind Baranus was Dr. Betsee Parker’s Luster, shown by Scott Stewart.
In the Green Conformation Hunter division, Stewart piloted Dr. Betsee Parker’s Harvard Hall to the championship title, while Kelley Farmer and Golden Oaks Farm Inc.’s Transparency took home the reserve tricolor ribbon.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Lindsay Maxwell – owner of Baranus, Green Hunter 3’9″ Champion
“Bear is a fantastic horse. He has only been doing the hunters for about nine months now. He was one of Ian Millar’s grand prix horses before that. He is learning really quickly. He is a really great horse who loves his job and always comes out and tries his hardest. We’re lucky to have him.”
On future plans for Baranus:
“He showed pre-circuit, but this is his first WEF week that he showed [in the professional hunter divisions]. Holly is going to do him in the derby next weekend and then he gets a week off. Then, Week Six is definitely in the cards.”
On his transition to the hunter ring:
“He just loves it. He caught on really quickly. I think he likes getting to be a little fat and go a little slower. He always jumps in beautiful form and this is easy for him compared to what he was doing. I think he really loves his job now.”
On his personality:
“He’s a very goofy horse in the barn! He loves to snuggle. He loves to lick everything – he’s always licking something. He is great with little kids. Holly’s daughter is always playing with him and he’s a sweetheart. There is nothing difficult about that horse. He is wonderful about everything.”