Lexington, Ky.—Aug. 19, 2021— The Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships saw two new champions crowned at the Kentucky Horse Park. Hunt Tosh aboard Twain, owned by Ceil Wheeler, earned the 3'0"/3'3" Championship title, and Chris Payne won the 3'6"/3'9" Championship on Reign, owned by Stillwater Farm LLC.
Hunt Tosh and Twain, owned by Ceil Wheeler. Photo: Terisé Cole/USHJA
The 3'0"/3'3" Championship featured three rounds of competition over three days, with the top 30 from the first two rounds coming back with a clean slate for the Championship Round.
Hunt Tosh and Twain, owned by Ceil Wheeler, earned high scores throughout the competition, tying for third in the First Round and winning the Second Round. The pair's smooth and consistent Championship Round earned scores of 93, 89 and 94 to take the win with a final score of 276. Tosh, who won the inaugural Pre-Green Hunter Incentive Championships in 2013, earned a total of $32,551.69 in prize money with Twain.
"He's been great all week," Tosh said. "For a young horse to come out here and do three days in a row is always a little tricky, but he was great. He came back to jump beautifully and he rides so smooth. For a young horse to do this, and to do it three days in a row, he was fabulous."
Scott Stewart, who is no stranger to the top of the leaderboard in the Green Hunter Incentive Championships, was Reserve Champion on Dr. Betsee Parker's Ackergill Castle with a score of 269.75.
"I was really happy with him," Stewart said. "He only got to show I think three times in Florida and then he had some time off, so he did one show this summer. He is pretty green, so I was very happy that he went as well as he did. He got better each round, and his last round was the best, so I was really happy with him."
Victoria Colvin rounded out the top three riding Karen Bruce's Mastermind. The pair was second place in the First Round, and they earned a final score of 267 in the Championship Round.
Christopher Payne and Reign, owned Stillwater Farm LLC. Photo: Tricia Booker/USHJA
Chris Payne riding Reign, owned by Stillwater Farm LLC, earned the win in the 3'6"/3'9" Championship with Hunt Tosh earning second place aboard Salute, owned by Douglas Wheeler, and Shawn Casady on Cassario 8, owned by Ashland Farms, taking third place. The 3'6"/3'9" Championship featured two rounds over a single day of competition, with the top 30 from the First Round advancing to the Championship Round with a clean slate.
After a morning deluge and seventh place finish in the First Round, Payne returned to the Championship Round with the stallion to earn scores of 91, 87.5 and 94 for an overall score of 272.5 for the win. The duo also earned $7,147.71 in prize money across the two rounds.
Tosh continued his winning streak earning an 87.5, 92 and 90 for a score of 269.5 and the Reserve title, with Tier II rider Casady close behind in third with an overall score of 269.
"I think [the 3'6"/3'9" Green Incentive] is a great stepping stone into anything," said Payne after his win. "I can’t thank everybody who set this program up enough. It’s a fantastic program for the hunters. From the 3’ to the 3’9”, it’s a wonderful, wonderful thing that they are doing."
More than $50,000 in prize money was paid out to the top 10 3'0"/3'3" Championship Tier II riders, left, and the top 10 3'6"/3'9" Championship Tier II riders, right. Photos: Tricia Booker/USHJA
Both Championships offered recognition and more than $50,000 in additional prize money through the Green Hunter Rider Ranking System, which categorizes riders into two tiers based upon their prior earnings within the program. Tier I riders are those who are ranked 1-30 in money won in the program over the past three years, and all other riders are considered Tier II. Tier II prize money was based on the cumulative scores from Rounds 1 and 2 for 3'0"/3'3" competitors and Round 1 scores for 3'6"/3'9" competitors.
Bonus awards were also presented for both the 3'0"/3'3" and 3'6"/3'9" Championships, providing special recognition and encouraging the highest standard of breeding in the United States. Special recognition and awards were given in six categories including Thoroughbreds, Mares, American-Breds, presented by Oakwell Farms and DS Holdings, LLC, and horses that are also enrolled in the Texas Green Hunter Super Series.
Ellie Ferrigno earned the 3'0"/3'3" High Score Amateur Owner Award riding Luxador. The High Score Junior Award went to Augusta Iwasaki riding Charm The Crowd for the 3'0"/3'3" Championship. The Shapley's Best Turned Out Award in the 3'0"/3'3" Championship was awarded to Waverly, groomed by Haleigh Landrigan and in the 3'6"/3'9" Championship the award went to Nottingham and groom Darwin Alexis.
Shapley's Best Turned Out Awards went to Waverly and Haleigh Landrigan, left, and Nottingham and Darwin Alexis, right. Photos: Tricia Booker/USHJA
The Rider Style Award was presented to Dorothy Douglas and Liza Boyd for the 3'0"/3'3" and 3'6"/3'9" Championships, respectively. The award recognizes the rider who best displays the American style of riding in the ring and sportsmanship outside of the competition arena.
Judging the Championships this week were Tom Brennan, Carleton Brooks, Kim Dorfman, Hope Glynn, Mike Rosser and Andrea Wells. Bobby Murphy designed the courses.
The USHJA Green Hunter 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.
"I think it's wonderful what they do here for this," Stewart said about the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships. "I certainly enjoy doing the young horses, and we buy them and bring them along and this is our goal for the year. We usually show them three or four times in Florida and a couple of times in the summer, then plan this to be our peak."
The USHJA thanks Show Manager Hugh Kincannon and the entire Kentucky Horse Shows team for their assistance with the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships.
The USHJA thanks the Official Sponsors who helped to make these championships possible, including Charles Owen, Inc., the Official Helmet of the USHJA Championships; CWD, the Official Saddle of the USHJA; Nutrena® the Official Horse Feed of the USHJA; Parlanti International, the Official Riding Boot of the USHJA; Rood & Riddle, the Official Equine Hospital and Veterinary Pharmacy; Platinum Performance, title sponsor of the Green Hunter Incentive and International Hunter Derby Championships; Horse & Country, the Official Broadcast Provider; Kelly Sims & Windsor Stables, supporting sponsor of the Championships Live Stream; and Hunter Championship Award Sponsors Essex Classics and Shapley's. Bonus Award Donors were Oakwell Farms & DS Holdings LLC and Texas Super Series with Colleen McQuay and Patrick Rodes.
For more information and online results for the 2021 Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships, visit ushja.org/GreenChampionship.
Thoroughbred Bonus Award: Purely Grateful, (Pure Prize—Gratefully) owned by Kelly M. Fleming-Bentz, ridden by Natassia Stallings
$5,000 High-Score American-Bred Bonus Award in remembrance of Candie Owens, presented by Oakwell Farms and DS Holdings, LLC: Memphis Blue, German Sporthorse, (Maximus—Envy) owned by Martin Schlaeppi, ridden by Daniel Geitner
High-Score Sallie B. Wheeler/USEF/USHJA National Hunter Breeding Championship Alumni Award: Soleil, Brandenburg, (Samba Hit—Luna), owned by Andrew Ellis, ridden by Catherine Ellis
High-Score 4- and 5-year-old Bonus Award: Serengeti, Dutch Warmblood, (Quintus—Ankyniek) owned by Moyer Farm LLC, ridden by Tamara Provost
$2,000 Texas Super Series Bonus Award, presented by Colleen McQuay and Patrick Rodes: Argento, Dutch Warmblood, (Ultime Espoir—Ellie) owned by Kathy Chiaf, ridden by Jennifer Alfano
High-Score Mare Award: Waverly, Hanoverian, (Cabardino—Viva's Haya) owned by R & R Hunter Horses LLC, ridden by Holly Orlando
High-Score Mare Award: Alajolie, Westphalian, (A La Carte NRW—Franka) owned by Farber Farms LLC, ridden by Jamie Taylor