Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 22, 2018 – The High Performance Working Hunters saw accomplished hunter trainer and rider Robert Crandall lead the pack throughout the competitive division aboard Lysa Burke Hutton’s On The Slye to claim the tricolor ribbon during the seventh week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).
The 7-year-old chestnut gelding started off on the right foot, quite literally, winning the undersaddle on Wednesday morning. On The Slye navigated the handy course with ease to finish with the blue ribbon and a notable score of 84.
Crandall has had the ride on the Warmblood for a year and a half, and imported him from Europe for Hutton where he was a grand prix jumper.
The gelding has clearly taken well to his new life in the United States as well as his career change to the hunter ring. The professional hunter rider took the gelding around the stake round where judges awarded them with an 82 and another first place prize. Crandall is looking forward to continuing to work with the young horse and watch his progression further.
Winning reserve championship honors behind Crandall and On The Slye was Kensi, ridden by Kristy Herrera and owned by Emily Cherney.
In the High Performance Conformation Hunters, Pony Lane Farm’s Standing Ovation and Maggie Jayne rode to victory. The reserve championship tricolor was awarded to Jennifer Hannan aboard Patricia Fulchino’s Best Regards.
Hunter competition at WEF will resume in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter ring on Friday morning beginning with the amateur-owner divisions at 8 a.m.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Robert Crandall – High Performance Working Hunters division champion
On On the Slye:
“He’s actually one that I got a year and a half ago for Lysa Burke Hutton. We’ve gone kind of slow and just started [competing] this year. We had a little set back at the beginning of the year so it’s just taken a few weeks to get back. We bought him out of Europe and he was a grand prix horse over there. We brought him over and have just been trying to make him a hunter since.”
On Thursday’s performance:
“It was really good. He made a couple of mistakes, but overall he was really good.”
On his transition into the hunter ring:
“It’s been good. By the end of last year, he was going great. He went to indoors and did very well and so far this year we’re just getting started with him, but I’m thrilled with how he has been going.”
On his demeanor outside of the ring:
“He is the sweetest thing in the barn. He really is just so sweet.”