Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2024

Video: McQueen Wins Historic WCHR Spectacular Triple Crown

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Nick Haness and McQueen made history Sunday evening when, after winning World Championship Hunter Rider Central Spectacular classes on both coasts, the pair won the $100,000 USHJA WCHR Central Spectacular at Traverse City (Michigan) to add the third and final jewel to their crown. 

“This is a huge, exciting win for McQueen,” said Haness, 36, Temecula, California. “It’s a class that really showcases the best of the best, and it’s so important to showcase hunters in this light. There are weekly grand prix and big money classes, but the hunter sport needs classes like this too. I had a lot of support, not only here at the show but worldwide too. We had people tuning in from Europe and the West Coast, and I had a lot of support and friends and family watching. It’s great that people get excited about the hunters and classes, and this is the reason why that happens.”

Nick Haness and McQueen won the $100,000 WCHR Hunter Spectacular on June 23 at Traverse City (Mich.). Andrew Ryback Photography Photo

Geoffrey Hesslink and Monarchy held the class lead with an averaged score of 91 points from the two panels after the first round, but Hesslink elected to retire after an unfortunate rail in the handy phase. 

Haness and McQueen brought their best to the handy round and delivered on every inside turn and long gallop to earn a score of 92 that sealed the win. 

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“This horse knows when it’s time to shine; he knows it’s a special day,” Haness said of the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Cornet Obolensky—Sanea) owned by Walkenbach Equestrian. “When it’s a special event, he kicks into another gear. Something that he exemplifies so perfectly is being a true hunter. He can gallop the ring on a loose rein and get to the jump and give you this expressive, huge, textbook-style jump. He’s a horse that doesn’t need to be produced to make him jump well, he just jumps that well naturally. I think that’s why he’s ultimately ended up being where he is right now.

As a pair, McQueen and Haness have a long list of accolades, but Haness still has one final dream on their docket. 

“I would love to win the [Platinum Performance USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship] with McQueen someday,” Haness said. “We’ve had a lot of success together, and I always say, ‘OK, that event is the last one I’m going to win. There’s nothing else we could do better than that being the last one,’ and this horse just proves to us that no matter where we go or what we do, he is always in it to win it.”

Watch their winning handy round, courtesy of ClipMyHorse.tv:

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