Upper Marlboro, MD – Capital Challenge Horse Show (CCHS) presented by Well Placed Smile, ushered in talented Future Hunters today alongside a large number of proven professional combinations as divisional champions were honored throughout the day. Competition at CCHS continues through Sunday, October 5, with several highly anticipated World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) classes still to come on the 2015 schedule.
Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL, made a strong statement in the ring today, piloting several of his mounts to divisional championships throughout the day. From horses in the Future Hunter 5 & Under Division to mounts competing against the best in the High Performance Hunters, Stewart made the most of his day at CCHS, laying down consistent rounds well received by the judges
Scott Stewart and A Million Reasons
A Million Reasons, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, captured top honors in the High Performance Hunter division presented by Sherre Sims and Rendezvous Farm, collecting scores of 89.25, 91.00, 85.00, and 83.25 in their respective four over fences classes in the division, as well as going on to earn the winning ribbon in the under saddle portion of the division. Stewart and A Million Reasons sealed the High Performance Hunter Championship honors in front of Kelley Farmer and Mindful, who followed with reserve honors.
“She’s really been great all year, and she honestly seems to do better in the indoor atmosphere,” said Stewart. “The first time I ever showed her was last year at Washington [International Horse Show] and she was very good.”
Scott Stewart and A Million Reasons in their presentation ceremony
The 2005 Holsteiner mare (Coriano x Inema) has become a major presence in Stewart’s talented and ever-growing string of top hunter mounts since he took over the ride last fall and she continues to add winning trips in many of the largest hunter classes offered in the United States. The duo was rewarded for their nearly perfect round yesterday, receiving a 91.00, which was the division’s overall highest score.
“Yesterday she just went unbelievably. We tried to match that today and didn’t quite get there but it was still very good. She has a very big stride, and it’s easy to ride and stay smooth,” he explained. “When she broke into the 90’s yesterday I thought it was just flawless on her part. She’s so pretty in between the jumps and is just the true definition of a hunter.”
A familiar face around the CCHS grounds for a number of years, Stewart returns to the show because of the quality of competition and the opportunity to compete a variety of horses. He will continue the week contesting the WCHR Pro Challenge and Pro Final classes hosted at CCHS on Wednesday, September 30, and Friday, October 2.
“I think everyone always brings their top horses here and always aims to do their best. It is really one of the most competitive shows of the year in my opinion,” he commented. “It’s just everyone’s A-game and the conditions are always great, the jumps are good, and I think the horses are always well-behaved. It’s the start of indoor season and that is always a very important time for everyone. I think this show is a special kick-off.”
Hunt Tosh of Alpharetta, GA, also had a banner day, collecting divisional titles in the Second Year Green Working Hunters, Performance Hunters 3’6” presented by Nicole Kane and South Shore Farms, and the Future Hunter 3’3” division sponsored by Tosh and his wife Mandy. Tosh, who brought a number of talented horses to Capital Challenge this year, rode Pandora, owned by Teton Farms, LLC to a tricolor in the Second Year Green Working Hunter division, after only taking the ride on the 2007 grey Warmblood mare last week in Lexington, KY
“I just started riding about a week ago so she’s still pretty new to me. She held it together in the first class yesterday and she was definitely pretty fresh, but today she just went beautifully and I thought she was incredible in the first class today,” said Tosh. “She had a great round in the handy, and it was nice to pull that back together after a small miscommunication yesterday.”
“She just jumped beautifully in the schooling ring and the first trip of today was by far her nicest trip. She’s very scopey and rangey. Just very straightforward and a solid and easy ride,” he continued.
Tosh added to his early success with a solid performance from Cold Harbor, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, who took divisional honors in the Performance Hunter 3’6”. Tosh is eager to return to Capital Challenge each year and believes the show highlights the best of the hunters and the foundation of the sport. “It’s really special here and they do such a great job with presentations and make such a big deal out of the horses and riders, which is incredibly nice,” he noted. “Everyone is geared up here, and we all know that we’ll be seeing a lot of each other through the indoor season. It’s an important show for everyone heading in that direction.”