Washington, D.C.—Oct. 23
By the time the professional hunter divisions finished up, the cupcake boxes atop Scott Stewart’s tack trunk had grown to a small mountain.
Even if you knew nothing about equestrian sport, if you spent any time at the Washington International this morning you’d remember Stewart’s name as it rang out over the speakers more than anyone else’s. Of the five professional divisions, Stewart won all five, was the leading hunter rider and brought home a pair of reserves to boot.
“I love the city here [and] the horse show, and if you have the right horses to come it’s a really nice venue to come to,” said Stewart. “It’s one of the last ones that you get to come to the city, so it’s nice.”
It was Betsee Parker’s Cameo who left with the grand championship title after winning the high performance division. The 12-year-old warmblood by Coriano also took home the Protocol Trophy as the high performance horse that did the best at Washington, the Pennsylvania National and Devon (Pennsylvania).
“He’s matured,” said Stewart. “He was always easy, but he’s gotten easier, and he’s actually gotten a little more consistent as he’s gotten older. I think he knows what to expect.”
Stewart rode Krista and Alexa Weisman’s Sports Page to the grand green championship after topping the 3’9” green hunters. Typically the 7-year-old Baden-Wurttemberg gelding (Carrico—Aruba) does double duty in the amateur-owners with Krista, but he’s had an easy year as she took some time off to have a baby.
Stewart’s other champions included Love Note in the 3’6” greens, Private Life in the regular conformation hunters and Critic’s Choice in the green conformation. While each of the horses are quite different, there’s one thing they have in common.
“They can’t take too much work to get ready,” said Stewart. “The quieter horses obviously do better because there’s limited space to get them ready. You don’t want to bring too difficult of a horse here.”
Stewart has been a household name at the country’s biggest shows for years, but that doesn’t mean walking into the ring is a piece of cake—he still gets nervous.
“The other night I didn’t really sleep at all,” he said. “Monday night I was up most of the night worrying about it, thinking about it, but we had great people working for us, so everybody gets done pretty organized, so it helps a lot.”
The Chronicle will be on site at Washington International all week. Keep up with all the Chronicle’s online coverage, and follow the Chronicle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @Chronofhorse. We will have full analysis of the competition in the Nov. 18 issue of the magazine. Subscribe today!