Professional hunters continued to shine in the Main Hunter Ring on day two of the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, where Chris Wynne and Scott Stewart came away with wins in the Green Conformation Hunter and High Performance Conformation Hunter divisions.
Wynne, who is based out of Breckenridge Manor in Virginia Beach, Virginia, has been coming to compete at the Upperville Colt & Horse since he was 9 years old. He rode his own Gus, a 7-year-old Warmblood gelding, to a blue ribbon finish over fences in the Green Conformation Hunter division on Tuesday, while Stewart, who hails from Flemington, New Jersey, out of his own Rivers Edge Farm, and Dr. Betsee Parker’s Harvard Hall rode to the top score in the second over fences class.
“We bought Gus as a 3-year-old and he had never jumped in Europe,” Wynne said of the handsome grey gelding. “I’ve had him for just over three years now. He went through the pre-greens and now he’s a conformation horse. Hopefully this will be his career for a while.”
Wynne appreciates the environment at Upperville and is thrilled to be back for 2018. “ It’s just an old school, fancy horse show that has a great feel. You can sit around and talk to people and catch up and it just feels like an old horse show. I showed here as a kid when I was 9 years old and it feels the same way — it’s a great horse show.”
Immediately following was the High Performance Conformation Hunter division, sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare. Stewart piloted Lucador and Private Life, both owned by Dr. Parker, to the top two positions, with Lucador leading the way, in both over fences classes.
Lucador, a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding, and Stewart are the defending champions of the division at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show and will look to secure their second consecutive championship and the Weather Permitting Perpetual Trophy, donated by Mr. August A. Busch, Jr. and Cismont Manor Farm, on Wednesday following the final over fences, handy and under saddle portions of competition.
“Both Lucador and Private Life were great,” said Stewart. “They went really nicely. They’ve been here before so they weren’t green at all. They jumped fresh and were good considering they just finished at Devon. We always like coming here and Betsee [Parker] lives here so we love to come here.”
Despite riding on Tuesday with two broken ribs due to a fall that occurred just prior to the Devon Horse Show, Stewart didn’t lose focus. “I fell off my young horse the day before Junior Weekend at Devon and broke two ribs. They’re still broken — just taped up. It hurts, but it’s not unbearable. It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be. The first couple of days at Devon were bad. Today is actually a little bit better. I had them re-X-rayed just to make sure they hadn’t moved around too much and they’re still the same. They’re still healing.”
Against all the odds, Stewart kicked off the prestigious Upperville Colt & Horse Show in typical winning fashion, heading into Wednesday in top contention for multiple professional hunter championships.