Wellington, FL - February 10, 2011 - Week 5 of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, which runs through April 3, is off to a busy start in the hunter rings. Hunter horses and riders were in full swing as they aim to qualify for the 2011 WCHR Palm Beach Hunter Classic Spectacular during week 6. Among the hunter divisions that hosted horses and riders this week vying for division championship honors were the Pre-Green 3' Hunters.
Patricia Griffith, aboard the Heritage Farm entry, Sway, were the winners of the tricolor this week in the Pre-Green 3' Hunters. Sway, a six-year-old Dutch Warmblood by Casco, seems to have that special something. "He always had that really special, incredible jump, and now he's getting the rest of the pieces together," explained Griffith.
The pair secured the championship by besting a field of twenty-five horse and rider combinations and winning three of the division's five classes. They also were awarded a third in another of the division's classes.
While Heritage Farm seems to have found good use for Sway's talent in the hunter ring, he is still young and learning. "This week he had four of his most even and relaxed rounds. Each week he gets stronger and better," said Griffith.
The owner of Sway, Heritage Farm, sees a lot of potential and talent in him. While Sway has been winning big in the pre-green ring, it is important to give young horses time and confidence in the show ring. "Sway will dabble in the 3'3" Pre-Greens and will stay in the 3' and 3'3" this year, and then next year he will move up to the First Years," explained Griffith.
The reserve champion this week in the 3' Pre-Greens was Fergie, a nine-year-old Hanoverian mare. Fergie is an entry of Cookie Beck, and was shown by Chrystal Knight. Knight and Fergie secured the reserve championship by placing second in three classes and third in another class.
Stay tuned for more important hunter results this week in the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The Adult Amateur 3'3" Hunters will be awarded their championship tomorrow.
Photo Credit: Patricia Griffith and Sway are the Pre-Green 3' Hunter Champions during the fifth week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com.