Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 14, 2019 – World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) week competition continued during Week Six of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Thursday with the conclusion of the High Performance Conformation Hunter division in the E.R Mische Grand Hunter Arena. Started yesterday in the famed international Arena, the division is one of many opportunities riders have to qualify their mounts for the $100,000 Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular under the lights on Saturday, February 16 at 6:30 p.m in the International Arena.
Taking the championship Thursday was veteran Scott Stewart, who rode Dr. Betsee Parker’s 2011 KWPN gelding Private Life to top placings over the two days of competition. Claiming the reserve championship was Christopher Payne and Fibonacci, a 2010 KWPN gelding owned by Still Water Farm LLC.
Private Life proved he is ready for Saturday night, scoring an 85 and 88 against tough competition in the International Arena on Wednesday. Thursday in the E.R Mische Grand Hunter Arena, the pair scored a 91 over fences and had a top placing in the under saddle to secure their spot at the top of the leaderboard.
Private Life is a familiar mount for Stewart, having ridden the gelding since he was 5-years-old. Taking the reserve championship in this same division during WCHR Week last year, the flashy gelding was once again in top form this week to claim the championship cooler. Boasting an impressive resume that includes championships at the Hampton Classic and Devon Horse Show, as well as the Washington and Pennsylvania National Horse Shows, Private Life is no stranger to the winner’s circle.
Payne and Fibonacci had a stellar week, claiming the blue in the model class as well as the under saddle. Their high scores in the 80s took them to the reserve championship position at the conclusion of the division. Fibonacci is a horse that was bought from Sorensen Stables last year, and the partnership continued to grow throughout the summer as they claimed many top results across the U.S.
WCHR competition is the highlight of WEF Week Six and continues through Sunday, February 17. The highlight of the week, the $100,000 Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular, will get underway at 6:30 p.m on Saturday night in the International Arena under the lights.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Scott Stewart – High Performance Conformation Hunter champion
On Private Life
“Private Life is just 8-years-old this year and we bought him when he was 5-years-old. He has been champion pretty much every time we have shown him, except for a few times. He was grand champion at Devon last year. So far at WEF he’s only showed one day during Week Three and then it rained us out, so this has been his first time out. He won’t show again until Devon. We are really happy with him; he is a dream to ride and so easygoing, and it is nice to have a horse like that.”
On his plans for the $100,000 USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular
“Hopefully, the rest of the day goes well. Right now I am hoping to ride Private Life and Cameo in the Hunter Spectacular on Saturday night. So we’ll see how that goes!”