- October 22, 2008 - The
second day of competition at VerizonCente
began with the Professional Hunter divisions. The 2008 Washington International
Horse Show (WIHS) is held in the heart of the city at Verizon
Center and will run through Sunday, October 26, 2008.
WIHS is a qualifying ho
rse show; riders compete all year and
all over the country earning points. Only the top riders in the standings are
invited to compete. The show will give out more than $400,000 in prize money.
Scott Stewart of Flemington,
NJ, spent much of the morning accepting
championship awards. Stewart was named Second Year Green Working Hunter Champion,
Green Conformation Hunter Champion and tied for Grand Hunter Champion on his
horse Ovation, a horse he owns himself. Aboard another one of his mounts World
Time, Stewart was First Year Green Working Hunter Champion. To top everything
off, he was also Leading Hunter Rider for the fourth time at WIHS.
s always exciting to win awards like this. It never gets
old, that is for sure," said Stewart."I
was really happy with how the horses went. World Time has not shown that much;
this is his first big show. He went great in every class. I am very proud of
Stewart has ridden Ovation for close to two years. The pair
has had many championships throughout their career so far, including the Circuit
Championship at CN Winter Equestrian Festival last winter and the top tricolor
at Capital Challenge two weeks ago. Ovation has been champion at almost every
horse show this year.
"Ovation is really laid back and quiet. You don't
need to do anything; you just let the reins go. The courses rode great as
well," said Stewart. "Since the ring is so narrow, the course designer really
made it nice so the horses did not have to go through any gaps and the course
rode really well."
World Time is a fairly new addition for Stewart, who
him a year ago as a stallion. The horse won at the CN Winter Equestrian
Festival last winter and received great ribbons at Devon.
o:p>Stewart piloted World Time to two firsts and second-place
ribbons in the First Year Green Working Hunters. Aboard Ovation, Stewart came
away with two firsts, a second and third-place ribbons in the Green
Conformation Hunters and two firsts, a fifth and sixth-place ribbons in the
Second Year Green Working Hunters.
The logistics can be tricky for a horse sh
ow that has no
space to work horses outdoors, so riders must plan well in advance in order to
come to the show prepared to win.
"It is especially hard for us because
we do not have an
indoor ring to practice in. We are in Florida
for the winter and then we head to New Jersey
for the summer with no indoor ring," said Stewart. "Capital Challenge was our
first indoor show. To make things as easy as possible for this particular show,
I just shipped the horses that I thought could go well. I picked the ones that
are quiet, and I know do not need a lot of outdoor work because there is no
Even with the tight stabling and schooling conditions,
everyone had good things to say about the horse show and enjoy the atmosphere
"I love Washington.
It is a nice horse show, and I think they do a great job making it a show that
everyone can enjoy," said Stewart.
David Wright and Renaissance, owned b
y South Point Farms,
came away with the championship award in the Regular Working Hunters. Wright
only rides the horse at horse shows when he is shipped in from South Point Farm
in Kansas City, Missouri,
and they keep him on a light training program.
"He is very simple. We ke
ep him fit enough to jump the big
jumps, and we don't jump him very often," said Wright. "We just continue to
keep him in shape. He is very easy, fun, nice to ride horse. He is one of the
ones I look forward to. This horse is wonderful. He has been fabulous all
Wright thought Renaissance handled himself well indoors.
"He was a little apprehensive in the first round yesterday
and had a rail. From then on he has been flawless," said Wright. "He won the
handy class, had a rub this morning and had a hard rub at the in-and-out. Other
than that I was super happy with his performance."
In the di
vision, Wright received two firsts, a third and
Wright enjoys more than just riding. The show location
crowd it attracts are things he looks forward to each year.
"It is reall
y a fun atmosphere being right in the city.
People who don't know anything about horse shows get to participate and come by
and talk to you. Half of them have never seen a horse in person. It is
amazing," said Wright. "Over the past few years I would say about 100 people
have come up to me and said they have never been up close with a horse.It is a n
eat experience. This venue has always
been fabulous for spectator interaction."
In the Regular Conformation Hu
nters, Leslie Steele and mountSmitten, owned by Stephanie
Danhakl, came away with the championship. Steele also tied with Stewart for
Grand Hunter Champion.
Smitten is still on the green side and stands at a hei
15.2, but that does not damper his athletic abilities. The pair picked up two
firsts, a second and third place ribbons.
"He is always a good jumper, a
nd he always tries his best,"
said Steele. "Sometimes he tries too much and over-jumps. So we just kept telling
him how good he was and kept petting him no matter what he did. Every time he
would get a little better and a little better. Now he has put it all together."
Steele is back riding Smitten by a series of events. Steele
used to own Smitten and sold him a year ago. Archie Cox now trains the horse
for another family. Cox offered Steele the ride, so once again she is riding
her old horse.
Steele had only good things to say about the horse show and
"The course is lovely. It's really beautiful. The whole
facility has done so well, and it has turned into a spectacular event," said
Steele. "It is so green and lush; it is a lot for the horses to look at it and gets
your horse to give you the best jump ever. It is a little hard for the horses
because it is indoors, and it may be difficult if you have a horse that needs
extra work. I love it; I love being in the city."
Later in the day the A
mateur-Owner Hunters competed. The
Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunter Championship tricolor was awarded to Tracy Sheriff
with Lavari. The reserve championship prize went to Zach Parks and Castleton.
In the Amateur-Owner 35 and Over Hunter division, Player, with Penelope Ayers
in the irons, took home the championship honors. Larkspur and Ashley Kennedy
Whitner received the reserve championship trophy
Top honors in the Amateur-Owner divisio
ns were awarded to Tracy Sheriff and
Lavari. Together they won both the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter title
and the Leading Amateur-Owner Hunter Rider title.
Tomorrow's list of highligh
ts during the day includes the
start of the Junior Hunters, Junior Jumpers, and Open Jumpers, as well as the
Amateur-Owner Jumpers. The evening events are scheduled to begin at with several exhibitions to include
the Celebrity Hunt Teams, Terrier Races, and the Ashley Holzer Dressage
Following the exhibitions will be the $20,000 Open Jumper
Gambler's Choice, which is scheduled to begin at From
will be the Junior Party sponsored by the Peterson Family located at The Crown
Royal Suite. At the conclusion of the night there will be an Exhibitors Party
sponsored by the Irish Channel Restaurant and Pub, located across the street
at 500 H Street, NW, Washington,
For more information and to view fu
ll results, please visit www.wihs.org
This photo may be used free of
charge only in relation to this press release.
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