Lexington, KY – October 31, 2018 – The professional hunters returned Wednesday to the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park to vie for championship titles at the 2018 National Horse Show. The morning began with the under saddle portion of competition and led into the hunter stake classes for each respective division, where champions were crowned based on combined class points from Tuesday and Wednesday.
Ultimately, it was Scott Stewart of River’s Edge Farm in Flemington, New Jersey, and Wellington, Florida, who secured the coveted Leading Hunter Rider Award and the Leading Hunter Rider Challenge Trophy for the 12th time in his career. In addition, his mount Lucador, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, earned his fourth career and second consecutive Grand Champion Professional Hunter title as well as the Baroness of Locheil Award, after retiring the “Isgilde” Challenge Trophy in 2017.
Stewart piloted the 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding to the reserve championship in the Wrenwood Farms High Performance Conformation Hunter division, presented by Jenny Sutton, earning wins in Tuesday’s initial over fences round and in Wednesday’s under saddle class in addition to claiming second place in the stake class, third place in the handy round and fourth place in the model. The pair added the Cold Harbor Dr. Betsee Parker Perpetual Cup and the Yvonne Schulthess Memorial Challenge Trophy to their already impressive collection of prizes for their top performances throughout Tuesday and Wednesday.
Stewart’s other top mount Private Life, also owned by Dr. Parker, secured the tricolor in the Wrenwood Farms High Performance Conformation Hunter division, presented by Jenny Sutton, upon finishing first in the model, handy round and stake class along with the Baroness of Locheil Perpetual Trophy, the “Henry the Hawk” Memorial Trophy and the Ken Berkley Perpetual Cup, respectively.
The first to step onto the red carpet adorned with a champion ribbon was Cheryl Olsten’s Lafitte De Muze, partnered with Amanda Steege. The pair captured the Goshen Hill Green 3’6” Hunter division, presented by Ms. Caroline Moran, after winning the first over fences round on Tuesday and capturing first place in Wednesday’s stake class and second place in the under saddle.
Reserve champion in the Goshen Hill Green 3’6” Hunter division was awarded to Still Water Farm LLC’s Fibonacci with Chris Payne in the irons. However, the pair improved in the next division to claim the tricolor in the Green Conformation Hunter division, presented by Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Garber, as well as the Muriel Klein Lens Challenge Trophy and the “Call You Raise You” Challenge Trophy following their win in the stake class Wednesday. Steege finished as the reserve champion with Frances Moppett’s Zara.
The Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter division saw Tracy Fenney and MTM Outbid, owned by MTM Farm, return Wednesday hungry for the championship tricolor. After earning seventh and eighth place in Tuesday’s classes, they came back to win both of Wednesday’s classes to capture the overall title, while Victoria Colvin and Brad Wolf’s Private Practice were reserve champions.
Stewart wrapped up the professional hunter championships with Catch Me, owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, claiming the Judith Murch High Performance Hunter division, presented by Winners Circle Trailer Sales and the Corrigan family, and the “Ashford Castle” Challenge Trophy. The Holsteiner gelding received the win in the handy round as well as the under saddle class, earning the Edyth B. Lindner Trophy and the “A Million Reasons” Perpetual Bowl. Because, owned by Aizlynn Radwanski, and Kelley Farmer claimed Wednesday’s stake class, and the S. Craig Lindner Family Challenge Trophy, as well as the reserve championship.
Catch Me kept in winning fashion for owner Becky Gochman, earning the blue ribbon in Wednesday’s stake class and the William and Margaret Marquard Memorial Trophy in the Suzanne Thoben Marquard Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division to claim the championship tricolor and the “Ruxton and Scot To Do” Challenge Trophy. Katie Robinson and Robinson Ridge, LLC’s Rocklyn finished with the reserve championship.
Claiming the final championship of the day, Kelly Tropin and Chablis, owned by Libertas Farm LLC, rode to the win in the Hunt, Ltd. Amateur-Owner 18–35 Hunter division, presented by Gretchen Hunt, stake class, garnering her the tricolor and “Scot To Do” Challenge Trophy as well as the “In Dutch” Memorial Perpetual Trophy. Laura Sexton and her own Set To Music finished with reserve honors.
All of Wednesday’s champions and reserve champions qualified for the inaugural $50,000 National Horse Show Hunter Classic to be held Friday evening. Horse-and-rider combinations will compete at the respective height of the section from which they qualified. The class, which counts towards Horse of the Year points, will consist of two rounds with the top 12 horses returning for a second round from low to high score within their respective heights. The final average score from round one will be added to the final average score from round two to determine the overall total final score and winner.
On Thursday, hunter competition will continue with the amateur-owner and junior hunter divisions beginning at 7 a.m.
For full results from Wednesday’s competition, click here. For the complete competition schedule, click here.
Scott Stewart – 2018 National Horse Show Leading Hunter Rider
On winning his 12th Leading Hunter Rider Award:
“It feels awesome. It was great. It’s nice to have these good horses to show so I appreciate it. All three of those horses (Private Life, Lucador and Catch Me) are so dependable and I know them so well. It’s a really nice way to end the show season with them.”
On Lucador winning the Grand Champion Professional Hunter title for the second year in a row:
“[Lucador] is awesome. He’s great. He hasn’t really shown that much so he is still sort of fresh. It’s still very exciting.”
On the National Horse Show:
“It’s always one of my favorite shows and this ring is super. The courses I thought were good. Bobby Murphy did a great job. They were probably the best of the year I think.”
On qualifying for Friday’s $50,000 National Horse Show Hunter Classic:
“I’ll definitely do Private Life and then I’m not sure if I’ll do Catch Me or Lucador. We’ll see. You can only do two [horses] so we’ll see how we feel.”
Tracy Fenney – Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter division champion
On winning the Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter division championship:
“It’s kind of crazy. I never even dreamed it because yesterday he went well but I got not great ribbons. Mike [McCormick] got up this morning and said to me, ‘We’ve got to go win two classes today.’ Then [MTM Outbid] won the hack and he was like, ‘We’re halfway there!’ It was so crazy because I never dreamed he would be champion.”
On her plan for MTM Outbid:
“He’ll mostly do derbies. He is a really good derby horse. I love him. We’re crazy about him because he’s so talented. He’s a mover, he’s a jumper, he’s super easy to get to the ring and he isn’t spooky. He’s just a really good horse.”
On competing at the National Horse Show:
“It’s super prestigious. Everyone always tries to qualify for [the National Horse Show]. I showed here when it was held at Madison Square Garden when I was a junior in, I think, 1983. That was so cool. Here in Kentucky, this is horse country and I love it here. It’s so fun.”
Goshen Hill Green 3’6” Hunter division, presented by Ms. Caroline Moran, champion:
Lafitte De Muze, ridden by Amanda Steege and owned by Cheryl Olsten
Reserve: Fibonacci, ridden by Chris Payne and owned by Still Water Farm LLC
Green Conformation Hunter division, presented by Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Garber, champion:
Fibonacci, ridden by Chris Payne and owned by Still Water Farm LLC
Reserve: Zara, ridden by Amanda Steege and owned by Frances Moppett
Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter division champion:
MTM Outbid, ridden by Tracy Fenney and owned by MTM Farm
Reserve: Private Practice, ridden by Victoria Colvin and owned by Brad Wolf
Wrenwood Farms High Performance Conformation Hunter division, presented by Jenny Sutton, champion:
Private Life, ridden by Scott Stewart and owned by Dr. Betsee Parker
Reserve: Lucador, ridden by Scott Stewart and owned by Dr. Betsee Parker
Judith Murch High Performance Hunter division, presented by Winners Circle Trailer Sales and the Corrigan family, champion:
Catch Me, ridden by Scott Stewart and owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC
Reserve: Because, ridden by Kelley Farmer and owned by Aizlynn Radwanski
Suzanne Thoben Marquard Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division champion:
Catch Me, ridden by Becky Gochman and owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC
Reserve: Rocklyn, ridden by Katie Robinson and owned by Robinson Ridge, LLC
Hunt, Ltd. Amateur-Owner 18–35 Hunter division, presented by Gretchen Hunt, champion:
Chablis, ridden by Kelly Tropin and owned by Libertas Farm LLC
Reserve: Set To Music, ridden by Laura Sexton and owned by Laura Sexton
The final jewel in the competitive indoors equestrian season, the 2018 National Horse Show traded its natural hunter obstacles for jumper fences Wednesday afternoon, with quick-footed horse-and-athlete pairs taking to the Alltech Arena to battle for the lion’s share of the prize money in the $35,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*. Besting the field as the quickest fault-free combination during the one-round speed class, the USA’s Beezie Madden and Abigail Wexner’s Jiva captured the Cavcote Welcome Trophy and the first jumper win of the event ahead of the week’s full schedule of elite show jumping competitions.
For his first design of the week, course designer Ken Krome (USA) challenged competitors to tackle his 13-fence track quickly and carefully during their only attempt to earn a respectable position on the scoreboard, with 24 duos proving successful at leaving all of the obstacles intact out of the original field of 43.
As third in the order-of-go, Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) and Louisburg Farm’s Cat Ballou were the pathfinders as the first clean and clear trip of the evening in 66.33 seconds, but were quickly overtaken by Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and Starlight Farms LLC’s Quidam MB in a brisk 55.68 seconds to claim the lead. Adding more girl power to the top of the leaderboard, Catherine Tyree (USA) piloted Mary Tyree’s Catungee to a 54.83-second trip to usurp the frontrunners, a lead that would hold until McLain Ward (USA) proved why he is consistently ranked among the best in the world, making a number of impressively tight turns to slice across the track aboard Beechwood Stables LLC’s Contagious in a quick 54.03 seconds.
Another top-ranked rider for the USA, Madden, pulled out all of the stops to improve upon Ward’s time, navigating Jiva at a breakneck pace and tripping the timers in 51.78 seconds to capture the lead with only a handful left to ride. Ultimately, Madden and Jiva proved unbeatable, emerging victorious by more than two seconds ahead of the next closest contenders. No stranger to the winner’s circle, Madden is currently the second highest ranked American in the Longines Rankings, sitting in the ninth position, just a few slots behind fourth-ranked Ward.
Behind counterparts, Madden and Jiva, Ward and Contagious clinched the reserve championship, and Tracy and MTM Reve du Paradis, owned by MTM Farm, rounded out the top three podium finishes with their time of 54.25 seconds, just a hair off Ward’s pace.
The 2018 National Horse Show will feature more elite jumper action throughout the week, with the highlight events attracting world-class competition that includes the members of the gold medal-winning FEI World Equestrian Games team from the United States. On Thursday night, the Alltech Arena will host the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumper Speed CSI4* as well as the $135,000 International Jumper Classic CSI4*, followed by the Salamander Hotels & Resorts $35,000 Accumulator Class CSI4* on Friday afternoon. Juniors and amateurs will take center stage Saturday afternoon in the $50,000 Hollow Brook Wealth Management Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix, and the premier jumper class of the week, the $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington CSI4*-W, will take place Saturday evening.
Beezie Madden – Free x Rein $35,000 International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4* champion
On her reaction to winning and the class:
“It is always good to start with a win. I thought the course was quite friendly tonight, which is good to get a good start. In the end, it turned out there were some difficult options you could do, and so it was an advantage to go near the end because I never would have thought to do that inside turn after the oxer until a few people did it, and then you kind of had to.”
“I was really happy with my horse; she has been really good so far. The last three shows she has done, she has won. That was our sixth class. She is a 9-year-old mare owned by Abigail Wexner. We bought her as a 7-year-old, so it will be two years next year in Florida. She has always been super careful; she was a little behind the other 7-year-olds when we got her, so she is catching up now that she is nine. She is quite a good horse. She has done a little bit bigger classes as well, but you have to spot her into those right now. She will stick to the speed classes here, so the [$35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumper Speed] faults converted tomorrow and the [Salamander Hotels & Resorts $35,000] Accumulator class Friday.”
Free x Rein $35,000 International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / Owner / R1 Faults | Time
1. Jiva / Beezie Madden / USA / Abigail Wexner / 0 | 51.78
2. Contagious / McLain Ward / USA / Beechwood Stables LLC / 0 | 54.03
3. MTM Reve du Paradis / Tracy Fenney / USA / MTM Farm / 0 | 54.25
4. Catungee / Catherine Tyree / USA / Mary Tyree / 0 | 54.83
5. Quidam MB / Adrienne Sternlicht / USA / Starlight Farms, LLC / 0 | 55.68
6. Carlo / Jack Hardin Towell / USA / Ann Thompson / 0 | 56.56
7. Cartouche / Daniel Bluman / ISR / Daniel Bluman and Over The Top Stables / 0 | 56.62
8. Collin / Luiz Francisco de Azevedo / BRA / Santa Cecelia Stables LLC / 0 | 56.66
9. Florida / Devin Ryan / USA / Devin Ryan / 0 | 56.76
10. Chaccolette / Lillie Keenan / USA / Chansonette Farm LLC / 0 | 56.87
11. Rubens LS La Silla / Conor Swail / IRL / Rose Hill Farm / 0 | 57.38
12. Galan S / Beat Mändli / SUI / Grant Road Partners LLC / 0 | 58.68