The win in the $25,000 North American Green Hunter 3′ & 3’3″ Championship, sponsored by The Wheeler Family, went to Scott Stewart and Regent, owned by Rivers Edge.
Stewart, of Wellington, FL, and the seven-year-old Zangersheide gelding (by Van Helsing) were one of 33 entries that qualified to compete in Wednesday’s championship class based on their results against the more than 140 entries in the six Green Hunter 3′ and 3’3″ division offered on Monday and Tuesday at the Capital Challenge Horse Show.
Scott Stewart and Regent, owned by Rivers Edge Farm. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Following the opening round of Wednesday’s class, Liza Boyd and Ravello, owned by Finally Farm, sat in first place with an average score of 90.66, while Stewart and Regent held a close second with an average score of 90.33 from the three judging panels.
The top 12 entries returned in reverse order of their standings to jump a second course, and Stewart and Regent replicated their first-round performance, again earning an average score of 90.33 to take over the top of the leaderboard with a 180.66 total.
Boyd and Ravello were the final pair to return, and while they held a slight edge coming into the second round, their second-round score of 89.41 would put them just shy of Stewart and Regent for second place on a total score of 180.07.
Rounding out the top three with scores of 89.33 and 90.33 for a 179.66 total were Holly Orlando and Waverly, owned by Waypoint Farm LLC.
For the victory, Stewart and Regent were awarded the Beverly Brooks Solter Memorial Trophy, donated by Hilary Scheer Gerhardt and Zan Martin Dillon.
“This is Regent’s first actual show here in the country,” said Stewart of the horse he purchased in Europe with Ken Berkley in July of this year. “He did show in Europe quite a bit in some jumper classes, but this is his first time doing anything huntery.
“This far exceeded my expectations,” continued Stewart. “I know that he can jump big jumps and do all that, but he’s never been in the hunter environment. I had a really rough beginning [to the class]; all of my horses did a little bit of something or I made a little mistake. I was a little bit apprehensive about it, but he was just perfect. I think he just jumped every jump the same and accurately.”
Stewart and Regent qualified for the class out of the Green Hunter 3’3″ divisions, and Stewart hopes that Regent’s winning debut performance is just the beginning for the scopey gelding.
Scott Stewart and Regent, owned by Rivers Edge Farm, won the $25,000 North American Green Hunter 3′ & 3’3″ Championship. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
“He’s just an incredible jumper and stridey and scopey,” said Stewart, who initially tried the horse more than a year ago but was not as interested at the time. “[The first trial] was at the end of a really long day. We got to where he was, and he was sort of wild and fresh in a little indoor ring. We were not that motivated about it. Finally, someone reached out to me in the end of June that they had this horse, and it ended up being the same horse. I’d always followed him through the horse shows and watched him show, so I guess he ended up in the right place for me.
“We’re hoping he’s going to go on to be a high performance horse in the future,” continued Stewart. “He’s definitely one of the better jumpers, and all the scope to go with it.”
In addition to rewarding Stewart and Regent with the North American Green Hunter Championship win, the Capital Challenge Horse Show also named a Grand Champion Hunter 3′ and 3’3″ champion. The overall tricolor honor, sponsored by David Belford and Christopher Payne of New Hope LLC, was awarded to Canyon, ridden by Patricia Griffith and owned by Lexi Maounis.
Competing in the Green Hunter 3’ 6 and Under division, Griffith and Canyon also earned the EMO Green Hunter 3′ and 3’3″ Trip of the Show with a score of 90.