Peter Pletcher, aboard Kennedy, owned by Blanche Strunk, was crowned the Conformation Hunter champion on Thursday afternoon with a top scoring total of 39 points. The duo was fourth in the model, fourth in the under saddle, and first, first, and second over fences. Victoria Colvin claimed the reserve with 26 points and a third in the model, first in the under saddle, and a second, third, fourth, and fourth over fences.
“This horse is so smooth,” said Pletcher of the seven-year-old Holsteiner gelding. “That is his biggest thing. His jump is also beautiful, and he stays up in the air, which I think helped us out a lot.”
Kennedy is a new addition, having been purchased only two weeks ago by Strunk, and has continued to improve since his arrival, said Pletcher. Today marked their first championship win together. However, the professional from Magnolia, TX, has received either a championship or a reserve championship tricolor ribbon aboard his various mounts since week one at WEF, and hopes to continue his winning streak in his post-WEF plans.
Pletcher added that he departs next week to compete at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center, and that today’s championship win was the perfect finishing touch to his, and his team’s, last week at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival.
“It feels perfect,” said Pletcher. “It’s so nice to finish up my time at WEF like this. It has been such a good circuit for all of us, including all riders, owners, and trainers.”
The eighth week of WEF continues with a full day of jumper competition in the WEF International Arena with the $35,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jupmers, $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m National Grand Prix, and the $35,000 Hermès Under 25 Semi-Final Grand Prix as the nighttime feature at 7 p.m., as well as a presentation for the winner of the Platinum Performance USEF Talent Search class in the DeNemethy ring, on Friday, March 2.