Wellington, Fla.—Jan. 9, 2019—The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association is pleased to open table sales for the 2019 $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Spectacular Hunt Gala, Saturday, February 16, 2019, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The Gala offers the opportunity to support the WCHR Program, while enjoying the best of the Hunter sport in the premier Hunter class of the Winter Equestrian Festival—the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular.
Named to honor the great Peter Wetherill, who had a great love for the Hunters and belief that they deserved special recognition, this class truly embodies the history and tradition of the Hunter discipline. Twenty-three years ago, Wetherill helped establish this class as a premier night class for Hunters, offering $10,000 in prize money, which was unprecedented then for Hunters. Today with a purse of $100,000, it maintains its prominence as the premier Hunter class.
The Spectacular occurs during Hunter Week at the WEF (Week 6). This special week puts Hunters in the limelight with nine WCHR Hunter Classics for sections from Ponies to Junior/Amateur Owners and Saturday night's $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular. 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. Certain riders can be pre-qualified based on performances in the prior year's WCHR Program. Last year, Louise Serio piloted Jennifer Burger's Rock Harbor to victory in the exciting class, earning her the top purse and a return invite to the class this year. The evening also includes several special awards, including the Peter Wetherill Cup and the Kavar Kerr Award.
The Spectacular Hunt Gala Committee invites members to watch the 2019 event from the best seats in the International Club. This year, in addition to table and individual tickets, USHJA offers discounted tickets for Juniors to encourage younger participation in the special evening. Tables may be purchased at www.ushja.org/WCHRSpectacular.
The USHJA extends special thanks to this year's Spectacular Hunt Gala Committee: Garland Alban, Kristen Baran, Julia Barnes, Margaret Benjamin, Arriana Boardman, Dorli Burke, Stephanie Danhakl, Selma Garber, Bridget Hallman, Kristen Hamel, Julie Holzberger, Martha Ingram, Mary Jane King, Whitney Lind, Lily Maddock, Susie Moriconi, Ashley Netzky, Margot Peroni, Angie Porter, Stephanie Reggio Bulger, Anna Rossi, Tracy Scherriff-Muser, Jenn Speisman, Cynthia Sulzberger, Preeti Swani, Maria Takacs, Patty Taylor, Ellen Toon, Angela Vogel, Tory Watters, Carl Weeden and Tammy Williams.
The USHJA World Championship Hunter Rider Program was founded in the early 1990s to recognize and celebrate the hunter rider. Since the inaugural WCHR Professional Finals in 1991, the WCHR program has expanded to include coveted year-end awards for Professionals, Developing Professionals, Amateur Owners, Adult Amateurs, Juniors, Children's and Pony riders. Each year the top 10 nationally ranked riders and top six regionally ranked riders in each category, come together to compete in the WCHR Finals at the Capital Challenge Horse Show in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Learn more at www.ushja.org/WCHR.