Scott Stewart Secures 2012 WIHS Grand Hunter Championship and Leading Hunter Rider Award
Newlands and Portela Top Amateur-Owner Hunter Championships; Montross, Caslin, and Vale Are Best in Jumpers
Washington, D.C. – October 24, 2012 – Day two of the 2012 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) featured the presentation of championship honors in the professional and amateur-owner hunter divisions at Verizon Center in downtown Washington D.C. This year’s professional World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Scott Stewart continued his winning season with multiple division tricolors, the overall Grand Hunter Championship aboard Rose Hill Farm’s Enjoy, and the award for Leading Hunter Rider among his many accolades in the first two days of competition.
Wesley Newlands and Daryl Portela earned the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Championships. The $10,000 Children’s and Adult Jumper Championships and the first $10,000 Open Jumper speed class were featured during the evening session with Nina Montross, Ericka Caslin, and Aaron Vale coming away with wins. The show will continue through Sunday, October 28.
Scott Stewart kicked off the day by winning the High Performance Working Hunter championship aboard Alexandra Crown’s Garfield. Stewart and Garfield earned two blue ribbons over fences and placed third under saddle to be awarded The “NOT ALWAYS” Challenge Trophy, donated by Miss Peggy Steinman. The High Performance reserve championship was presented to Dr. Betsee Parker’s Rosalynn with Hunt Tosh in the irons. The pair won the under saddle and earned two second place ribbons over fences. Rosalynn was also awarded the special Protocol Trophy as the overall High Point High Performance Working Hunter from the Devon Horse Show, Pennsylvania National Horse Show, and Washington International Horse Show.
Stewart continued to win throughout the day, also taking home the Green Conformation Hunter championship aboard Fashion Farm’s Beholden with first and second place ribbons over fences and wins in both the under saddle and the model. The duo was awarded The Valiant Hark Memorial Challenge Trophy, donated by Mrs. Stephen J. Clark.
Gramercy Park, owned by Lynn Ellen Rice and ridden by Tom Brennan, placed first, second and sixth over fences and fourth under saddle to finish in reserve. Brennan and Gramercy Park were also reserve champions in the First Year Green Working Hunters with two first place ribbons over fences and a fifth place under saddle. With two reserve championships in a row, Gramercy Park’s owner Lynn Ellen Rice was presented with the show’s Leading Hunter Owner Award, sponsored by The Reid Family.
As the day went on, the First Year Green Working Hunter championship went to Stewart and Rose Hill Farm’s Enjoy, who placed first, second and second over fences and also earned the second place ribbon under saddle. In addition to the division win, Enjoy was presented The Claire Lang Miller Challenge Trophy as the show’s Grand Green Working Hunter Champion, as well as The Rave Review Challenge Trophy, donated by Stoney Hill, as the overall Grand Hunter Champion. Stewart was then honored with the Leading Hunter Rider Award, sponsored by The Gochman Family.
For the win, Stewart was presented with The Robert Coluccio Leading Hunter Rider Perpetual Trophy as well as a beautiful Rolex Luxury Timepiece, courtesy of Tiny Jewel Box, which he also took home last year. This was Stewart’s seventh time earning the leading rider title at WIHS in his illustrious professional career
Following the ceremonies, Stewart spoke about winning at one of the nation’s most prestigious competitions. “It is still always exciting to win,” he stated. “It is a little nerve-wracking here. This horse show always seems to come down to the last class because we only have three jumping classes, so it is always really tight. I think every division was a tight race till the end.”
The big winner this week was Enjoy, a six-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Cassiano that Stewart purchased as a two-year-old and showed for the first time at Capital Challenge last fall. Enjoy has really proven himself this year and had several great rounds in D.C. over the last two days.
“He’s a really simple, easy horse and he usually doesn’t worry about the environment at all,” Stewart noted. “Today he was actually a little bit spooky, but in a good way; it kept his jump sharp. He was nicely spooky up the outside line, but he is usually not that interested in everything. He is such a young horse, but he is the same every day pretty much. He is like a big pony. He is really sweet to work around and he is just really friendly.”
Stewart and his team work hard to make sure that their horses peak at the right time for indoors, and part of that system is planning the horses’ show schedules carefully. The WIHS is always an important stop in the season, and having a good group of people to help makes a big difference. For Stewart, there is a unique quality to the show that makes it special each year.
“The hard part about it is the good part,” he declared. “I like being here in the city, it is different. There are more classes to watch and a little more atmosphere than some of the other shows. I think it is a special place.”
He added, “We have great help in the barn. Brigid and Tori (Colvin), and Samantha Darling helps. I don’t have to be here all night long. My job is pretty easy with the staff that we have; they do a great job.”
In addition to the championship wins, Stewart was reserve champion in the Regular Conformation Hunter and Second Year Green Working Hunter divisions with horses Showman and Dedication respectively. Stewart was beat out in both of those divisions by fellow top hunter rider Peter Pletcher.
In the Regular Conformation Hunters, Pletcher guided Becky Gochman’s Sambalino to the championship honors and was presented with The Mary Farren Perpetual Trophy. Sambalino placed first and fourth over fences and won both the under saddle and the model. Stewart and Krista and Alexa Weisman’s Showman finished in reserve, placing first and second over fences and second in both the under saddle and model.
In the Second Year Green Working Hunter championship, Pletcher and Becky Gochman’s Empire were the winners with Stewart and Fashion Farm’s Dedication in reserve. Empire won two classes over fences and Dedication won one class over fences and topped the under saddle. Although both horses finished with the same number of points overall, Empire’s points over fences took top honors.
In addition to the reserve award, Stewart and Dedication were presented with The Windy Acres Challenge Trophy earlier in the morning. The trophy, donated by Mr. James O. Pease, is awarded to the overall winner of classes 24 and 34 for the best Green Working Hunter stake round. Stewart and Dedication’s high score of 90 in the Second Year Green Working Hunter Stake was the best of the day.
Newlands and Portela Named Leading Riders and Amateur-Owner Hunter Grand Champions
The Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions concluded their second day of competition on Wednesday and awarded championship honors as well. The Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” championship, sponsored by The Davis Family, was awarded to Wesley Newlands, of Toronto, ON, aboard Pure Abundance. The pair earned the Frank Counselman Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by Friends of Frank Counselman. Newlands was also awarded the Leading Amateur-Owner Hunter Rider Award for the 3’6” level.
They were the champions of the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 18-35 division after placing first, second and fourth over fences and winning the under saddle. Jazz Johnson Merton and James Johnson’s Kingston finished in reserve with two blue ribbons over fences and a sixth place under saddle.
Newlands has owned Pure Abundance, an eleven-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Acord II, for five years. The pair has shown at WIHS three times and this was their first championship win as well as her first leading rider title. The 24-year-old rider was thrilled with her horse.
“This is my best horse show!” she beamed. “I have never been grand champion before, anywhere. This is my third year here and I have always wanted to be champion here!” “He is the best horse,” Newlands said. “I can always depend on him when I go in the ring and I know he is ready to win. My rounds were very good; he felt really good. My stake was my best class because I let him go forward and was loose and we went in to win, and luckily it went in our favor.”