FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lexington, Ky. –Feb. 13 , 2018 –The USHJA is pleased to announce Private Life, owned by Betsee Parker, as the 2017 WCHR Hunter of the Year and recipient of the WCHR Peter Wetherill Cup. The award will be presented during the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida.
"Peter [Wetherill] was a great friend of mine, and I am honored to be the owner of this lovely horse," said Parker of receiving the prestigious award.
Private Life, owned by Betsee Parker and ridden by Scott Stewart, was Reserve Champion of the 2017 $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular. Photo credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA.
In just his second year of showing, the 7-year-old bay KWPN gelding (Verdi-Pinot Rosso) took the Green Conformation Hunters by storm with Scott Stewart in the irons, earning the 2017 Green Conformation Circuit Champion at the Winter Equestrian Festival and Green Hunter Conformation Championships at Devon, the Capital Challenge Horse Show, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, the Washington International Horse Show and the National Horse Show.
Last year's $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular was also a special class for Private Life as he earned the Reserve Champion title, received the Mark Gregory Perpetual Trophy as the best conditioned horse of the first round of the Spectacular, and earned the Charlie Weaver Memorial Award as the highest scoring conformation horse from the first round of the Spectacular.
Private Life, owned by Betsee Parker and ridden by Scott Stewart, receiving the Charlie Weaver Memorial Award for the highest-scoring Conformation Hunter in Round 1 of the 2017 $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular with an 88.66. Photo credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA
"He is a complete goody two-shoes," said Parker of Private Life's good nature. "He is so automatic that if you took him in the walk-trot class with a 7-year-old he would win it and do everything for the 7-year-old. He's a brilliant performer and absolutely the simplest horse to ride that you'd ever get up on."
Private Life will receive the Peter Wetherill Cup at the 22nd Annual $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular on Saturday, Feb. 17. The night class is invitation-only with horse-and-rider combinations qualifying throughout the week by earning either Champion or Reserve Champion in Hunter sections 3'6" or higher. This featured class is part of WCHR Week during the Winter Equestrian Festival Week 6, which includes a variety of special awards and prize money for WCHR competitors.
Spectators of the event may enjoy the Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular Gala, "A Toast to Excellence," under the lights of the International Arena with the best views of the course from the International Club. This year's gala theme honors the history and tradition of the WCHR Program and the horses, riders, and owners who have earned top honors in the Spectacular over the years. Tables and tickets are available online or at the USHJA tent onsite at ushja.org/WCHRSpectacular.
Opening ceremonies start at 5:30 p.m., along with cocktails at the Gala, and the first horse will be on course at approximately 6:30 p.m. The event will also be live streamed at www.tv.coth.com and www.ushja.org. For more information about the WCHR Program, visit ushja.org/WCHR.
The USHJA would like to thank its generous sponsors for the 2018 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular, including: Charles Owen, Inc., The Official Helmet of the USHJA; Rood & Riddle, The Official Equine Hospital and Veterinary Pharmacy of the USHJA; Professional's Choice, The Official Horse Boot of the USHJA; Parlanti, The Official Riding Boot of the USHJA; and CWD Sellier, The Official Saddle of the USHJA. The USHJA also thanks Awards Sponsors: GumBits ; and Shapley's , sponsor of the Best Turned Out Horse for USHJA Hunter Championships.
About the Peter Wetherill Cup
Named after a great horseman, the Peter Wetherill Cup was created in 2011 to celebrate a current equine athlete who best exemplifies the qualities of a top-class show hunter. The classic silver cup perpetual trophy is presented annually at the WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular in Wellington, Florida, to the owner of the World Championship Hunter Rider Program's Hunter of the Year.