Wellington, Fla. – March 14, 2019 – Week Ten of competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued Thursday and saw professional riders bring their top hunters to the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Arena to complete competition in the Green 3’6” Hunter division. At the end of the two days of classes, it was Tara Metzner and Lion who came away with the championship tricolor, while Victoria Colvin and Gabriel took home the reserve championship.
The division saw a series of competitive pairs enter the arena to compete for the top score, including professionals such as Jimmy Torano, Jacob Pope, Victoria Colvin and Christopher Payne. Many scores awarded were in the high 80s, with placings for the top ribbons being determined by just a point in many cases.
Metzner’s mount Lion is a 9-year-old Selle Français gelding owned by Davlyn Farms LLC. After importing the horse just two years ago, Metzner has been taking it slow with the flashy chestnut to prepare him to step up to the derby competition. Over the two days of riding in the Green 3’6” Hunter division, the pair came out on top in three over fences classes thanks to scores of 87, 89 and 89, with a final score of 85 in the fourth over fences round solidifying their place in the winner’s circle.
Riding to the reserve championship was Colvin with Gabriel, an 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by J T Farm who showed consistency over the two days, winning one over fences on Wednesday with a score of 87. The pair’s other scores of 83, 81.5, and 82.75 gave the partnership valuable points to walk away with the reserve tricolor ribbon.
Week Ten of WEF continues through Sunday, March 17. Amateurs and juniors alike will take to the Grand Hunter Arena over the weekend to compete for their respective championship ribbons.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Tara Metzner – Green 3’6” Hunter Division champion
“He is 9 years old, and we imported him two years ago when he was a stallion, so we gelded him. It took a little time getting him back to where we wanted. We showed him last year in the Pre-Greens and he had a fairly successful season, and now we have moved him up this year to the 3’6” fences. He’s perfect in the barn, a real character who wants to be in your pocket. He doesn’t have any stallion tendencies, he’s a good guy. He’s a little bold and knows he’s special and a nice horse to work with.”
On the plans for Lion:
“We’ll do Aiken in the Spring and then Devon and then he will have a bit of a light summer before indoors in the Fall. He was bought with the idea that we could do the derbies. That is still hopefully our goal; we are kind of just getting into the groove now with jumping the bigger heights, so we are giving him a minute to figure that out and then go from there.”