Scott Stewart Rides to Three-peat Victory in Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship PDF Print E-mail
Written by Elaine Wessel   
Friday, 18 August 2017 11:17
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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.

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.

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 - 2017 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."

 
Kentucky Horse Park