Which WEF Hunter Jumped It Best?

Feb 15, 2018 - 3:31 PM

Wellington, Fla.—Feb. 15   

I once saw a shirt that said, “Why do I have issues? My sport literally begins with the phrase ‘You are now being judged.’ ”

It was silly, and as a hunter rider it made me laugh at the strange, strange sport we inhabit. For normal people, sitting around and judging people is what you do at shopping malls and music festivals, not an activity wherein you pay thousands of dollars to be the one getting judged. It’s like show jumping, but with more self loathing and perfectionism. (For example, I’ve never come out of a show jumping round wanting to crawl under a rock because I ruined my entire round with a late lead change.)

It’s a beautiful, subjective world we hunters live in, so let’s embrace it! Please join me in a round of Who Jumped It Better? You be the judge and pick which horse’s picture from Thursday’s World Champion Hunter Rider rounds at the Winter Equestrian Festival you like most. Pick the cutest, the prettiest, the most athletic, whatever your heart desires!

Pictures, you are now being judged.

Google It and Jennifer Bliss. Half the appeal of this horse is his adorable expression going around the ring—he’s competing in the 3’6″ green division, and you can just tell he so badly wants to do the right thing. Then he gets to the fence and jumps like this! Photo by Ann Glavan.
New Addition and Jennifer Bauersachs. New Addition resents the fact that any bays are called plain because it’s no plain old horse that jumps like this. Photo by Ann Glavan.
‘Round Midnight and Erynn Ballard. You’ve got to love a horse that wants to have his knees that high and tight! Photo by Ann Glavan.
More Fun and Kelley Farmer. These two won the class with a score of 90 in the 3’6″ green division, and it’s easy to see why with that classic form. Photo by Ann Glavan.

Who did you pick? The super tidy bay? The plain bay with fancy style? They’re all wonderful—we’d give them all blue ribbons if we could. OK, brief palate-cleanser before Round 2, the flat phase: Here’s a cute pup.

Look at him. Look how cute he is having his morning coffee, guarding his grooming box. Photo by Ann Glavan.
With Honors and Maria Rasmussen. You’ve gotta love a classic chestnut with a lil’ white star. Photo by Ann Glavan.
Chicago and Patricia Griffith. Classic form, classic equitation—this pair got second in the hack, and it’s easy to see why! Photo by Ann Glavan.
Luster and Scott Stewart. Not just another pretty gray face but also a snappy mover! Photo by Ann Glavan.
S&L Just A Cobbler and Liza Boyd. These guys won an over-fences class in the 3’9″ green division. Photo by Ann Glavan.

Look at those cute little toes! They’re cutting daisies left and right! OK, Round 3, are you ready for it? Grab your favorite judgey buddy and get ready for the Battle of the Grays.

We do it all for bits of ribbons, cloth and trophies. Well, and because horses are magical creatures, and we love them. Photo by Ann Glavan.
Luster and Scott Stewart. What’s not to like about this picture? Photo by Ann Glavan.
Galileo and Holly Orlando—gotta love a gray that still has his young horse dapples! Photo by Ann Glavan.
Storm Watch and Scott Stewart. These are the snappiest knees in all the galaxy. Photo by Ann Glavan.

Forget about those Fifty Shades Of Grey movies—these are the only grays you need in your life.

OK, time for the final round! Judges start your engines, but first here’s a picture of the winners of last year’s $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular, Catch Me and Scott Stewart, competing in this year’s high performance division.

His name is Snoopy, and he’s perfect—Catch Me and Scott Stewart. Photo by Ann Glavan.

The final round of pictures:

With Honors and Maria Rasmussen. I need to pull out my thesaurus and list every word for adorable. Photo by Ann Glavan.
Private Practice and Tori Colvin. Check out how he’s examining the jump on his way over! Photo by Ann Glavan.
Cayman and Arly Golombek. This guy just makes it look so easy, like, “Oh don’t mind me I’m just going to pop over this with perfectly square knees, easy breezy.” Photo by Ann Glavan.

How did you do? Did you follow your heart? Did you listen to your gut?

You can’t go wrong with any of these guys—some of the best hunters in the country are in Wellington this week to try and earn a spot in this year’s $100,000 Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular, held Saturday night under the lights in the main arena. Riders qualify horses by taking champion or reserve in a division jumping 3’6″ or over, and so far Liza Boyd, Kelley Farmer, Scott Stewart, Louise Serio, Chris Payne, Jennifer Hannan and Patricia Griffith have all earned themselves spots to compete. (You can’t be sure if they’ll actually ride in the class yet or which horse they will chose to take—riders are limited to two horses, and some of the horses they qualified on will be ridden by junior or amateurs in the Spectacular should they qualify out of their division.)

IMPORTANT LINKS: All the COTH WCHR week coverage  |  the WEF show website  |  results  |  live streaming

Categories: Blog Entry, Hunters

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