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Wellington, Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, Wellington, Florida

Hat Trick for Scott Stewart in the High Performance Hunter Divisions During WEF Week Three

Caroline Nickolaus

Reporting from Wellington, Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, Wellington, Florida
Thursday, January 26, 2017 :: Posted 05:02:31 PM EST

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© Caroline Nickolaus: Scott Stewart and Gochman Sport Horses, LLC's Fun took the championship in the High Performance Conformation Hunters on Thursday during Week Three of the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 26, 2017 – The second day of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) Week Three got underway with the High Performance Conformation Hunter and High Performance Working Hunter divisions, and it was hunter sensation, Scott Stewart, who took home three tricolor ribbons, despite feeling under the weather.

Fun, owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC, made a clean sweep in the High Performance Conformation Hunters, sponsored by Shapley's Grooming Products. After earning the first place prize in the under saddle class on Wednesday, Fun proved to be unstoppable as he claimed the first over fences round with a 92, before coming back to jump again to a score of 88. The 6-year-old gelding later proved his rideability as he earned a 90 in the handy round.

"With this new fence height, he is really proving he's not just another pretty face, but that he's very workmanlike and he has beautiful form even over the bigger fences. He's a young horse, just 6 turning 7, and we really hope that he continues on this path," owner Becky Gochman explained. "His name suits him as we believe that he has a fun time doing his job and he's also fun to ride and watch. I really hope someday that I get to have a good time on him as well."

The amateur hunter rider continued, "I think it's always good to listen to your instincts and let him get a little bit more training. He's really just such a fine horse that we want to do everything right with him and take our time. He's been everything we could've ever asked for."

© Caroline Nickolaus: Terence Prunty and Fun

Stewart and Gochman's patience and slow training paid off with her other young horse, Catch Me.

"I tried [Catch Me] once last year and waited and it was worth the wait. I might sit on [Fun] again later in the year, but right now Scott and Fun are doing great together and that's where he should be. I really get a kick out of watching that pair because they are pretty perfect."

Receiving the reserve champion award for the division was Kelley Farmer and Scripted, owned by Clare Hone. Spectators watched as Farmer and Scripted remained on the heels of Stewart and Fun for the entirety of the division, claiming the second place prize in every class.

"I had him as a First Year horse. We were able to buy him back from one of my customers for Clare Hone, so it's great to have him back," Farmer shared. "He was champion last week, and now reserve this week. I'm so excited to have my horse back — he's such a phenomenal horse."

© Caroline Nickolaus: Kelley Farmer and Scripted

Narrowly missing Fun's score by three points, Scripted was awarded an 89 over fences, before returning to the ring to collect an 84 in the second class and an 88 in both the handy and stake rounds.

Farmer will continue showing Scripted in the High Performance Conformation Hunters for the remainder of the season, and eventually his owner, Clare Hone, will take the reins in the Amateur-Owner Hunters.

Continuing his domination, Stewart kicked off the High Performance Working Hunter division aboard 2017 USEF National Horse of the Year, Catch Me, another entry of Gochman Sport Horses, LLC, who captured the championship, while Stewart's second ride, Cameo, was reserve.

© Caroline Nickolaus: Scott Stewart and Catch Me

Catch Me, a promising young horse who overcame botulism, but has since bounced back, seems to be better than ever and has returned to the show ring with a vengeance. Catch Me pinned first place in the undersaddle class on Wednesday, and then on Thursday earned blues in both over fences rounds with scores of 85 and 88, respectively. Stewart piloted the horse to a 90 in the stake round.

"Any time you win an honor like [Horse of the Year], it's extremely gratifying," said Richard Slocum of Stewart's River's Edge Farm. "They've had Catch Me since he was a First Year horse and he's won everything. He overcame botulism and he's just been a great horse. You put the time and effort in, and it's always nice when that pays off."

Watch highlights from Scott Stewart and Catch Me's winning stake round in the High Performance Working Hunter division!

In addition to recently being named USEF National Horse of the Year, a true testament to the team at River's Edge Farm, Catch Me also won the Hunter Spectacular title at WEF last year. When he is not being ridden by Stewart in the professional divisions, Catch Me campaigns in the older Amateur-Owner Hunters with Gochman.

Dr. Betsee Parker's Cameo shined in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring with Stewart in the irons, claiming the reserve champion award. Cameo was second best in the undersaddle, but was unmatched in the handy round, scoring an 87 from the judges along with the blue ribbon. Stewart and Cameo rode to a second place finish in the stake round, earning an 85.

© Caroline Nickolaus: Scott Stewart and Cameo

In regards to Cameo, Slocum said, "Dr. Betsee Parker only owns the very best, so hopefully he'll continue on this path. He just missed reserve the first time he showed and this time he was reserve. He's such a good boy and he's always very consistent."

Hunter action at WEF will resume on Friday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center beginning at 8 a.m. with the Adult Amateur Hunter 50+ division.

Other articles of interest
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Tori Colvin Cruises to First and Third Place in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Kat Fuqua Pilots Somekindawonderful to $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby Championship
Scott Stewart and Kelley Farmer Claim Championship Titles in Professional Hunter Divisions During WE

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