Triple Threat Hunters Take the Stage

Scott Stewart on Dedication
Scott Stewart on Dedication

Memorial Day brought the crowds to the Devon Horse Show and those crowds were in for a treat.  The main event in the Dixon Oval was a series of hunter classes.  First up were the conformation hunters, the true "triple threats" of the horse show world.  Conformation hunters not only have to jump and move well-but they have to look good doing it.  And look good they did!  Unlike other hunters, these horses are judged in a "model" class according to how closely their physique matches the ideal hunter horse. 

In the green conformation hunters, the model was won by Concept.  Concept is owned by Krista Weisman and shown by Scott Stewart.  The first over fences class was won by Back Story owned by Tia Schurecht.  Back Story was piloted to top honors by Kelley Farmer. Back Story also won the "hack," or under saddle class.  Quotable took top honors in the first regular conformation model, shown to the blue by Kelley Farmer for Kenneth Garner.  Back Story again was on top of the first over fences class for the regular conformation hunters.  The blue in the second jumping round went to Jessica Stitt's Taken ridden by Kelley Farmer.

The first and second year green hunters read like a who's-who of top east-coast professional riders.  Scott Stewart, Kelly Farmer, Elizabeth Solter, Havens Schatt, Winn Alden, Haylie Jayne and Sandy Ferrell all had mounts in these classes.  The first over fences class of the first years was won by Starina B of Pony Lane Farm, ridden by Haylie Jayne.  The second over fences class was won by Bacardi owned by Caroline Moran and ridden by Havens Schatt.

In the second years, the winner was Jennifer Stillman's Queen Latifa ridden by Jamie Taylor.  Iwasaki and Reilly's Small Celebration was ridden to first place in the under saddle by Taylor Adams.  The green hunters got a special "green visitor" during their classes-the Phillie Phanatic appeared to cheer on the horses!  He seemed a little surprised to see the sea of bay, chestnut, and gray horses.  Apparently he never got the memo that green horses aren't green in color, they're green simply because they're less experienced than other show horses. 
The high performance hunters were the stars of the day.  Many of these horses will be back in the hunter derby that ends the Devon Horse Show.  Dr. Betsee Parker's Dedication took home the blue in the first over fences class with Scott Stewart in the irons.  He also won the hack.  If Dedication looks familiar, maybe it's because he was champion at Devon last year as a second-year green hunter.  Looks like this bay holsteiner is back for more winning.