Scott Stewart and Lucador. PC: Phelps Media
Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 1, 2017 – The professional hunters returned Wednesday to the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park to vie for championship titles at the 2017 CP National Horse Show. The morning began with the under saddle portion of competition and led into the hunter stake classes for each respective division, where champions were crowned based on combined class points from Tuesday and Wednesday.
The first to step onto the red carpet adorned with a champion ribbon was Lynn Seithel’s Walk The Moon partnered with Daniel Geitner. The pair captured the Goshen Hill Green 3’6″ Hunter division, presented by Ms. Caroline Moran, after winning the handy round on Tuesday and capturing second place in Wednesday’s stake class.
“He was champion in the Pre-Green division at Harrisburg last year,” said Geitner of Walk the Moon. “He has been fantastic and continues to jump better and better. He really shined here with the bright jumps and the footing. The course here has also allowed him to really show himself off with a lot of galloping, long runs to the two strides and oxers. That all enabled me to let him really jump! He did the amateur-owners yesterday with Lynn [Seithel] and will do the same today. That is what is so nice about him, he is easy on himself and you don’t ever have to worry about him.”
Seithel echoed those sentiments, crediting much of Walk the Moon’s good behavior in the barn with consistency at home.
“I ride him five times a week at home because he lives with me. I just try and keep him fit enough for Daniel,” said Seithel. “He is used to being ridden late in the evening when I get home from work and I enjoy taking long hacks around my farm with him on Sundays. I live on Wadmalaw Island, just outside of Charleston, South Carolina, so we have great scenery and it is a great place for him to relax.”
Reserve champion was awarded to Dr. Betsee Parker’s Luster with Scott Stewart in the irons, upon claiming wins in the under saddle class and handy round. After Geitner slid into the champion position, ahead of Stewart by one point, Stewart stole the show claiming all remaining professional hunter championships.
Daniel Geitner and Walk The Moon. PC: Phelps Media
Dr. Parker’s Private Life and Stewart claimed their fourth Green Conformation Hunter championship this indoor season, accumulating blue ribbon points in the model, handy and stake class to win the Muriel Klein Lens Challenge Trophy and the “Call You Raise You” Challenge Trophy.
Although the Dutch Warmblood is only six years old, he is already proving his potential, claiming the same title with Stewart at the Washington International Horse Show, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and Capital Challenge Horse Show. Havens Schatt and JT Farm’s Playmaker finished as the reserve champions.
“He was champion at Devon, Capital Challenge, Harrisburg and Washington this year. He’s been very consistent and just great,” said Stewart. “Ken [Berkley] and I owned him and Betsee [Parker] bought him after his Pre-Green year right before WEF last year. He’s one of the easiest ones to ride. The others have some quirks, but he really doesn’t have any quirks about him. He’s very straightforward.”
Stewart kept with his winning rhythm aboard William Hill, owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, building on Tuesday’s classic and handy win to claim the tricolor ribbon in the Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9″ Hunter division, presented by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Oare and Ms. Patricia Adikes-Hill. Schatt picked up another reserve champion ribbon with Tracy Scheriff-Muser’s Aristocrat.
Scott Stewart and Lucador. PC: Phelps Media
Most impressive was Stewart’s championship performance aboard Dr. Parker’s Lucador as the pair won four out of the division’s five classes to earn the winning title for the High Performance Conformation Hunter division, sponsored and presented by the Wheeler family, ultimately earning the Grand Champion Professional Hunter title and the “Isgilde” Challenge Trophy for the third time. The trophy has now been retired after it was also earned by Stewart and Lucador in 2014 and 2015.
“He’s fresh on the first day every year here pretty much. That’s a little bit just his character. We call him ‘Luke’ in the barn,” added Stewart.
In addition, the duo was awarded the Cold Harbor Dr. Betsee Parker Perpetual Cup, the German Challenge Trophy and the Ken Berkley Perpetual Cup. Reserve champions Outshine and Kathryn Haley were the only pair to steal a class away from Lucador, winning Tuesday’s classic over fences round.
Scott Stewart and Catch Me. PC: Phelps Media
Stewart wrapped up the professional hunter championships with Catch Me, owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, claiming the Judith Murch High Performance Hunter division, presented by the Corrigan family and Winners Circle Trailer Sales.
“He was awesome,” said Stewart of Catch Me after the class. “I’ve only shown him throughout the year a little bit, mostly in Florida. He did Capital Challenge and he was good and Becky [Gochman] was champion, but he hasn’t shown since then. This is the biggest he’s jumped all year. He was really great.”
Scott Stewart and Catch Me were unbeatable in the High Performance Hunter Handy Round this afternoon at the National Horse Show!
Posted by EQSportsNet on Tuesday, October 31, 2017
The 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding received the win in the handy round with Stewart as well as the under saddle class with Amanda Derbyshire, earning the “A Million Reasons” Perpetual Bowl.
Olympic Fire and Jennifer Hannan claimed Wednesday’s stake class and reserve championship.
Jennifer Hannan and Olympic Fire are the winner's of the High Performance Hunter Stake this morning at the National Horse Show!
Posted by EQSportsNet on Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Upon winning four out of five professional hunter division championships, Stewart was awarded the title of Leading Hunter Rider for the 11th time at the National Horse Show, earning the Sherri Crawford Leading Hunter Rider Award and Leading Hunter Rider Challenge Trophy.
Scott Stewart won the Leading Hunter Rider title of the 2017 CP National Horse Show. PC: Phelps Media
The amateur-owner divisions followed with Copper Fox LLC’s Moonwalk and Kendall Meijer capturing the stake class in the Woodland Way, Inc. Amateur-Owner 18–35 3’3″ Hunter division, presented by Ms. Margaret O’Meara, to claim the championship tricolor. Stephanie Danhakl and her own Enough Said finished with the reserve championship.
Virginia Fout rode her own Carma to the top spot in both the stake and under saddle classes on Wednesday to finish as the Meralex Farm and Hunt Ltd. Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’3″ Hunter division, presented by Ms. Bryan Baldwin and Ms. Gretchen Hunt, champions, while Seithel rode her own Walk The Line to the reserve championship.
Catch Me kept in winning fashion for owner Becky Gochman, earning blue ribbons in the over fences and under saddle classes of the Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division ahead of Thursday’s championship.
In the Amateur-Owner Under 35 division, sponsored and presented by Suzanne Thoben Marquard, Technicolor and Lindsay Maxwell rode to the win in Wednesday’s over fences round, while Kelly Tropin and Chablis claimed the under saddle class.
On Thursday, hunter competition will continue with the amateur-owner and junior hunter divisions beginning at 7 a.m.