Scott Stewart and Garfield Are Grand Hunter Champions at the 53rd Washington International

Washington, D.C. - October 26, 2011 - The 53rd annual Washington International Horse Show continued hunter competition for professional and amateur riders today, and a multitude of championship coolers, shining trophies, and fluttering ribbons were awarded. Scott Stewart of Flemington, NJ, rode Alexandra Crown's Garfield to the Grand Hunter Championship. Stewart was also named the Leading Hunter Rider after he won four tricolor ribbons. Becky Gochman of New York, NY, swept the Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division and picked up the Grand Amateur-Owner Championship with Sambalino. Gochman was also named the Leading Amateur-Owner Rider.

The WIHS continues through Sunday, October 30. The highlight classes of the week are the $25,000 Puissance sponsored by The Boeing Company on Friday, October 28, and the $100,000 President's Cup Grand Prix presented by Events DC, CSI 3*-W on Saturday, October 29.

The hunter courses this week are designed by JP Goddard of Aiken, SC.

Stewart and Garfield won all three of their over fences classes this week in the High Performance Hunters sponsored by Pony Lane Farm. After adding a third place in the under saddle, they easily captured championship and Grand Hunter Championship honors. For the Grand Hunter Championship, they were presented with the Rave Review Challenge Trophy, donated by Stoney Hill. For their win in the High Performance Hunters, they were awarded the “NOT ALWAYS” Challenge Trophy donated by Miss Peggy Steinman. The reserve champion in the High Performance Hunters was Summer Place, ridden by Maggie Jayne for Pony Lane Farm. They received a third and two fourth places over fences and were second in the under saddle.


Garfield and Scott Stewart

Garfield also won the Protocol Trophy, awarded to the High Performance Hunter with the most points at the Devon Horse Show, Pennsylvania National Horse Show, and Washington International Horse Show.

Stewart has ridden Garfield, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Coriano, off and on for a few years but has had the regular ride over the past two months since his client, Alexandra Crown, purchased him.

“He is a blast to ride. He is probably the most athletic horse I have had,” Stewart expressed. “He could probably do the grand prix. He is really laid back and not spooky. You are just better off leaving him to himself (because) he is just simple. Kim Stewart did all the work, she trained him. He is so much fun to ride.”

Stewart said of his spectacular day, “I think Garfield’s stake class was the best, but they all were so good today. Every one of my horses was good.”


Stewart's second championship of the day came in the Green Conformation Hunters sponsored by Mrs. Stephen C. Clark, Jr. with Touchdown, owned by Becky Gochman. They won all three over fences classes plus the model for the top tricolor. The reserve champion was Moshi, ridden by Sandy Ferrell for Stephanie Riggio. They placed second, third, and fourth over fences, were second in the model, and won the under saddle.


Touchdown and Scott Stewart

For their division championship, Touchdown, a six-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Quattro B, and Stewart were presented with the Valiant Hawk Memorial Challenge Trophy, donated by Mrs. Stephen J. Clark.

“Touchdown is great. He was consistent,” Stewart said. “He is the greenest one, but he didn’t act it this week. He just turned six and he has been showing regularly this year, but he didn’t really do much last year.”

The third time was another charm for Stewart who won his third championship of the day in the First Year Green Working Hunters on Reality, owned by Krista and Alexa Weisman. They were first, second, and fourth over fences and second in the under saddle. The reserve champion was Holden, ridden by Chris Payne for Susan Moriconi. They were first, third, and third over fences.


Reality and Scott Stewart

Stewart said that Reality, an eight-year-old Mecklenburg stallion by D'Olympic, has shown lightly this year, but that “he usually wins when he goes.” Reality had the week off during Harrisburg before he came to the WIHS. “Yesterday I thought he really jumped great. Today he had one light rub. He is like a big pony to ride,” Stewart described.

For his incredible performance this year, Stewart was named the Leading Hunter Rider sponsored by The Gochman Family and presented with the Robert Coluccio Leading Hunter Rider Perpetual Trophy donated by his friends and family. The trophy comes with an interesting story, as it was originally commissioned in 1888 in New York City and belonged to John Jacob Astor IV, who along with his mother, survived the sinking of the Titanic. In addition to the trophy, Stewart won a Rolex luxury timepiece courtesy of Tiny Jewel Box. This was Stewart's sixth time winning the honor.


Scott Stewart was honored as the Leading Hunter Rider with the Robert Coluccio Leading Hunter Rider Perpetual Trophy

“I think I am fortunate that I have so many nice horses,” Stewart acknowledged. “We plan on doing this (horse show every year). We didn’t come last year, but it is nice to be back.” Stewart was also pleased to be honored with the new trophy. “It is great to win that,” Stewart said. “The trophy was beautiful.”

The Regular Conformation Hunters, sponsored by The Davis Family, had a new champion this year in Casallo, ridden by Elizabeth Boyd of Camden, SC, and owned by Erin McGuire. The pair won two over fences classes and were second in the remaining over fences class. They added a third in the model and second under saddle. For their Regular Conformation championship, they were awarded the Mary Farren Perpetual Trophy. The reserve championship went to Small Affair, ridden by John French for Iwasaki & Reilly. They received second place in two over fences classes and were second in the under saddle.


Casallo and Elizabeth Boyd

Boyd has not had the ride on Casallo, a seven-year-old Oldenburg gelding, for very long. “We actually bought him from Bob Crandall right before Devon, and I always have to give Bob all the credit for making that horse,” Boyd expressed. “He had him since he was a young horse and he imported him from Europe. He brought him along. Casallo was peaking and really ready to win this year. I just got him at the right time.”

She was very pleased with Casallo's performance this year at the WIHS. “Yesterday, I have to say, it was one of those rounds where you come out of the ring and it was great. I am pretty picky and can be a little critical of myself and my horses, but I couldn’t even find anything,” she said. “It was just one of those rounds where everything worked out perfectly. He was so focused and every distance came up right; he jumped in beautiful form. Once again, I have to give credit to my father, because he prepares that horse. He did all the flat work in the morning and I got to sleep in!”

Speaking about her championship victory, Boyd said, “It is so exciting to win here. It comes and goes when you have professional horses for yourself. A lot of us don’t always have ones to show, so we really have to thank the owners for letting us show their horses. It makes you walk away feeling good about yourself and feeling good about your program.”

The Second Year Green Working Hunter championship was awarded to Summer Place, ridden by Maggie Jayne of Elgin, IL, for Pony Lane Farm. Jayne and the nine-year-old Sachsen-Anhaltiner gelding by Levisto placed first, second, and fourth over fences and were second in the under saddle. The reserve champion was Premier, ridden by Scott Stewart for Gina Day. They were first and third over fences and won the under saddle.


Summer Place, here with trainer Alex Jayne, won the Second Year Green Hunters with rider Maggie Jayne

Jayne has ridden Summer Place for a year, and the pretty grey gelding also shows in the junior hunters with owner Madeline Thatcher. “He was extremely brave and smooth and I could not be happier; he was great. I think he will be super for Maddy tomorrow,” Jayne said. “He has come along great. It has been super that we both get to show him. He has really good stamina, so he is able to do two or three divisions and he just gets better and better. We are so lucky that he is so fit and brave.”

Jayne believes that competing in the hunter derby classes have helped Summer Place stay brave when he comes to show indoors. “That is the great part about him – he is still just as brave about everything even though this is so spooky and intimidating. We do the derbies as well, so I think that helps a lot with him coming inside because he has jumped so much that is spooky. He is just great inside, so we are really lucky,” she noted.

Summer Place and Reality tied for the Grand Green Working Hunter Championship and were awarded the Claire Lang Miller Challenge Trophy, donated by Miss Claire Lang Miller.

Amateur-Owner Hunters Receive Top Prizes

While she has never won a tricolor at indoors before, Becky Gochman was able to sweep her division at the WIHS, taking the championship on Sambalino and the reserve championship on Empire in the Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunters sponsored by Lynn Ellen Rice. Sambalino was first and second over fences and won the under saddle, while Empire placed second in two over fences classes and was fifth under saddle.


Becky Gochman swept her division with Sambalino (r) and Empire (l)

For their top ribbons, Sambalino and Gochman were awarded the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship. They were presented with the Frank Counselman Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by Friends of Frank Counselman. Gochman was also presented with the Leading Amateur-Owner Hunter Rider award sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare.

“I am a bit overwhelmed,” Gochman exclaimed. “I did not expect that. It was a big comeback at the very end, so it was a surprise, and a beautiful surprise. (At) Harrisburg we had a little bit of a tough time so we are just getting our confidence back on him, and at this show it slowly happened. We had some ups and downs. It ended on an amazing note so I am very, very thankful for that."


Sambalino and Becky Gochman

Gochman said that Sambalino, a nine-year-old Brandenburg gelding by Samba, is also called Samba in the barn. She added, “(With) Samba, you know right from the beginning of the round if he wants to do it or not. That last round I could tell right from the start the way he perks his ears and gets his little motor going and he just says, 'Come on, let’s go, I’ve got it under control.' He has just the coolest personality in the world and I love him so much.”

Empire, an eight-year-old Warmblood stallion by Contendro, is greener and Gochman said he “was above and beyond my expectations.” She continued, “He is becoming such a pleasure to ride and it was a great way to end the show here with him.”

Of her big win, Gochman said, “This is my first grand champion at an indoor show so to come away with grand champion and high point ride was a thrill and it feels like a dream to me. It was definitely the highlight of my riding career.”

Poetic and Maggie Boylan of Patterson, NY, won the championship in the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunters. Boylan and the 11-year-old Westphalian gelding by Faveur finished first and third over fences and won the under saddle class. Keri Guanciale and Thoughtful were the reserve champions after they placed first and second over fences and were second under saddle.


Poetic and Maggie Boylan

Boylan was happy with Poetic's performance. “Overall he was so good,” she mentioned. “It feels so exciting (to win here). I have always dreamed of being champion at Washington. I was champion at Capital Challenge and the National Horse Show last year, but I have always wanted to be champion here, so it was really exciting. It made our trip worthwhile.”

The Washington International Horse Show continues tomorrow with the opening classes for the junior hunter divisions as well as the first class for the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers and the $31,000 Open Jumper Jump-off class.  The evening session begins with the always exciting Barn Night at 7 p.m., with feature classes for the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers and the $20,000 Open Jumper Gambler's Choice Costume class.

For full results, more information, or to watch a free live feed of the show, please visit www.wihs.org.