BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY (Aug. 30, 2001) - One of the highlights of Seniors Day, presented by 50 Plus Senior News, at the 26th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show was the Adult Amateur Hunter Over 46 Championship, won by a woman who has been riding for 40 years. Seniors Day, where seniors are admitted free, was presented in association with 50 Plus Senior News, the monthly newspaper for Long Island and New York seniors.
Sherry Robertson's gray mare, Inverness, was champion after winning two classes over fences and finishing ninth in another jumping class and ninth in an under-saddle class, where entries are judged on how well they perform at the walk, trot and canter. Primary Colors, ridden by Cynthia Wong of Southampton, NY, was reserve champion.
Robertson, 52, of Edgemont, PA, bought Inverness two years ago, but an eye injury delayed the mare's training. Inverness's first show was the 2000 Hampton Classic, where she was second in Adult Hunter. "I've been lucky," said Robertson, whose hunters Lyphard Cay and Pacific Trade have been successful show horses. "I've had lots of nice horses, maybe a half-dozen sensational horses. I think they can be sensational when you put them in the spot where they belong, instead of forcing a round peg into a square hole. Why make it any harder than it has to be?"
Robertson has followed her own advice with Inverness, who was in training to be a jumper when Robertson discovered her. Robertson realized the horse was better suited as a show hunter. She has taken her to about 10 shows this season, and the mare has been champion or reserve at every show. "As a jumper, she was nervous and uptight," said Robertson. "She had all the attributes of what should be a nice horse if you can make everything work out. She had to learn a whole new job description. Now she's got it down pretty well."
Robertson started out riding Western when she was 12, but she switched after her friends, all riding English, left her behind at the first jump. She's been showing and hunting ever since. Now Inverness is her latest project. "Some horses enjoy showing," Robertson pointed out. "They get a kick out of it. Inverness knows when she has done well. She's got a little different walk to her."