The championship tricolors for the professional hunter divisions were awarded on Tuesday in the Dixon Oval at the iconic Devon Horse Show, and in the Green 3’6” Hunters it was Hunt Tosh and Douglas Wheeler’s Bastogne who took home top honors.
Last year, Tosh and Bastogne had great experiences in the Pre-Green Hunter division, and this year in Florida they moved up to the Green 3’6” Hunters. At the beginning of the month, the pair showed in Aiken, South Carolina at the Aiken Charity Horse Show and rode to excellent ribbons in their respective division as well.
The 6-year-old gelding’s beautiful movement impressed judges Timmy Kees and Brian Lenehan to capture the prize in the under saddle on Monday morning. He returned to the Dixon Oval again on Tuesday where he showed off his rideability in the handy phase, scoring an 88 to secure the blue ribbon, and with their consistent effort over the two days the pair captured the championship title.
“Douglas Wheeler owns him,” Tosh said of Bastogne. “He has been great for us. He is a beautiful mover, so that’s always nice when you have that, especially at Devon. He went beautifully in the first round. To end up champion is extra good. In my head, it happened so fast, I didn’t know what the points were going to be, but it worked out in his favor.”
They racked up 22 points to lead the class just ahead of reserve champions, Sandy Ferrell and Stephanie Bulger’s Moonshot with 21 points.
“Everyone here is the best of the best,” he continued. “Being able to compete with everyone is so special, and it’s great to be champion where everyone is trying their hardest. We’ve been lucky and have had some horses who have gone really nicely here. It is fun to be able to come back here and be champion again, especially in the first division.”
Next on the show schedule for Tosh and Bastogne is the Upperville Colt and Horse Show in Upperville, Virginia where they are hoping to achieve more top results.
In the Green Conformation Hunters, the championship ribbon was won by Tosh once again. He rode Ceil and Kenny Wheeler’s Lights Out, while reserve honors were earned by Tori Colvin and Huckleberry Farm’s Grand Affair. In the Green 3’9” Hunters, the championship tricolor was given to Brad Wolf’s Private Practice ridden by Tori Colvin and reserve honors were awarded to Callie Seaman’s Chicago and Patricia Griffith.
Competition will resume on Wednesday at 8 a.m. with the handy and stake rounds of the High Performance Conformation Hunter division as well as the under saddle. The champion and reserve champions of that division will be honored before more awards presentations including the naming of the High Performance Hunter Leading Lady Rider, Leading Mare, Devon Grand Hunter Championship, Devon Leading Hunter Rider, and Devon Leading Groom Award.