Wellington, FL - Competition continued today at the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival as several hunter divisions concluded, and Junior and Amateur-Owner hunters just started to kicked off their weekend of competition.
Section A of the SmartPak Equine Low Adult Amateur 2'6" Hunters finished competing today. The division, which took place in the Rost Arena, was very well attended, and consisted of 22 horse and rider combinations. The championship in the division this week was awarded to Mary Tyree and Peppercorn, owned by First Partners Inc. The reserve championship went to Little Black Dress, owned and ridden by Joy Harrington-Graue.
This was the pair's first week competing at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, and Tyree was pleased with Peppercorn's inaugural performance. She commented, "He can be a little spooky, and this is our first week showing, so it was nice to get him in the Rost Arena. We will eventually move up to the 3' Adult Amateurs."
Although Peppercorn has been in the family for five years, Tyree took over the reins on Peppercorn only 10 months ago. Tyree's daughter previously showed the bay gelding in the Large Junior hunters.
Tyree complimented her mount profusely. "He's wonderful. He's very rhythmic, he's got a lovely cadence to his canter, and a nice jump," she acknowledged. Tyree describes Peppercorn as part of her family, and noted, "You get horses that you know you're never going to get rid of, and he's one of them."
Tyree is from Chicago, IL, but will be seeking warmer weather in Wellington for most of the winter to compete at the 2010 FTI WEF. Tyree has ridden for eight years, and currently trains with Katie Kappler. Riding is a family affair for Tyree, whose daughters commute from Chicago to Florida on the weekends to compete as well. "I'm here to have fun, and my goals are more for my kids," she said with a smile.
Tyree also wanted to give a big thanks to Equestrian Sports Productions for the new footing in the hunter arenas. "I love the footing. Hats off to management for doing this. It's absolutely terrific, and it makes all the difference in the world," Tyree beamed.
The third week of hunter competition will end this Sunday afternoon at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Saturday and Sunday competition will feature Junior, Amateur, Pony, and Children's hunters, as well as several equitation classes.
The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 13 through April 4. WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are "AA" rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $5.5 million in prize money will be awarded.
Photo Credit: Mary Tyree and Peppercorn Garner the Championship in Section A of the Smart Pak Equine Low Adult Amateur 2'6" Hunters. Photo © 2010 Randi Muster/Mustphoto, Inc., Official Sport Photographer of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.