Nearly a year ago today, Private Practice made his debut in the hunter ring, beginning a year of tremendous success with Tori Colvin in the irons. As the 2019 World Championship Hunter Rider Week at the Winter Equestrian Festival kicks off, the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association named Private Practice as the 2018 WCHR Hunter of the Year, which will be presented to owner Brad Wolf during the 2019 $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular on Feb. 16.
“Private Practice is the epitome of a true hunter—style, beauty, movement and athleticism,” said WCHR Task Force Chair Caroline Weeden.
Trained by Tom Wright and ridden to numerous championships throughout 2018 by Colvin, Private Practice has quickly earned his place among the top hunters. He earned champion or reserve champion at numerous competitions in 2018, including the Platinum Performance USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship and champion in the 3’9″ green hunter section at the Devon (Pennsylvania) and Pennsylvania National horse shows.
Wright, who has trained many top hunters and was himself awarded the 2018 WCHR Lifetime Achievement Award during last year’s Capital Challenge Horse Show (Maryland), attributes Private Practice’s success to natural ability, a willingness to learn and an incredible team.
“[Private Practice] has extraordinary jumping style, movement and beauty. That being said, he has an uncanny instinct to learn and retain his training. He’s incredibly keen to follow his rider’s instructions and then rarely make an error,” said Wright. “[He] also possesses an unusual combination of bravery carefulness. All these characteristics make for a very special horse.
“He has a wonderful owner in Dr. Brad Wolf, who has enjoyed the business for decades and follows and believes in our training program,” continued Wright. “This would all be impossible without Tori Colvin as rider, Torrey Hardison overseeing and managing his care, veterinarian Dave Kron, blacksmith Paul Turner, and caretaker Aurelio Elizondo.”
The 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Lordanos will be recognized as the 2018 WCHR Hunter of the Year during the prestigious $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular on Saturday night. At the beginning of the class, owner Brad Wolf will be presented with the 2018 Peter Wetherill Cup, which is given each year to a current equine athlete that exemplifies the qualities of a top-class show hunter. The winner of this award is based on WCHR member nominations and selected by the WCHR Peter Wetherill Cup Selection Committee.
“We as a collective group couldn’t be more proud of our horse, or be more thrilled by the acknowledgement from the WCHR,” said Wright. “Peter Wetherill was a dear friend, and I’m just honored to have Brad and Private Practice recognized with this trophy named in his honor. Peter exemplified what it means to be a true horseman and a class act. This award is just so special.”