Scott Stewart Rides to Three-peat Victory in Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship

Scott Stewart and Playbook

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 17, 2017 – Already a two-time Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Champion with titles from 2014 and 2016, the defending winner Scott Stewart can now add another accolade to his name as the 2017 Champion aboard Fashion Farm’s Playbook. Stewart and Playbook consistently laid down superb trips over all three phases of competition, never placing below third position or scoring less than 86.50 points to ultimately ride away with the Bye For Now Perpetual Trophy as well as the greatest share of the prize money ahead of more than 140 other competitors.

With a score of 263.50, Katherine Newman and Dandelion, owned by Allwyn Court and Dandelion Group, rode to the early lead as one of the first few finalists to take their turn over designer Patrick Rodes’ course. Each subsequent competitor aimed to chase them down, but their efforts all proved fruitless until Stewart, the last to ride for the day, entered the Walnut Ring aboard Playbook, a chestnut gelding towering at 17.3hh. With scores of 263.00 and 263.50 in the previous two phases of competition, Stewart and Playbook were faced with the challenge of topping their previous performances if they hoped to claim the top honors. The pair did not disappoint, capping off the championship finale with marks of 91.00, 89.00 and 87.75 from the judges panel for a cumulative score of 267.75, the second-best score of the three-day competition. Stewart and the 7-year-old reached another feat as the only pair to break the 90-point threshold for the day.

Scott Stewart and Playbook named 2017 Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Champions
Scott Stewart and Playbook named 2017 Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Champions

Stewart and Playbook have a wonderful relationship after two years together. Glen Senk bought the easygoing gelding when he was 5 years old, and he has experienced considerable success in the show ring with Stewart at the helm. The pair frequently earned top placings during the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival and, most recently, the Kentucky Spring Horse Show in May, Playbook’s last horse show appearance until now. Stewart and the chestnut clearly did not need the competitive practice as was evident by their consistent performances that led them to the championship. Though Playbook is still green, Stewart credits his calm demeanor as a contributing factor to their win, and hopes to maintain their winning ways in the upcoming Capital Challenge as well as next year’s Winter Equestrian Festival.

Scott Stewart and Playbook
Scott Stewart and Playbook

Newman and the 6-year-old Dandelion finished as reserve champions in their debut Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships, followed by Victoria Colvin and Snowday, owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC, in third position with their score of 258.50. Colvin was the only rider to finish with two mounts in the top ten, navigating Antinori, another John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC mount, to ninth place overall. Close behind Colvin for fourth place was Patricia Griffith with the ride on S & L Lion King, owned by S & L Farms, with Daniel Geitner in the irons aboard Brenda Mackay’s Eleventh Hour just one point behind to capture the fifth place honors.

Thursday’s finale round concludes the 2017 Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships, but hunter action will continue at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show throughout the week, with the USHJA International Hunter Derby taking place Friday and Saturday.

FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE

Scott Stewart – Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Champion

On his reaction to winning another championship:
“I’m so happy. He was really good all week and he went early every class so he was leading a lot until the end. Today was reverse and we got to go last, so it worked out better. He was awesome.”

On Playbook:
“He’s really laid back, almost too quiet. It took him a while to grow up physically because he’s so big. He’s probably 17.3hh, so he was a little uncoordinated for awhile, and it took him a little while to get coordinated and finish growing. He really just finished growing now that he’s 7 [years old].”

On working with green horses:
“We bought him off of a video. He was doing a little dressage, and had barely jumped at all. I’ve had a few Samba Hit [babies] and I like them, they’re all very pretty. He looked the part. [With green horses], you never know, but I think it’s great. I love the horses and bringing them along so it justifies getting them when one wins.”

On Kentucky Horse Shows:
“It’s great. It’s the best place to show and it’s very nice.”

Katherine Newman – Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Reserve Champion

Katherine Newman and Dandelion
Katherine Newman and Dandelion

On her reaction to finishing reserve in her first Green championship:
“I was really excited. Even after I went, I knew I was in the lead but I wasn’t sure – there are a lot of nice horses in that class so I really didn’t think I’d hang on until the very end. It’s been a goal of mine this entire year for this horse to do this class and the win yesterday really meant a lot. Even today it was amazing and it was fun just to do it because I’ve never gotten to do this before. I knew [Dandelion] could win it if I gave her a good shot so it was nice to have one that I had a good chance with.”

On Dandelion:
“She’s super laid back, really fun to ride. She always tries really hard at the jumps. We just get to gallop around a little bit and make sure I don’t get in her way. She’s very personable and people-oriented so it’s nice to have one like that too. We imported her at the end of 2015 from England. Then we sort of started slow. She showed for the first time as a hunter a year ago in July. Now I think we have to re-evaluate what we’re doing because this was our end goal so we’ll see what’s next. If I have her or another horse like her [I think I’ll have a good chance of being at the top next year].”

Tori Colvin – Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive, third place

Victoria Colvin and Snowday
Victoria Colvin and Snowday

On Snowday:
“This is his third horse show ever. He showed two weeks in Michigan and now he’s here.The Ingrams got him from Kent Farrington at the end of Florida. He brought him over and then we tried him and then we bought him basically right there. He’s 6 years old and very green. He acts a little young, but he rose to the occasion here. He’s really fun. He has a big personality. I think he’s going to be really nice. [Kent Farrington] said that if he didn’t work out as a hunter he knows he could be an amazing jumper because he jumps so well.”

On her expectations going into the final phase:
“I didn’t know what to expect. I knew he was going to be fine because he’s not spooky or anything, but I wasn’t expecting him to be as good as he was so we’re all pleased he was so good.”

RESULTS

Place / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score

Green Hunter Incentive – Championship Round
1. Scott Stewart / Playbook / Fashion Farm / 267.750
2. Katherine Newman / Dandelion / Allwyn Court & Dandelion Group / 263.500
3. Victoria Colvin / Snowday / John & Stephanie Ingram, LLC / 258.500
4. Patricia Griffith / S & L Lion King / S & L Farms / 257.000
5. Daniel Geitner / Eleventh Hour / Brenda Mackay / 256.000
6. Peter Pletcher / Gabbana / Blackstone Farms, Ltd / 254.000
7. Sara Taylor / Calistro / Sherri Crawford / 253.000
7. Nick Haness / Girl Glorious / Santa Rosa Group / 253.000
9. Victoria Colvin / Antinori / John & Stephanie Ingram, LLC / 250.500
10. Brooke Baldwin-de Grazia / Sinatra / Tina Allen / 249.000
11. Havens Schatt / Serena / Melanie Jeanes / 248.000
12. Patricia Griffith / Sahara / Callie Seaman / 247.000
12. Chris Wynne / Craftsman / Reynolds Martin / 247.000

For more information on the 2017 Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship, please click here.

David O’Bri