Mitchell, Stewart, and Colvin Win Double Championships in WCHR Week
Brady Mitchell and King of Blue, a six-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Bravour, were second, third, and fourth over fences and second in the under saddle to also claim the championship in one section of the Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3'6".
Mitchell and his mount, Seaside, owned by Eliza Kimball, won the Heathman Farm Performance Hunter 3’6” Section A championship after they placed first in the under saddle and first, second, and third over fences.
Mitchell has placed third, fourth, and fifth in the Hunter Spectacular at WEF, but is still searching for a win, saying, “I am dying to win it; it’s like the Aachen of hunters.”
Scott Stewart took home two championship wins today aboard Catch Me, owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC, in the Antares Sellier France High Performance Working Hunter division, and aboard Lucador, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, in the High Performance Conformation Hunter division.
Catch Me, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding, was champion last week in the WEF 5 Amateur Owner Hunter Over 35 with Becky Gochman, and continued to impress the judges into week six as Stewart piloted the grey to first place in the High Performance Working Hunter under saddle. The pair were first, first, and second over fences.
Victoria Colvin was named champion in one section of week six’s Marshall & Sterling Insurance Performance Working Hunter 3’3” division. Colvin and her mount, For Ever, owned by Victoria Colvin LLC, were first, first, and second over fences.
Colvin, who has had the six-year-old gelding for a few years now, emerged from her championship presentation in ring seven and hopped on the young Holsteiner bareback with a big smile on her face.
For Immediate Release
Emily Riden for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Wellington, FL – February 9, 2018 – Friday’s $35,000 Bainbridge 1.45m Classic CSI5* marked the second major win in as many days for U.S. Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward, who captured the Friday victory at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) aboard Bellefleur PS Z. WEF continues through April 1 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, and offers more than $9 million in prize money.
The fifth week of WEF, sponsored by Fidelity Investments®, features CSI 5* competition from February 7-11 and the $384,000 Fidelity Investments® Grand Prix beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 10.
The $35,000 Bainbridge 1.45m Classic had 54 entries contesting the speed track set by course designer Kelvin Bywater of Great Britain. Seventeen of those entries completed the course without fault, but none were faster than Ward, who was fresh off a win in Thursday’s $132,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 5 aboard his 2017 FEI World Cup Final champion mount HH Azur. This time, Ward tripped the timers in 55.88 seconds riding Bellefleur PS Z, a nine-year-old Zangersheide mare owned by Ward’s godmother, Susan Heller, and Ward’s daughter, Lilly.
“My godmother bought half of her with the stipulation that my half was owned by Lilly Ward because she thought that maybe that would prevent me from selling – which, who knows,” Ward explained. “I absolutely love the mare. She loves her job. She’s a fighter, a trier, just a wonderful horse to be able to compete.”
Second place with a time of 57.88 seconds went to Ireland’s Darragh Kenny riding USA Normande, owned by Paillot Equestrian. Rounding out the top three were Karen Polle (JPN) and Little Lord with a time of 58.38 seconds.
“She’s a very fast horse naturally,” Ward said of Bellefleur and his winning time, two seconds faster than Kenny’s second place finish. “I actually didn’t do all of the leave outs. Her stride isn’t massive, but she’s just quick across the floor. She’s super careful, so you don’t really have to set her up anywhere.
“You have a different flavor every week here and this was an English course builder and traditionally with English course designers, you have a lot of roll backs; they rode the horse on a short stride,” Ward continued. “You see that in the course, which is interesting and a different challenge.”
Bellefleur’s win also marked a birthday victory for the mare’s youngest owner, as Lilly Ward turned three years old on Friday. However, while exciting for most, for the three-year-old Lilly, Bellefleur’s win will likely be well overshadowed by her own birthday party later in the day.
Photo Gallery by Alden Corrigan Media
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