Lexington, Ky.—Aug. 15
Hunt Tosh was his own biggest competition in today’s USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship. Two of his rides earned identical scores of 177 to tie for the championship in the debut final of the new series.
Kelley Farmer rode Scripted to third in the class, and young professional Shawn Casady earned fourth on Sedona for Susan Stanley.
Casanova, who competed in the 3’3” section of the debut championship with Tosh, set the bar high early with marks of 89 and 88 for owner Betsee Parker. His barnmate Crisp came back 11 rounds later to equal Casanova’s overall score (87 and 90).
Check out the rounds here:
The rules dictate that a tie for first place would prompt a jump-off, and that all other ties would remain equal. Tosh was warming up his fourth and final horse for the class when owners Betsee Parker (Casanova) and Douglas Wheeler (Crisp) walked to the schooling area to tell him that neither horse would jump again: they’d talked it over and decided to keep it tied, earning $17,378.90 each.
“It was a pretty easy decision,” said Wheeler, Keswick, Va. “They’re both from the same barn, and they’ve been so good. There’s nothing left to ask of them.”
Tosh has been riding Casanova since this winter when that Dutch Warmblood (Carolus II—Sally) came over from Europe via Emil Spadone. Casanova, then owned by Wheeler, debuted in the first year ring, but Tosh stepped him down to the pregreen division to give him a few more miles. Parker purchased the chestnut this summer.
Crisp is a newer ride for Tosh. Brothers Douglas and Kenneth Wheeler purchased him via Terry Brown this summer.
“We didn’t know how Crisp would handle the environment, but they both went beautifully,” said Tosh, Milton, Ga. “He tried to be great in the second class [yesterday] and I made a mistake at the last jump. But they both tried to win every class. To tie today was really cool.
“I get a kick out of the young ones,” he continued. “It’s neat to find ones you think are talented and bring them along, especially when you get a day like today. It’s hard to be good on the right day, for the young ones especially. It’s neat when all the stars line up. They’re both truly special horses."
Yesterday no fewer than 107 horses took a turn around the Stonelea Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park to vie for their share of a whopping $157,990. Casanova and Crisp started their hot streak yesterday, each winning a trip in the two-round qualifier, and Casanova finished second in the second class as well. The top 30 pregreen horses—3’ and 3’3” competed against one another at their respective heights—qualified to come back with a clean slate today. Despite limited experience, there were few major mistakes in the ring, and the top 10 finishers all broke the 80 mark.
“It was really impressive to see so many exquisite hunter types—beautiful movers and beautiful jumpers—in that ring,” said Wheeler.
Want more hunter action? Check out our USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships page. Competition kicks off Friday, Aug. 16.