|Photo Credit: Scott Stewart jumped to his fifth victory in the WCHR Professional Finals at the Capital Challenge – Photo by USHJA/Tricia Booker.|
**Photo may used free of charge only in conjunction with this press release**
| || ||Upper Marlboro, MD — Scott Stewart took the lead in the first round of the $5,000 World Championship Hunter Rider Professional Finals and never looked back. Although Peter Pletcher and John French remained within striking distance throughout the four-round competition, they just couldn’t quite match Stewart’s smooth and effortless rides.|
The class, presented by the John R. Ingram Fund, was a featured event of the Capital Challenge Horse Show, September 29-October 7, at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD.
Stewart began his 13th WCHR Professional Finals with a 91.33 aboard VIP Z, the horse he brought for the class and one that he knows well. His student, Victoria Colvin, competes the 9-year-old Zangersheide in the equitation division and earlier in the week had placed second in the North American Equitation Finals. Last year, VIP Z earned the Far West Farms Perpetual Trophy awarded to the high-score horse of the competition.
“I got him four years ago, and he used to be difficult,” said Stewart. “He’s a top equitation horse and very easy now. I love him.”
Pletcher, of Magnolia, TX, achieved the evening’s highest single score for his handy round performance, a 94.33 aboard VIP Z. Pletcher’s bold and impressive turns over Steve Stephens’ beautiful, natural course clinched second place. He was confident that VIP Z could handle one of the tricky inside turn options because he’d watched Victoria Colvin take a similar turn during the equitation weekend.
“It’s excellent to get to ride with these guys and girls,” said Pletcher, a three-time winner of the class. “Having this class just for us is great, and I loved the horses, they were the best they’ve been.”