Rider Scott Stewart takes home more than $62,000 in prize money on his mounts.
Lexington, KY - August 14, 2014 - When Scott Stewart started showing Remarkable this summer, he wondered what the judges would think of this unusually marked horse. He need not wonder any longer. The 7-year-old warmblood (Lordanos-Argona B) jumped to the top scores in the $175,410 Pre-Green Incentive Championship.
"I saw him in a video probably six months ago, and I wasn't sure," said Stewart. "And I didn't go over until the summer. We tried him and bought him that afternoon. We tried him once. He was really fun to ride and a good jumper and mover. And he was beautiful in person; in the video you couldn't tell. He is a beautiful looking horse, I think."
Tonight's Championship Round was the grand finale of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship. The First and Second Rounds took place August 12-13, with two courses of 3' or 3'3" fences suitable for Pre-Green Hunters.
Photo Credit: USHJA Archives/Tricia Booker
In this second year of the Championship, 368 horses enrolled. A total of 282 of those horses qualified to compete, with 131 stepping into the ring.
The top-30 horses, with the highest combined scores from the first two rounds, returned today with a clean slate for the Championship Round over a third beautiful course designed by Patrick Rodes, of Argyle, TX.
Tonight's judges included James Clapperton, Jeanne Marie Dunford-Miller, Hap Hansen, Scott Williamson, Julie Winkel and Chris Wynne sitting in pairs around the Stonelea Ring.
Stewart qualified five mounts for the Championship Round and laid down the gauntlet with the first horse on course, Stephanie Danhakl's Enough Said. The pair earned scores of 90, 88 and 87 for a 265 total, which led the way until Stewart topped himself with Remarkable, the 15th horse on course, with scores of 91, 89 and 89 for 269.
Stewart held the top two spots until Boss, the 28th horse on course, slipped into second place with John French aboard. Laura Wasserman's elegant 8-year-old warmblood (Samba Hit-Vulano D) showed his consistency once again with scores of 87.50, 87.75 and 90 for 265.25. Boss qualified for the Championship Round as the top qualifier from the First and Second Rounds.
Wasserman purchased Boss last year, and French has brought him along slowly, doing the 3' and 3'3" Pre-Green sections in preparation for the 3'6" sections next year.
"He was imported by Tammy Provost just before this show last year," said French. "He was green, and since he only showed half of the year last year-I think he started as a dressage horse over there in Europe-we decided to do one more year in the Pre-Greens."
French, of Woodside, CA, who also piloted Maritime to seventh place, was pleased that the impressive prize money in the Pre-Green Incentive Championship would help to offset the costs traveling from the West Coast.
"Coming from California, we have to fly them, and so winning this money is great and people can see that it's worth it coming all the way from California," said French, who paused and added, "It's not just for the money, though, it's even worth it without the money, I think."
Stewart, of Flemington, NJ, amassed $62,406.53 in prize money through the three-day event with his 10 mounts. In addition to placing first and third with Remarkable and Enough Said, respectively, Stewart placed ninth with Classical, 11th with Celebration and 17th with Simply Cool.
Photo Credit: Shawn McMillen Photography
"Wow, that's a nice payday," said Stewart with a smile. "It will pay for my shipping and entries and more. We own a lot of our own horses, Ken [Berkley] and I. It's nice to bring them here and actually think you can make a little money, because that never happens."
Stewart, as the winning rider of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Champion horse, also received a one-year free lease on a customized two-horse bumper-pull trainer courtesy of KY Lake Trailer Sales and Sundowner.
Stewart and French also thanked the USHJA staff and Pre-Green Incentive Program leaders for their hard work and dedication to presenting a championship of this caliber that showcases this often overlooked section of hunters.
This year's Shapley's Best Turned Out Award was presented to MTM Retro, ridden by Kelly Lorek, who received a Shapley's Awards Package.
This year's High-Score Mare Award was presented to Ashley Hodges' Carlotta, a 6-year-old warmblood, ridden by John Barker to a tie for first place in the Second Round and sixth place overall after the two rounds.
In addition to the substantial prize money, this year there was $11,500 in new bonus awards. The winners were named based on their performances in the First and Second Rounds. They included:
- $5,000 High-Score American-Bred Bonus Award in remembrance of Candie Owens, presented by Oakwell Farms and DS Holdings, LLC - Sunset Hill (Nob Hill-Acclaim), a 5-year-old American Warmblood, owned by Jacqueline Stahl, ridden by Heather Caristo Williams and bred by Diana Dodge
- $2,500 International Hunter Futurity Bonus Award - Fleetwood's Derby (Fleetwood's Bolero-Highlight), a 6-year-old Thoroughbred owned and bred by Felicia Carroll and ridden by Sarah Rice
- $2,500 Thoroughbred Bonus Awards, presented by TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program, Inc. - Fontana, age 7 (unknown breeding), owned by Nicole Miller Perrin and ridden by Daniel Geitner & Secret Santa, age 6 (Fantasticat-Holly Jolly), owned by Daniel White and ridden by Jeffrey Ayers
- $2,500 High-Score 4- and 5-year-old Bonus Award presented by Barnfield Foundation - Celebration (Dedication-Spice Girl), a 5-year-old Baden-Wurttemberg, owned by Betsee Parker, ridden by Scott Stewart and bred by Helmut Gunther
- $2,500 High-Score American Quarter Horse Bonus Award, presented by Plastilite Corporation and Equine Semen Transporter, will be debuting in 2015
The Pre-Green Incentive Program has gained popularity since its debut in December 2012 and has garnered praise from members across the country for its encouragement of the development of young horses. The program would not have gotten off the ground without the early support of many people, including USHJA committee members and staff.
The Founding Members include: Colleen McQuay, Amanda Lyerly, Bill Ellis, Betty Oare, Diana Strumberg, Don Stewart, Emil Spadone, Geoff Teall, Jenny Karazissis, Joey Darby, Liza Boyd, Louise Serio, Peter Pletcher and Susie Schoellkopf.
The USHJA thanks the Official Sponsors who helped to make this championship possible, including: Charles Owen, the Official Helmet of the USHJA; Rood & Riddle, the Official Equine Hospital and Veterinary Pharmacy; Nutrena, Official Feed Sponsor; Standlee, Official Forage Company of the USHJA; The Clothes Horse, Official Cooler of the Pre-Green Championship; KY Lake Trailers Sales, Award Sponsor; Shapley's, Best Turned Out Award Sponsor; Hospitality Sponsor SmartPak; and Contributing Sponsors Perfect Products and Crown Equine Services.
For full coverage please look for the USHJA Hunter Derby and Pre-Green Incentive Championships In Stride Digital Special Edition arriving in your email as well as the September print issue of USHJA In Stride. For complete results, please visit the Pre-Green Incentive web page at www.ushja.org.