Wellington, FL - March 5, 2011 - The Amateur Owner Hunters started off the morning in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Arena on Saturday during the eighth week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, which runs through April 3. The Amateur-Owner 35 & Over Hunters, sponsored by Elite Equine, ran today with a strong field.
Jane Gaston from The Plains, Virginia, was awarded the prestigious tricolor honor in the competitive group of amateurs. Gaston was aboard Lumiere, her ten-year-old Oldenburg gelding.
"I do have another horse, but he's not quite ready, so Lou is doing more than I planned for him to do, but he's cheerful, and he's been great," said Gaston.
Gaston has had Lumiere, or Lou as he is called in the barn, since he was a four-year-old. She has brought him up through the ranks to the competitive horse he is today. The pair has a brilliant partnership that has resulted in numerous championships and awards over the past seasons. This week was no different, and they secured the championship by winning two classes, placing second in another class, and securing third in the division's remaining two classes.
Gaston has many goals for the future with Lumiere. When asked about her plans for indoor competition in the fall, Gaston explained, "God willing, we'll be there. As long as he's healthy and happy, we plan to go."
The reserve championship in the division was awarded to Bridget Hallman riding her own mount, Do Tell, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. The duo clinched the reserve tricolor honor by winning one class and placing second in two classes.
Tomorrow the competition will come to a close for the eighth week at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The Adults will compete in numerous divisions tomorrow and be awarded championships in their respective divisions. Many of those adults will also vie for the blue ribbon in the Beval Palm Beach Adult Medal. Stay tuned for the wrap up of week eight of competition.
Photo Credit: Jane Gaston and Lumiere are the Elite Equine Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter champions during the eighth week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com.