Scott Stewart Two for Two in High Performance Conformation and High Performance Working Hunters

© Caroline Nickolaus: Scott Stewart and Gochman Sport Horses LLC’s Fun captured the tricolor ribbon in the High Performance Conformation Hunters during the fifth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 9, 2017 – As the clouds rolled in and the breeze picked up, the afternoon weather forecast was uncertain, but one thing was for sure: Scott Stewart was destined to shine in the High Performance Conformation and High Performance Working Hunter divisions on Thursday at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

Riding the entry for Gochman Sport Horses LLC, the hunter rider extraordinaire and Fun had a clean sweep across the entire High Performance Conformation Hunter division, sponsored by Shapley’s Grooming Products. The brilliant pair achieved a 92 in both the handy and stake rounds.

“He was a little tired yesterday when it got so hot, so yesterday wasn’t his best day but today he was a little bit fresher and jumped better again,” said Stewart.

As his name suggests, Stewart said, “He’s just a blast to ride.”

Stewart said his owner, Becky Gochman, will eventually start showing him in the 3’3” Amateur-Owner Hunter division this season.

“This is my third year riding him,” said Stewart. “We did the Pre-Greens a few years ago, then the Green Conformation Hunters. He’s going to do next week and then he’ll probably have a couple of weeks off from showing.”

© Caroline Nickolaus: Gochman Sport Horses LLC’s Fun in the awards presentation

Nabbing the reserve champion prize was Custom Made ridden by Havens Schatt. The 12-year-old Mecklenburg took third place honors in the model, and blues under saddle and in the handy phase with a score of 85 for owner Shaw Johnson Price.

© Caroline Nickolaus: Havens Schatt and Custom Made

In the High Performance Working Hunters, sponsored by Antares, Stewart piloted his invincible mount, Catch Me, also owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC, to the tricolor ribbon. Each week of WEF thus far, the 2007 Holsteiner has proved himself unstoppable in the hunter ring. The gray gelding by Casiro is fastly making a name for himself in both the High Performance Conformation Hunters as well as in the hunter derbies.

In 2016, the duo clinched first place honors in the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular under the lights. Surprisingly, the decorated hunter rider had yet to earn the prestigious title in its 20-year history, but paired with Catch Me, he was able to earn the winning prize at last.

© Caroline Nickolaus: Scott Stewart and Catch Me

“For him, this just gets easier and easier every year and every week,” Terence Prunty, who trains Catch me at home, said. “He’s in the groove now and he’s such a smart horse. Even by day two and by day four with Becky, he kind of knows the routine. He’s a show horse. He just walks into the ring and he knows what his job is. For the most part, he does it and he does it well.”

Prunty continued, “I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s so lovely to work with. He’s amazing with Scott and Becky as well, so he has really become a seasoned pro even though he’s only been doing it for a couple of years. I get him ready and it’s really nice. Scott gets on and into the ring they go.”

When asked if Catch Me will give the $100,000 Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular another go this year during next week’s WCHR week, Prunty said, “He will! We’re going to try for a back-to-back win!”

© Caroline Nickolaus: Gochman Sport Horses LLC’s Catch Me in the awards presentation

Derby Lane LLC’s Point Being and Kelley Farmer remained on the heels of Gochman and Catch Me for the entirety of the division, and ended up walking away with the reserve champion prize. After coming in fifth place in the undersaddle on Wednesday, Farmer took the 2007 gelding around the Jasen Shelley–designed course to earn scores of 86 in the stake and an 85 over fences.

Competition will resume in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring on Friday morning at 8 a.m. starting with the Ariat National Medal.

© Caroline Nickolaus:
Kelley Farmer and Derby Lane LLC’s Point Being

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