Wellington, Fla. – Jan 23, 2020 – The Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued its hunter competition onThursday afternoon with the 3’9 Green Hunter division. The E.R. Miche Grand Hunter Arena saw a total of seven horse and rider pairs across two days of competition. After Wednesday’s two jumping rounds and under saddle class and Thursday’s two jumping rounds, it was Maverick poiletted by Jeff Gogul who were crowned champion with a total of 29 points. Michael Dennehy and Hulla-Balou were awarded the reserve championship respectively.
Maverick and Gogul cinched the championship ribbon with impressive rides throughout the entire division. The pair won their first over fences class of the week on Wednesday, and then returned T Thursday to win the 3’9 Green Hunter Stake class with a score of 86 points as well as place second during the first over fences class of the day., For their top efforts in the division the duo earned the championship ribbon at the end of the day.
Maverick is a 6-year-old Warmblood Gelding owned by Roberts Stables LLC. He was imported a year and a half ago and has been competing with junior rider Sophia Roberts in the Junior Hunters. Gogul is impressed with the mount so far and plans to continue riding him in the professional hunter divisions while Robert’s competes in the Junior Hunters.
The reserve champion, Hulla-Balou, is a 10-year-old WestphalianGelding owned by Renee Howard. Dennehy and Hulla-Balou were consistent in their rounds with a total of three second place ribbons, one coming from the 3’9 Green Hunter Stake where they were given a score of 84 points. Rounding out their placings with a third and fourth place, they were able to snag the division’s reserve champion ribbon.
The Winter Equestrian Festival’s Week 3 Hunter competition will continue tomorrow in the E.R. Miche Grand Hunter Arena at 8:00 a.m. with the Adult Amateur Hunter division.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Jeff Gogul – 3’9 Green Hunter Champion Rider
On his rounds:
“This was our first outing of the 2020 season at WEF, he won one round yesterday. The second round, the handy, he went nice but with the weather he was just playful for his lead changes. The jumps were all great. He went beautifully today..”
“He was imported a year ago this past July, so not even two years. He just has tremendous ability. He really is just like an old soul. He is super easy to get along with and is amazing to ride. He just has the most beautiful mouth and the most comfortable canter you could ever wish to sit on. He is really just always a tryer. Just a pleasant horse to have around. He is happy in the barn all the time. His nickname is Sugar Muffin because he is so sweet. We were lucky to find him and produce him. If we can stay out of his way and he is ready to go he usually produces for us, which is always nice.”
On plans for rest of season with Maverick:
“He has already started Junior Hunters with Sophia Roberts who owns him. She was champion with him once so this will be his first showing him outside. He is going to tinker between divisions with me and the Junior Hunters with her.”