Lexington, KY – May 12, 2021 – Competitors were eager as Kentucky Horse Shows kicked off its 2021 show series Wednesday, May 12, at the famed Kentucky Horse Park. Scott Stewart took to hunter competition with a strong start to the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, riding to first place honors in the highly competitive Green Hunter Incentive Stake aboard Dr. Betsee Parker’s Nottingham. The windy, cool weather proved to be a challenge for many, but the nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding stepped up to the plate and made a splash with his impressive round to earn a score of 88, which helped them to secure top honors.
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” heights. 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. The program and stake classes bring forth some of the top hunter athletes across the country.
In addition to his first place finish, Stewart piloted his second mount in the order of go, Hudson, also owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, to a solid second place finish after scoring an 84. The pair’s stellar performance early on would help them hold the second-place finish for the remainder of the class. Hudson, a nine-year-old Westphalian stallion, has an unbelievable record with Stewart, winning top honors in the High-Performance Hunter division at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). The two share a close bond and have a bright future ahead.
Christopher Payne was first in the ring to try his hand at the Green Hunter Incentive Stake course aboard Still Water Farm LLC’s Gratitude. Payne gave it a strong start, scoring an 83, which would ultimately help him secure a solid third-place finish just one point behind Stewart’s second-place mount, Hudson.
Rounding out his afternoon in the Green 3’6” Hunter division, Stewart and Nottingham won both over fences classes, which will give the pair valuable points towards the highly-anticipated USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships.
Hunter competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show will continue in the StoneLea Ring Thursday morning beginning at 7:30 a.m., beginning with the continuation of the Green 3’6” Hunter followed by the Green Conformation Hunter division.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Scott Stewart – Green Hunter Incentive Stake winner
“Nottingham is fairly new. We got him Week Nine in Florida [during the Winter Equestrian Festival] and purchased him in a European Select Auction there. He was champion a few times in Florida and he went great today. Despite him being new, he has been great the past few weeks of shows.”
On the Kentucky Horse Show Series:
“It feels great to be back in Kentucky. The weather feels great even though it is a bit cooler than Florida. We were ready for some cooler weather after just leaving Florida. It has been great so far and it is always nice to show here. The jumps and courses are beautiful and it is always nice to come back to the beautiful horse park.”
On his upcoming plans:
“Our plan after this was to head to Devon but now that it is no longer, we will be staying here for another week and then head home for a couple of weeks. Our plan after Kentucky is to head to Upperville.”