Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 11, 2018 – Veteran hunter rider Scott Stewart set the tone for the winter competition season on opening week of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), where he piloted Harvard Hall and Private Life, both owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, to tricolors in the Green Conformation and High Performance Conformation Hunter divisions. In addition to both horses being owned by Dr. Parker, the two also share the same sire, Verdi.
Dr. Parker purchased Harvard Hall, a 2011 Dutch Warmblood, prior to the start of WEF. The gelding secured his spot in the winner’s circle by claiming both over fences classes and proved his rideability in the handy round, where he earned a score of 88. He also swept the under saddle phase and was first in the model, despite it being only his second time showing at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
Looking forward, Stewart has high hopes for the gelding and is planning his show schedule strategically with the goal of excelling during the highly-anticipated World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) week, which takes place during the sixth week of the circuit.
Claiming reserve honors behind Harvard Hall was Golden Oaks Farm Inc.’s Transparency, ridden by Kelley Farmer.
Stewart was able to snatch another championship title in the High Performance Conformation Hunter division with a clean sweep aboard one of his more familiar mounts, Private Life, who is also a 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding.
Judges awarded the duo an incredible score of 90 in the handy phase, and an 86 in the stake round.
Taking home the reserve title was Farmer and Unchartered Territory, owned by Ronnie Smith and New Day Farm.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Scott Stewart – Green Conformation and High Performance Conformation division champion
On Harvard Hall:
“Harvard Hall is a horse that Ken [Berkley] and I bought a year ago. He showed in the Pre-Green Hunters a little bit last year. He placed pretty well in the Pre-Green Incentive Program, now known as the Green Hunter Incentive Program. Last week, we showed for the first time here and he won all of his classes. Dr. Betsee Parker bought him right before the first week. He is actually the same breeding as Private Life. They are both by Verdi.”
On his plans for Harvard Hall this season:
“He’s going to have next week off, and maybe do Week Three. He might be off until Week Six — WCHR week. Hopefully we’ll stay good until then.”
On Private Life:
“He was awesome last year. He was champion here during Week Six, then at Devon, Capital Challenge, Harrisburg and Washington.”
On Thursday’s performance:
“[Private Life] is great. He has always been the easiest horse to ride. He rides around like a scope-y Junior Hunter so it’s nice for me. He is awesome and he tries to do his best every time. I’m glad Dr. Bestee Parker kept him in the barn. He’ll probably show next week and then he will be off until Week Six.”