Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 17, 2022 – Round two of the Platinum Performance USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship got underway on Wednesday morning accompanied by the birds chirping and the cool breeze. 133 horse-and-athlete combinations returned to Walnut Ring to try their hand at the beautifully designed course by Bobby Murphy (USA) and vie for the championship title. The shadows and the breeze tested the young horses and their greenness, adding yet another challenging element to the competitive class. Coming back even better than yesterday was Hunt Tosh aboard Kingstown, taking the top spot on the leaderboard of day two of competition. Tying for the red ribbon was Nick Haness with Trust and Tosh with Duke Of Argyll.
The Green Hunter Incentive Program is open to horses eligible to compete in the Green Hunters 3’0″, 3’3″, 3’6″, and 3’9″ divisions. The program is designed to encourage the development of green horses and is multifaceted to include the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships, regional championships, and stake classes throughout the year and across the country.
Tosh and the 9-year-old Holsteiner stallion owned by Douglas Wheeler, came back better than ever. Tosh, a two-time winner of the class, demonstrated a classic hunter performance atop Kingstown, earning an average score of approximately 88 points from the panel of three judges with an overall score of 264.5 points. The duo sat in 30th in the first round and came back eager to climb up the rankings. “Yesterday he went in and jumped a little high and little tense but today he jumped spectacularly. Nick [Haness] came right before me and tied my score from earlier, so I think it gave me a little incentive to try even harder,” comments Tosh. That extra effort catapulted the duo right to the top of the leaderboard, putting them in a positive position going into the final round of competition. Kingstown displayed experience beyond his years as he carried Tosh around the traditional hunter course with a lovely expression.
Trust, the 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Glade Run Farm, LLC, gave Haness his second appearance in the winner’s circle after taking the blue ribbon yesterday on his other mount, Circa, another Glade Run Farm, LLC entry. The flashy, composed hunter jumped in pristine form to earn a score of 264 points, only .5 a point behind Tosh. Coming in after a 45th placing from the first round, Haness turned up the pressure. From one ring to the next, Haness was unstoppable and laid down a picture-perfect round with the stunning gelding to yet again put himself in a leading position going into day three.
Tosh and his other mount, Duke Of Argyll, tied Haness for the red ribbon. The 5-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Dr. Betsee Parker did not let his age show. With the professional, seasoned guidance of Tosh, the gelding held his own in the impressively large field of competitors. The duo also wowed the judges with their flawless performance earning an overall jumping score of 264 points.
The final championship round of the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive will take place Thursday at 8:30 am in the Walnut Ring as the top 30 horse-and-rider combinations vie for the lion share of the prize money.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Hunt Tosh – Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Round Two Winner
On his horse
“Kingstown, he is a horse owned by Douglas Wheeler. We’ve had him for about a year and bought him last fall. He’s quite a good jumper having been with us for a while; we’ve really enjoyed having him.”
On how he felt going into today:
“Yesterday [Kingstown] went in, jumped a little high, a little tense. Today he came back this afternoon and was spectacular. He was my last one to do today. Nick [Haness] went right before me and tied my score from earlier so maybe that gave me a little incentive to try a little harder even, and [Kingstown] ended up winning today and he was fantastic.”
On the course:
“Today’s course was a little more straightforward. Yesterday we had some bending lines and different options, not so many related distances. Today was more of a traditional hunter course. The horses all jumped beautifully, we have been having great rounds all day long. It’s a fantastic venue and the horses always perform well here.”
On what to expect tomorrow:
“Like I said, the course today was more straightforward so it will be interesting to see how Bobby [Murphy] comes back and does the course tomorrow. At this point, they’re all green horses, young horses, so for them to perform well over two days so far, we are happy with them. Hopefully they come back and can do it on day three!”
On this event:
“Its fantastic and I’ve been lucky to have horses go well here. This class has been really good to us. We won last year overall. We won a few years ago. So to win it three times would be fantastic but it’s a great class and such a good event for the young horses.”
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Score
1. Kingstown / Hunt Tosh / Douglas Wheeler / 264.50
2. Trust / Nick Haness / Glade Run Farm LLC / 264.00
2. Duke of Argyll / Hunt Tosh / Dr. Betsee Parker / 264.00
4. Wyatt / John French / Susan Moriconi / 263. 50
5. Advent / John French / Marta Rocha / 262.00
5. Dianistria Blue / Havents Schatt / Julia McNerney / 262
7. Endeavor / Tim Gougen / Belhaven Stables LLC / 260.50
7. Circa / Nick Haness / Glade Run Farm LLC / 260.50
7. Charisto / Elizabeth Boyd / Meadowgrove Farm / 260.50
10. Mr. Special / Abbygale Funk / MMK Equestrian LLC / 260.00