Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 17, 2017 – Already a two-time Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Champion with titles from 2014 and 2016, the defending winner Scott Stewart can now add another accolade to his name as the 2017 Champion aboard Fashion Farm’s Playbook. Stewart and Playbook consistently laid down superb trips over all three phases of competition, never placing below third position or scoring less than 86.50 points to ultimately ride away with the Bye For Now Perpetual Trophy as well as the greatest share of the prize money ahead of more than 140 other competitors.
With a score of 263.50, Katherine Newman and Dandelion, owned by Allwyn Court and Dandelion Group, rode to the early lead as one of the first few finalists to take their turn over designer Patrick Rodes’ course. Each subsequent competitor aimed to chase them down, but their efforts all proved fruitless until Stewart, the last to ride for the day, entered the Walnut Ring aboard Playbook, a chestnut gelding towering at 17.3hh. With scores of 263.00 and 263.50 in the previous two phases of competition, Stewart and Playbook were faced with the challenge of topping their previous performances if they hoped to claim the top honors. The pair did not disappoint, capping off the championship finale with marks of 91.00, 89.00 and 87.75 from the judges panel for a cumulative score of 267.75, the second-best score of the three-day competition. Stewart and the 7-year-old reached another feat as the only pair to break the 90-point threshold for the day.
Stewart and Playbook have a wonderful relationship after two years together. Glen Senk bought the easygoing gelding when he was 5 years old, and he has experienced considerable success in the show ring with Stewart at the helm. The pair frequently earned top placings during the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival and, most recently, the Kentucky Spring Horse Show in May, Playbook’s last horse show appearance until now. Stewart and the chestnut clearly did not need the competitive practice as was evident by their consistent performances that led them to the championship. Though Playbook is still green, Stewart credits his calm demeanor as a contributing factor to their win, and hopes to maintain their winning ways in the upcoming Capital Challenge as well as next year’s Winter Equestrian Festival.
Newman and the 6-year-old Dandelion finished as reserve champions in their debut Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships, followed by Victoria Colvin and Snowday, owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC, in third position with their score of 258.50. Colvin was the only rider to finish with two mounts in the top ten, navigating Antinori, another John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC mount, to ninth place overall. Close behind Colvin for fourth place was Patricia Griffith with the ride on S & L Lion King, owned by S & L Farms, with Daniel Geitner in the irons aboard Brenda Mackay’s Eleventh Hour just one point behind to capture the fifth place honors.
Thursday’s finale round concludes the 2017 Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships, but hunter action will continue at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show throughout the week, with the USHJA International Hunter Derby taking place Friday and Saturday.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Scott Stewart – Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Champion
On his reaction to winning another championship:
“I’m so happy. He was really good all week and he went early every class so he was leading a lot until the end. Today was reverse and we got to go last, so it worked out better. He was awesome.”
“He’s really laid back, almost too quiet. It took him a while to grow up physically because he’s so big. He’s probably 17.3hh, so he was a little uncoordinated for awhile, and it took him a little while to get coordinated and finish growing. He really just finished growing now that he’s 7 [years old].”
On working with green horses:
“We bought him off of a video. He was doing a little dressage, and had barely jumped at all. I’ve had a few Samba Hit [babies] and I like them, they’re all very pretty. He looked the part. [With green horses], you never know, but I think it’s great. I love the horses and bringing them along so it justifies getting them when one wins.”
On Kentucky Horse Shows:
“It’s great. It’s the best place to show and it’s very nice.”
Katherine Newman – Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Reserve Champion
On her reaction to finishing reserve in her first Green championship:
“I was really excited. Even after I went, I knew I was in the lead but I wasn’t sure – there are a lot of nice horses in that class so I really didn’t think I’d hang on until the very end. It’s been a goal of mine this entire year for this horse to do this class and the win yesterday really meant a lot. Even today it was amazing and it was fun just to do it because I’ve never gotten to do this before. I knew [Dandelion] could win it if I gave her a good shot so it was nice to have one that I had a good chance with.”
“She’s super laid back, really fun to ride. She always tries really hard at the jumps. We just get to gallop around a little bit and make sure I don’t get in her way. She’s very personable and people-oriented so it’s nice to have one like that too. We imported her at the end of 2015 from England. Then we sort of started slow. She showed for the first time as a hunter a year ago in July. Now I think we have to re-evaluate what we’re doing because this was our end goal so we’ll see what’s next. If I have her or another horse like her [I think I’ll have a good chance of being at the top next year].”
Tori Colvin – Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive, third place
“This is his third horse show ever. He showed two weeks in Michigan and now he’s here.The Ingrams got him from Kent Farrington at the end of Florida. He brought him over and then we tried him and then we bought him basically right there. He’s 6 years old and very green. He acts a little young, but he rose to the occasion here. He’s really fun. He has a big personality. I think he’s going to be really nice. [Kent Farrington] said that if he didn’t work out as a hunter he knows he could be an amazing jumper because he jumps so well.”
On her expectations going into the final phase:
“I didn’t know what to expect. I knew he was going to be fine because he’s not spooky or anything, but I wasn’t expecting him to be as good as he was so we’re all pleased he was so good.”
Place / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
Green Hunter Incentive – Championship Round
1. Scott Stewart / Playbook / Fashion Farm / 267.750
2. Katherine Newman / Dandelion / Allwyn Court & Dandelion Group / 263.500
3. Victoria Colvin / Snowday / John & Stephanie Ingram, LLC / 258.500
4. Patricia Griffith / S & L Lion King / S & L Farms / 257.000
5. Daniel Geitner / Eleventh Hour / Brenda Mackay / 256.000
6. Peter Pletcher / Gabbana / Blackstone Farms, Ltd / 254.000
7. Sara Taylor / Calistro / Sherri Crawford / 253.000
7. Nick Haness / Girl Glorious / Santa Rosa Group / 253.000
9. Victoria Colvin / Antinori / John & Stephanie Ingram, LLC / 250.500
10. Brooke Baldwin-de Grazia / Sinatra / Tina Allen / 249.000
11. Havens Schatt / Serena / Melanie Jeanes / 248.000
12. Patricia Griffith / Sahara / Callie Seaman / 247.000
12. Chris Wynne / Craftsman / Reynolds Martin / 247.000
For more information on the 2017 Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship, please click here.
David O’Brien and David Beisel Ride Fault-Free for Wins in Young Jumper Classes
The Rolex Stadium played host to the young jumper classes Thursday morning. Some riders were hoping to qualify their mounts for the 2017 Young Jumper Championships Midwestern League Finals, while those that have already qualified used the class to accrue more show miles in the ring where the championships will be held in September. Though the hunter-style jump standards used by course designer Guilherme Jorge caught the eyes of a number of the 6- and 7-year-old horses, class winners David O’Brien, piloting Lazuli II SCF, and David Beisel, in the irons aboard For Sunday, both had no problems mastering the course, crediting their mares’ bravery as major parts of their wins, respectively.
As the last to go in the 6-Year-Old Young Jumpers, O’Brien and Lazuli II SCF, owned by Spy Coast Farm, LLC, had the good fortune of knowing that a clear round within the time allowed would put them at the top of the class as all the previous competitors had dropped rails, most often at the final vertical on Jorge’s course. The current leaders, Pablo Barrios and Kaitlyn Z, owned by Gut Einhaus, LLC, sped through the course at a quick clip and tripped the timers at 66.110 seconds, but knocked a rail to cost them 4 faults. With a previous ride around the course aboard La Belle SCF, another Spy Coast Farm, LLC mount, O’Brien benefited from having knowledge of how the track rode as well as which jumps to take more carefully, which he worked to his gain. O’Brien and Lazuli II SCF took advantage of their position and rode a more conservative course in 71.858 seconds to claim the blue ribbon with their fault-free round.
Behind Barrios and Kaitlyn Z, Wim Janssen and Katie McNair’s Cornet Fire laid down a 4-fault trip in 69.322 seconds to claim third, followed by O’Brien and La Belle SCF in fourth place with their 4-fault time of 76.174 seconds.
The more experienced horses in the larger 7-Year-Old Jumper class had better luck around Jorge’s track, and with a greater amount of clear rides, each horse and rider combinations’ time was an important factor in determining the standings. Riding midway through the field, Beisel and the quick-footed For Sunday, owned by Harlow Investment Enterprises, LLC, expertly navigated the track in a blazing time of 57.156 seconds thanks to a number of tight, inside turns, also leaving all the rails in their cups. The speedy duo set the bar high, and it ultimately proved to be unreachable, as none of the remaining entries were able to even come close to Beisel and the chestnut mare’s fault-free time. The next-best trip behind the winning horse and rider was run by Charlotte Clark and her own Kinsella, who left the course intact but crossed the timers nearly two seconds too slow at 59.117 seconds.
Evan Coluccio and Rebecca Slater’s Rainbow Dash earned the third position with their faultless time of 62.126 seconds, just over a half second ahead of Winn Alden with the ride aboard Richard Cheska’s Armanac, who claimed fourth place with their clear time of 62.711 seconds.
Jumper competition at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show will continue through Sunday, with two highlight grand prix events bringing the best horses and riders to the Rolex Stadium. The $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic takes place Friday evening and the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix sponsored by Audi of Lexington will run Sunday afternoon.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
David O’Brien – Winner of the 6-Year-Old Jumpers
On Lazuli II SCF:
“She competed last year in the YJC classes and this year she’s been very consistent. She’s won a few of the qualifiers. Hopefully, she’ll be there for the finals and for the championships she should be thereabouts.”
On the course:
“More or less it seemed the horses were having the rails just because of all the hunter jumps, so they were starting to spook a bit. The mare I ride is very brave, so I was really just jumping her around to keep her relaxed and easy. The other horses are just looking at the hunter jumps and they were a little frightened. [The track] was good. It’s nice to be able to get the 5-year-olds into the main ring and jump this course. The 6-year-olds as well. It was very nice with easy flowing lines.”
David Beisel – Winner of the 7-Year-Old Jumpers
On For Sunday:
“I’ve had her for three years. The owner bred her and she’s small but she likes to go fast. She’s a speed horse.”
On the course:
“It was a nice track. I saw a couple of the 7 year olds spook earlier for whatever reason. I don’t know if it was the logs, so I made sure to go in and show it to her, but she’s really brave.”
On his plans with For Sunday:
“This year [our plan is to compete in] the 7-year-old finals here in September, and then as an 8-year-old we’ll just kind of see what she can do. She’s got so much heart and so much desire. We’ll just try to find some nice little classes for her to move up and see what she can do.”
Place / Rider / Horse / Owner / Faults / Time
6 Year Old Jumpers
1. David O’Brien / Lazuli II SCF / Spy Coast Farm, LLC / 0 / 71.858
2. Pablo Barrios / Kaitlyn Z / Gut Einhaus, LLC / 4 / 66.110
3. Wim Janssen / Cornet Fire / Katie McNair / 4 / 69.322
4. David O’Brien / La Belle SCF / Spy Coast Farm, LLC / 4 / 76.174
5. Winn Alden / Borev Du Genet / Southern Arches, LLC / 8 / 69.829
6. David O’Brien / Labatt Bleu SCF / Spy Coast Farm, LLC / 8 / 76.137
7. Carson Ruff / Magnus Quequen Mail / Micaela Kennedy & Sabina Holtzman / 12 / 63.454
8. Evan Coluccio / G Star / EMC International / 12 / 75.797
7 Year Old Jumpers
1. David Beisel / For Sunday / Harlow Investment Enterprises, LLC / 0 / 57.156
2. Charlotte Clark / Kinsella / Charlotte Clark / 0 / 59.117
3. Evan Coluccio / Rainbow Dash / Rebecca Slater / 0 / 62.126
4. Winn Alden / Armanac / Richard Cheska / 0 / 62.711
5. Patricia Griffith / S & L Rocky / S & L Farms / 0 / 67.827
6. Daniel Geitner / Cilia M / November Hill / 0 / 71.911
7. Maria Schaub / Fursina VDM / Pablo Barrios / 0 / 72.036
8. David O’Brien / Kir Royal SCF / Spy Coast Farm, LLC / 0 / 72.897
9. David Beisel / Ferragamo / Jennifer Daulton / 4 / 63.572
10. Patricia Griffith / S & L Chubby Checker / S & L Farms / 4 / 63.655
For more information on the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, please click here.