Christopher Payne and Fibonacci picked up another champion ribbon on Thursday for Week 11 of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival in the High Performance Conformation Hunters. Four of the best hunter professionals comprised the competitive class but ultimately Payne and Still Water Farm, LLC’s eight-year-old KWPN gelding (Carambole x Waomi) proved an unbeatable combination.
Chris Payne and Fibonacci. Photo © Sportfot
Fibonacci was awarded three first places and two seconds in the five division classes and was moved up in the rankings several times after the model. The gelding has only competed a total of five times over the 2019 circuit but has made an impression in the division having earned champion three times and reserve champion twice.
“We were a little slow to get going at the beginning of circuit, so he hasn’t shown a lot this year,” Payne explained. “He has such a brilliant jump and he’s a beautiful mover, but when we first got him, I was a little unsure about competing him in the conformation because he has so much white on him and often that doesn’t bode well in the conformation divisions.”
Fibonacci’s unique coloring does not seem to have swayed the opinion of the judges as Payne said he is almost always pinned first in the model. Originally imported from Europe as a stallion in 2018, the gelding was purchased as an eventual derby horse and Payne looks forward to moving him into those classes in the following months.
“He’s a really fun horse to ride and will be great for hunter derbies because he’s got unlimited scope and stride,” Payne commented. “The thing I enjoy most about him is that he really studies the jump well so when you put the pressure on, he gives you an absolutely amazing jump.”
Chris Payne and Fibonacci in their winning presentation with Lisa Levine of Stillwater Farm. Photo © Sportfot
Kelley Farmer won the reserve champion ribbon with Larry Glefke’s As Quoted. She and the six-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zambesi TN x Bybalia SMH) picked up placings of first, second, two thirds, and a fourth for an ending total of 26.00 points throughout the division.
The Champion Equine Insurance Hunter Style Award, presented by Laura Fetterman, was also awarded on Thursday to Scott Stewart and Sports Page as winners of the Green Hunter 3’9” Stake class. The pair were champion in the Week 11 Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’9” division.