Tosh Has A Memorable Day At Devon

May 29, 2018 - 5:10 PM

Devon, Pa.—May 29

Few people are celebrating more than Hunt Tosh at the end of the green hunter divisions at the Devon Horse Show. Though the Wheeler family is probably right alongside him. Tosh took home two championships from Devon, the 3’6” green hunters with Bastogne, owned by Douglas Wheeler, and the green conformation with Ceil and Kenny Wheeler’s Lights Out.

Making the victory even sweeter was that the Just For Fun-Two For One Challenge Trophy, awarded to the winner of the green conformation, was presented by Kenny Wheeler Sr.

“I’m having a great day,” said Tosh. “It’s so special to have Kenny out there and having the picture. It’s good fun doing that. Obviously, we all want to be champion, but the fact that [the Wheelers] present that trophy [is special].”

Lights Out’s owner Kenny Wheeler Jr. (right) joined his father Kenny Wheeler Sr. (second right) to present Hunt Tosh the Just For Fun-Two For One Challenge Trophy. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.

Both geldings came into Tosh’s life around the same time and competed in the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship (Kentucky) before moving into their respective divisions this year. Tosh uses Devon as a marker for how they’re going, so their performances thrilled him.

“Everyone here is the best of the best,” said Tosh. “Being here to compete with everyone is so special to everyone, and to be champion where everyone is trying their hardest. We’ve been lucky and have had some horses who have gone really nicely here. It is fun to be able to come back here and be champion again.”

Hunt Tosh and Lights Out won the green conformation hunters. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.

But Tosh wasn’t so sure things were going to go his way with Bastogne. The 6-year-old warmblood had a fantastic showing up until the stake class, when the gelding swam through the in of the two-stride and then launched over the oxer out, so Tosh elected to retire.

“I’m still not quite sure what happened in that last class,” said Tosh. “He went beautifully in the three classes before that. He jumped the in-and-out solid in the first class. I’m not sure if he just lost his footing or didn’t really pay attention, but he made a major mistake there. To still end up champion is extra good. In my head, it happened so fast. I didn’t know what the points were going to be, but it worked out to his favor.”

Despite some trouble in the stakes class, Hunt Tosh and Bastogne had enough points from the other classes to win the 3’6″ green championship. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.

Private Practice Hits A High Note

If there was an award for fastest transition from jumpers to hunters, Private Practice would have that victory sewn up. Before February he’d never had his tail braided, and with just three days of hunter training he marched around the international ring at the Winter Equestrian Festival (Florida) and earned a handful of ribbons.

Those were his wild days.

Just two weeks later he won his first derby. Since then he’s been unbeatable in the 3’9” green hunters. And now he’s got another title to his name—Devon champion. With three wins and a second over fences and fourth under saddle, he solidly took the division title.

Tori Colvin and Private Practice won the 3’9″ green hunters with three blues over fences. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.

“He’s the easiest horse to ride,” said rider Tori Colvin. “He’s pretty special that way. Every round he does he gets better and better.”

And you had to be good to take home a top ribbon this year at Devon. Though the 3’9” division only had 10 entries, the scores were tight across the board.

“Out of all of the divisions, this is probably the [smallest], but probably the best scores out of all of them so far,” said Colvin.

Looking for information on where you can watch and when your favorite riders or classes go? We’ve got it all in one place for you. 

Find all our coverage from the show here, and check here for full results.

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Want more Devon? Check out the June 18 issue of the print magazine. What are you missing if you don’t subscribe?

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