Wellington, Fla.—Feb. 18
The show hunter takeover at the Winter Equestrian Festival with Sunday’s $5,000 Peggy Cone Memorial WCHR Adult Hunter Classic and the $5,000 WCHR 3’3″ Junior Hunter Classic.
The adult hunter classic saw 78 riders take to its test. Coco Fath, 18, earned an overall score of 170 to take the victory on Akinda, her 14-year-old warmblood mare.
“This is my first time doing the adults, so I’ve never seen this class go,” said Fath. “I saw the course, and it looked really nice; simple enough but it had some parts where there was room for error.”
Fath has owned Akinda for the past five years, and the mare last competed with Brooke Morin in October 2018. After aging out from the juniors, Fath decided to give the 3-foot division a go.
“I wasn’t going in there expecting anything, just to have nice rounds with her today and finish out with a good first week showing. So, I was so excited and so happy. This couldn’t have been better.”
The junior classic took shape in the form of a California split. The top 24 of 51 riders were invited back, and there were two finishers per placing.
Brenna Magness and the 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Hey King won section A.
“I’ve had him for less than a year, and he’s amazing,” said Magness. “I was not expecting [the win] at all. I just wanted a nice clean round and just wanted to get around in this huge ring that’s spooky. I just wanted to do the best I could, so I’m shocked.”
Hannah Hoch and the 12-year-old warmblood mare Clear Sailing took section B.
“I loved the course; it was very left lead-oriented and [Clear Sailing] prefers the left lead, so I thought that was a good advantage for her,” said Hoch. “The jumps were peeky enough that she gave a good effort over all of them, and I really enjoyed riding in the big ring.”