Wellington, Fla. – March 7, 2019 – Hunter competition during Week Nine of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued Thursday, where competitors took to the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) to wrap up the Performance 3’6” hunter division. Ultimately, it was Jacob Pope and Bourbon Street who rose to the occasion to take the championship tricolor. Havens Schatt and Aristocrat were awarded the reserve championship.
The division saw over 20 entries as professionals, amateurs, and juniors prepare for the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Classic at the Stadium Derby Field at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (ADGF) showgrounds Saturday morning. The division brought tough competition and saw scores separated by just one-half of a point to determine top ribbon placings from the two days of competition.
Pope’s champion mount, Bourbon Street, is a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding that he rides for owner Kathryn Brown. Pope prepares Bourbon Street for Brown to compete in the junior hunter classes over the weekends. Over the two days of competition for the Performance 3’6’’ Hunter division, Pope and Bourbon Street won the handy round with a score of 84. The pair finished in second place in every other over fences round with scores of 81, 83, and 84 to secure their place in the winner’s circle.
Finishing close behind Pope to receive the reserve championship was Schatt and Aristocrat, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Tracey Scheriff-Muser, to consistent scores over the two days of competition. The pair took home a win over fences with a score of 83 during Wednesday’s portion of the class and a third place finish in one over fences round during Thursday’s portion after earning a score of 81 to secure their place as reserve champion.
Week Nine of WEF continues through Sunday, March 10 with the highlight event, the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Classic, taking place Saturday, March 9 beginning at 8:30 a.m.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Jacob Pope – Performance 3’6” division champion
On Bourbon Street:
“His name is Bourbon Street, and Heather Irvine is his trainer. I have shown him for two or three years now, his owner is Kit [Kathryn] Brown from Michigan. He’s honestly one of my favorites. I rode him in the first year division last year and he does the junior hunter divisions with his owner as well. He’s mostly for his owner and now I just do the performance hunter division to get him warmed up a little bit for her.”
On what makes Bourbon Street special:
“He’s definitely one of the most rhythmical horses I have ridden. His type of canter is always what I am looking for in a horse, and all of Heather’s horses are incredible. I am lucky enough to get to ride them. His canter is always the same, it never changes. The jumps show up nice and he jumps incredibly; it’s that one steady rhythm that I like so much about him. He has a cool attitude as well, he’s an all around good horse. He’s a favorite in the barn and we have taken our time with him and brought him along.”