Wellington, Fla. – March 21, 2019 – Hunter competition during Week 11 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued on Thursday morning, with the High Performance Working Hunter division starting off the day. The division concluded after two days of competition in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring, with veteran hunter rider Liza Boyd taking home championship honors aboard Curo.
Boyd and Curo, a 10-year-old Oldenberg owned by Canadian show jumper Mario Deslauriers, have only been partnered together for two weeks. The stallion was previously ridden by Deslauriers and his daughter, Lucy, in the jumper ring, competing at the 1.45m level in various grand prix classes across the country. Curo began his transition into the hunter ring at the start of the 2019 WEF season with Rhyan Serres, a young professional in the sport. Boyd, who gained the ride not long ago, sees a bright future for the horse in the hunter ring, specifically for derbies and the junior hunter division.
Boyd and Curo secured their tricolor ribbon after two days of showing in the division. With consistent scores in the 80’s during Wednesday’s first day of competition, Boyd was able to claim first and second in the over fences portion of the class. Combined with a high placing in the under saddle class, Boyd and Curo set themselves up in great standings heading into day two. On Thursday, the pair continued with consistent results to walk away with a score of 81 in round one and 87 in the handy round.
Reserve honors was captured by Sara Taylor and Carento. Carento, a 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Sherri Crawford, has been partnered with Taylor for a number of hunter derbies in Tryon, North Carolina and in Wellington, Florida, in addition to producing steady results in the High Performance Working Hunter divisions. The pair secured their reserve champion placing after remaining consistent over two days of competition, claiming first and second during the two over fences classes.
Later in the morning, the High Performance Confirmation Hunters took to the ring to finalize the remaining sections of their division. It was Christopher Payne and Fibonacci who captured the tricolor ribbon after securing consistent scores of 84, 77.1, 81.1, and 82.1 during two days of competition.
Hunter action will continue throughout the weekend, with the juniors and amateur-owners finalizing their division standings. Weekly jumper competition continues through Sunday, March 31, with the exciting $209,000 Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix CSI4* taking place at 11:00 AM at Adequan Global Dressage Festival’s Stadium Derby Field Saturday morning. The highlighted WEF Saturday Night Lights event will take place in the International Ring at 6:30 PM with the $134,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic finals.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Liza Boyd – High Performance Working Hunter Champion
On Curo’s transition and future in the hunter ring:
“Rhyan [Serres] started him in the hunters at the beginning of circuit. I have to give her the credit for really transitioning him. He has pretty much figured it out now. Curo is for sale because I don’t think Mario will be doing any hunter derbies, although that would be pretty exciting. This is the right horse for derbies though. I think he is going to be a great derby horse and a really awesome junior hunter. I think he will be a top hunter to watch for the future.”
“This is his first tricolor as a hunter and the first time doing the High Performance Hunters. We’re so happy with him. He used to be a jumper that was shown by both Mario [Deslauriers] and Lucy [Deslauriers]. Lucy showed him in the High Juniors and the U25 Grand Prix’s and Mario did him various big classes. His transition into the hunter ring was pretty easy. He learned to settle in the ring and he likes it I think.”