Scott Stewart and Lucador Win Leading Hunter Rider and Grand Champion Professional Hunter at 2017 CP National Horse Show
The professional hunters returned Wednesday to the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park to vie for championship titles at the 2017 CP 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.
The first to step onto the red carpet adorned with a champion ribbon was Lynn Seithel’s Walk The Moon partnered with Daniel Geitner. The pair captured the Goshen Hill Green 3’6″ Hunter division, presented by Ms. Caroline Moran, after winning the handy round on Tuesday and capturing second place in Wednesday’s stake class. Reserve champion was awarded to Dr. Betsee Parker’s Luster with Scott Stewart in the irons, upon claiming wins in the under saddle class and handy round. After Geitner slid into the champion position, ahead of Stewart by one point, Stewart stole the show claiming all remaining professional hunter championships.
Dr. Parker’s Private Life and Stewart claimed their fourth Green Conformation Hunter championship this indoor season, accumulating blue ribbon points in the model, handy and stake class to win the Muriel Klein Lens Challenge Trophy and the “Call You Raise You” Challenge Trophy. Although the Dutch Warmblood is only 6 years old, he is already proving his potential, claiming the same title with Stewart at the Washington International Horse Show, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and Capital Challenge Horse Show. Havens Schatt and JT Farm’s Playmaker finished as the reserve champions.
Stewart kept with his winning rhythm aboard William Hill, owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, building on Tuesday’s classic and handy win to claim the tricolor ribbon in the Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9″ Hunter division, presented by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Oare and Ms. Patricia Adikes-Hill. Schatt picked up another reserve champion ribbon with Tracy Scheriff-Muser’s Aristocrat.
Most impressive was Stewart’s championship performance aboard Dr. Parker’s Lucador as the pair won four out of the division’s five classes to earn the winning title for the High Performance Conformation Hunter division, sponsored and presented by the Wheeler family, ultimately earning the Grand Champion Professional Hunter title and the “Isgilde” Challenge Trophy for the third time. The trophy has now been retired after it was also earned by Stewart and “Luke” in 2014 and 2015. In addition, the duo was awarded the Cold Harbor Dr. Betsee Parker Perpetual Cup, the German Challenge Trophy and the Ken Berkley Perpetual Cup. Reserve champions Outshine and Kathryn Haley were the only pair to steal a class away from Lucador, winning Tuesday’s classic over fences round.
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 the Corrigan family and Winners Circle Trailer Sales. The 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding received the win in the handy round with Stewart as well as the under saddle class with Amanda Derbyshire, earning the “A Million Reasons” Perpetual Bowl. Olympic Fire and Jennifer Hannan claimed Wednesday’s stake class and reserve championship.
Upon winning four out of five professional hunter division championships, Stewart was awarded the title of Leading Hunter Rider for the 11th time at the National Horse Show, earning the Sherri Crawford Leading Hunter Rider Award and Leading Hunter Rider Challenge Trophy.
The amateur-owner divisions followed with Copper Fox LLC’s Moonwalk and Kendall Meijer capturing the stake class in the Woodland Way, Inc. Amateur-Owner 18–35 3’3″ Hunter division, presented by Ms. Margaret O’Meara, to claim the championship tricolor. Stephanie Danhakl and her own Enough Said finished with the reserve championship.
Virginia Fout rode her own Carma to the top spot in both the stake and under saddle classes on Wednesday to finish as the Meralex Farm and Hunt Ltd. Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’3″ Hunter division, presented by Ms. Bryan Baldwin and Ms. Gretchen Hunt, champions, while Seithel rode her own Walk The Line to the reserve championship.
Catch Me kept in winning fashion for owner Becky Gochman, earning blue ribbons in the over fences and under saddle classes of the Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division ahead of Thursday’s championship. In the Amateur-Owner Under 35 division, sponsored and presented by Suzanne Thoben Marquard, Technicolor and Lindsay Maxwell rode to the win in Wednesday’s over fences round, while Kelly Tropin and Chablis claimed the under saddle class.
On Thursday, hunter competition will continue with the amateur-owner and junior hunter divisions beginning at 7 a.m.