Wellington, Fla. – April 1, 2022 – A calm morning before the rain set in on the beautiful show grounds of Wellington International, Thursday welcomed the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search that got underway in the Denemethy Ring. In the end, Carlee McCutcheon and HHS Hercules ultimately took home the blue ribbon and valuable points towards qualifying for the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals.
As the morning rolled through, 17 entries made their way through the course. The first to go clear and to set the stage was McCutcheon and HHS Hercules, riding a seamless trip that demonstrated style and accuracy. Navigating through the 14-obstacle track, including an open water, tight roll backs and a triple combination, the course was a test of the rider’s ability to maintain consistency in position and guide their horse to each fence without breaking rhythm in order to get called back to the flat portion of the class.
With the jumping phase complete, the top 12 rider-and-horse combinations were asked to come back and compete in the flat phase to determine the final result of the class. As the horse-and-rider pairs came flooding in the ring in strides, the group of 12 were asked to demonstrate the working walk, working trot, extended trot, working canter, extended canter, counter canter, and sitting trot. In the end, McCutcheon and HHS Hercules grace and poise with a textbook position that earned them the win.
Equitation competition continues on Saturday April 2nd in the Rost Arena for the THIS National Children’s Medal at 8:00 AM. Sunday will mark the final day of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival season.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
On HHS Hercules:
“HHS Hercules is owned by Abigail Wexner, who is allowing me to show him. I have gotten a lot of my talent search experience with him, he’s amazing. I would describe him as being a little colder than other horses I have ridden, he is so scopy and can jump anything. I jumped my first 3* Talent Search with him, and my first open water with him. He means a lot to me!”
After WEF Plans:
“Hopefully I get to keep him (HHS Hercules) and get to show him at talent search finals. He definitely makes me brave. Very grateful for him.”