Lexington, Ky.—August 13, 2019—No stranger to the winner's circle, veteran rider Scott Stewart finished first and second aboard Betsee Parker's Mayflower and Standstone, respectively, in the First Round of the 3'/3'3" Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Tying for second place with Stewart was fellow Tier I rider Chris Payne aboard Gratitude, owned by Still Water Farm, LLC.
Scott Stewart and Mayflower, owned by Betsee Parker, finished on top in the First Round of the 3'/3'3" Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship. Photo: Shawn McMillen Photography
"I always look forward to coming here," said Stewart after his win. "It’s really nice going in this ring, but the horses aren’t used to it so it’s a little bit of a hard day the first day. I think each day will get a little bit easier."
Competing at the 3' fence height, Stewart and Mayflower, a 5-year-old Deutsches Sportpferdf mare, earned scores of 91, 88 and 88 for a total of 267 and took home $10,079.25 in prize money.
"I think [the Championships] are great to highlight the young horses for the owners and riders," said Stewart, who earned Champion titles in 2014, 2016 and 2017. Stewart is also the leading Tier I rider for the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program.
Chris Payne and Gratitude, owned by Sill Water Farm LLC, tied for second place in the First Round of the 3'/3'3" Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship. Photo: Shawn McMillen Photography
Tying for second place with an overall score of 264 and each taking home $5,634.30 in prize money was Stewart and Sandstone, a 6-year-old Palomino KWPN gelding owned by Betsee Parker, and Chris Payne and Gratitude, a bay warmblood gelding owned by Still Water Farm, LLC.
Stewart and Sandstone, owned by Betsee Parker, tied for second place in the First Round of the 3'/3'3" Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship. Photo: Tricia Booker/USHJA
Judging the Championships this week are Tom Brennan, Richard Fancher, Daniel Robertshaw, William Sparks, Geoff Teall and James Toon.
The 3'/3'3" Championship features three rounds of competition over three days. Today's First Round paid out $40,317 to the top-30 placings. Horses will return for the second round tomorrow, August 14, and will again compete for $40,317.
The top 30 horses, including those tied for 30th, with the highest cumulative scores from Rounds 1 and 2 will advance to the final Championship Round on August 15, where they will start with a clean slate and compete for $80,634.
The Second Round of the 3'/3'3" Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship will begin at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow in the Walnut Ring of the Kentucky Horse Park.
Green Hunters competing at 3'6" and 3'9" will also contend for a Championship title on Thursday, August 15, after the conclusion of the 3'/3'3" Championship.
Both Championships will also include additional prize money for horse-and-rider combinations piloted by Tier II Riders. Tier II Riders are those 31st or below on the Green Hunter Incentive Program rider money won three-year earnings list. This prize money is paid out across the top 10 placing horses ridden by Tier II riders in each section, based on scores prior to the Championship round, providing exhibitors more opportunities to win.
For those unable to watch the week-long competition in person, EQSportsNet, official broadcaster of the 2019 Platinum Performance/USHJA Hunter Week, will provide wall-to-wall live streaming coverage of and on-demand access to every round of both Championships. Coverage of the final rounds includes expert commentary and course visualization with live scoring throughout. USHJA members receive a 50 percent discount on their monthly EQSportsNet subscription by inputting their member number to receive their discount code. To join the USHJA as a free Outreach member, visit ushja.org/membership.
The USHJA thanks the Official Sponsors who helped to make these championships possible, including: Charles Owen, Inc., the Official Helmet of the USHJA; CWD, the Official Saddle 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; The Clothes Horse, the Official Cooler of the Championships; EQSportsNet, the Official Host Broadcast; Hunter Championship Award Sponsors: Essex Classics, FITS Riding, and Shapley's; Supporting Sponsor Nightwatch®; Championship Welcome Reception Sponsor Kelly Sims and Windsor Stables.
For more information including the complete schedule, orders of go, and online results for the 2019 Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships, visit ushja.org/GreenChampionship.