Katy, TX - April 6, 2011 - Peter Pletcher proved to be a dominating force at the Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show today during the $25,000 Pre-Green Hunter Classic, sponsored by George and Claudine Pletcher. The talented rider placed first, second, and third with his incredible mounts after two rounds of competition. After earning two scores of 87, Pletcher and Bleu were declared today's winning combination and were presented with the January's Best Perpetual Trophy. Pletcher then followed with the second place award aboard Jimmy and the third place prize with Enrico.
Twenty-seven Pre-Green Hunters competed during today's first round of competition, and the horses that received the top twelve scores returned for the second round to vie for the winning title. As the third horse and rider combination in today's class, Pletcher and Bleu, owned by Nanette Hebert, went straight to the top of the leaderboard by scoring an 87. Sitting in second going into the final round was Jimmy, owned by Lori Motlagh, with a score of 85, while Enrico, owned by Mary Stone, held the third place position with a score 85.
All three horses would maintain their position following the final round, where Bleu earned another score of 87, Jimmy received an 86, and Enrico an 84.5. The fourth place award eventually went to Katie Lambert-Boone, who showed Denise Clolery's Celebrate to an 81 and an 86.5. Peter Pletcher and Out of the Park, owned by Lynn Walsh, had scores of 82 and 85 for the fifth place prize, and Will Roberts had scores of 82.5 and 84 with Luigi for the sixth place ribbon.
This is only Bleu's second horse show and Pletcher was thrilled with his mount's performance. "We just bought Blue this year; he was imported from Europe directly to Florida," explained Pletcher. "He had done some jumper stuff and I thought I should get him a little more 'hunterized' so I didn't show him there, I just schooled him, but he's come together quite fast."
Pletcher continued, "He went around as smooth as could be today. I did him this morning in the Pre-Greens and he went so nice in there I thought 'Wow, he really has a good shot at this.' During the first round and he was straight down to business. The first couple of shows he would look around the ring and not pay attention, but today he was completely focused and marched around amazingly, super brave, no spook at the jumps, he was like that both rounds."
Jimmy, Pletcher's second place mount, only came to his barn at the end of last year, but he has been very pleased with his progress. "He was really great today," he said. "He's a thoroughbred-type horse, so he has a lot of blood, but he channels it nicely. Each show he gets better, he was reserve champion last week and champion this week in the Pre-Greens. He has a beautiful jump and is an easy ride."
Enrico, who placed third, has had a few years off and is just returning to the ring this year. "He's just starting back, but that horse is amazing, he's a trier, he really has a beautiful jump, beautiful head and neck, great legs, great knees," commented Pletcher. "He just needs a few more miles but all three should be nice First Year Horses next year. It's nice having the 3'3'' Pre-Green division to get them ready for that next step."
Pletcher was the brains behind today's class and he was very excited to see it be such a success. "It's nice, it was a great concept and I hope it catches on, and I hope more people will come once they see what we're doing," he noted. "I like winning and it was great because my parent's sponsored the class. It was nice to be the winner of the first January's Best Perpetual Trophy."
Tomorrow the Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show will continue with championship and reserve championship awards in the professional hunter divisions, as well as the $10,000 Spring Gathering Welcome Stake. This week's highlight events will include the Carole and Jim Looke Family Fund $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Saturday, and the $25,000 Spring Gathering Grand Prix on Sunday.
Photo Credit: Peter Pletcher and Bleu won the $25,000 Pre-Green Hunter Classic at the Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.