Wellington, Fla.—Feb. 12, 2019—Nearly a year ago today, Private Practice made his debut in the Hunter ring, beginning a year of tremendous success with Victoria Colvin in the irons. As the 2019 World Championship Hunter Rider Week at the Winter Equestrian Festival (Week 6) kicks off, the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association is pleased to announce Private Practice as the 2018 WCHR Hunter of the Year, which will be presented to owner Brad Wolf during the 2019 $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular on Saturday, February 16, 2019.
"Private Practice is the epitome of a true Hunter—style, beauty, movement and athleticism," said WCHR Task Force Chair Caroline Weeden.
Trained by Tom Wright and ridden to numerous championships throughout 2018 by Colvin, Private Practice has quickly earned his place among the top Hunters. He earned Champion or Reserve Champion at numerous competitions in 2018, including the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship and champion in the Green 3'9" Hunter section at the Devon and Pennsylvania National horse shows.
Wright, who has trained many top Hunters and was himself awarded the 2018 WCHR Lifetime Achievement Award during last year's Capital Challenge Horse Show, attributes Private Practice's success to natural ability, a willingness to learn and an incredible team.
"[Private Practice] has extraordinary jumping style, movement and beauty. That being said, he has an uncanny instinct to learn and retain his training. He's incredibly keen to follow his rider's instructions and then rarely make an error," said Wright. "[He] also possesses an unusual combination of bravery (I can think of only one jump that he spooked at all year) and carefulness. All these characteristics make for a very special horse.
"He has a wonderful owner in Dr. Brad Wolf, who has enjoyed the business for decades and follows and believes in our training program," continued Wright. "This would all be impossible without Tori Colvin as rider, Torrey Hardison overseeing and managing his care, veterinarian Dave Kron, blacksmith Paul Turner, and caretaker Aurelio Elizondo."
Brad Wolf's Private Practice won the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby with Tori Colvin in the irons. Credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA
The 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding (by Lordano) will be recognized as the 2018 WCHR Hunter of the Year during the prestigious $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular on Saturday night. At the beginning of the class, owner Brad Wolf will be presented with the 2018 Peter Wetherill Cup, which is given each year to a current equine athlete that exemplifies the qualities of a top-class show hunter. The winner of this award is based on WCHR member nominations and selected by the WCHR Peter Wetherill Cup Selection Committee.
"We as a collective group couldn't be more proud of our horse, or be more thrilled by the acknowledgement from the WCHR," said Wright. "Peter Wetherill was a dear friend, and I'm just honored to have Brad and Private Practice recognized with this trophy named in his honor. Peter exemplified what it means to be a true horseman and a class act. This award is just so special."
Currently showing at the Winter Equestrian Festival, owner Brad Wolf is now winning on him in the Amateur Owner 3'3" section, yet again underscoring his place as the WCHR Hunter of the Year.
Aptly nicknamed "Peter" in the barn, Private Practice becomes the eighth horse recognized with the Peter Wetherill Cup, joining some of the country's most decorated Hunters. Past winners of the WCHR Hunter of the Year Award are: Betsee Parker, owner of Private life; Debbie Bass and Maypine Farm, owner of Truman; David Gochman, owner of Catch Me; Kensel, LLC, owner of Mindful; Elizabeth Reilly & Chris Iwasaki, owners of Small Affair; Lynn Rice, owner of Gramercy Park; and Davlyn Farms, owner of Come Monday.
Spectators of the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular may purchase tables and individual seats to watch the class from the International Club, where they can enjoy a cocktail hour, dinner and a silent auction as part of the Spectacular Hunt Gala. Table sales provide support to the WCHR program, which supports the future and growth of the Hunter discipline, while preserving the sport's tradition and protecting horse welfare. Tables and tickets may be purchased at www.ushja.org/wchrspectacular. Additionally this year, WCHR Week features an online silent auction to support the WCHR program at www.ushja.org/wchrauction. Bidding runs through 11:59 a.m. ET on Saturday.
The Spectacular will be livestreamed on Chronicle of the Horse TV at tv.coth.com. Opening ceremonies will begin at approximately 6 p.m. with the first horse on course at 6:35 p.m. on Saturday, February 16, 2019. For more information about the WCHR Program, visit ushja.org/wchr.