|Scott Stewart and Storm Watch Take Over Lead in USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship|
|Written by Caroline Nickolaus|
|Thursday, 18 August 2016 15:55|
Scott Stewart guided Rivers Edge’s Storm Watch into the new leading position on the second day of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship with a total of 520.5 points. Storm Watch is a 6-year-old Oldenburg by Chacco Blue, and even as a relatively new addition to the River’s Edge team, he has made his mark at the Kentucky Horse Park during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.
“We bought him at the end of last year, when he was still a stallion,” Stewart explained. “He got castrated, and then he was shown a couple times in Florida in the Pre-Green Hunters. Then, he did Kentucky Spring Horse Show and I haven’t really shown my horses since then, so he’s just been at home getting trained.”
The gray gelding placed fifth over the Patrick Rodes-designed course today, after being tied for second place yesterday.
“He was awesome. He was great both rounds. He’s very laid back. He likes to go like a hunter with his head and neck low,” Stewart said. “He’s probably one of the best jumpers I’ve ever had. He really tries hard ever time over these jumps that are kind of small for him.”
Stewart’s plan for tomorrow’s third and final round of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship will be simple and straightforward.
“He’s pretty laid-back, so I only jump a few verticals before I go in. He’s brave, so I’m not going to do too much. He’s pretty quiet as well,” Stewart said.
He continued, “Today, I only jumped three jumps and went in. They’re all getting a little tired.”
When asked about the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship, Scott said, “I think its great. Its nice prize money for these young horses and we get to showcase them a little bit. It’s a very good thing for the hunters.”
While Storm Watch is currently in the lead overall, it was Tim Goguen and Davidson that captured the blue ribbon today during the second over-fences round of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship.
Goguen was quick to mention that Davidson really tries to give it his all in the show ring, and that is what helped him both days.
“He went really well today and yesterday,” Goguen stated. “He’s just a trier, he’s been really good. He’s been going well for the past two days. He got a low score the first day from one of the judges. I think he was like, 25th overall going in, but I think today moved him up a little bit."
Davidson, a homebred warmblood, has only been showing under the expertise of Goguen since the end of June. Despite their short time together, Davidson has made it to the winner’s circle every time out.
“I started riding him at the Country Heir Horse Show, which was in June or July, and I’ve shown him maybe three times,” Goguen shared. “He’s been champion all three times. He’s just been a great horse.”
Davidson enters tomorrow’s phase in the ninth place position, with a total of 513.5 points.
Dr. Betsee Parker’s Liberty Road is now in second place overall with 519 points. Chicago, owned by Douglas Wheeler, narrowly missed the second place spot with 518 points. Both horses were ridden by esteemed hunter rider, Hunt Tosh.
On Wednesday afternoon, a new winner for 2016 will be crowned as the championship will culminate after the top 30 horses battle it out for the coveted title. All horse and rider combinations will have a clean slate for the championship round. The course walk for the third and final round is set to begin at 3:15 p.m. and officials can begin walking the course at 4:15 p.m. The opening ceremonies will take place at 4:30 p.m., and the championship round is planned for a 5 p.m. start.
Other highlight events during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show include the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, which will take place over the course of two days, and the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby. Jumper highlights include the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, and the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington.