Devon, Pa. – May 31, 2022 – Tuesday morning at the Devon Horse Show welcomed back top professional hunter athletes to the Dixon Oval to vie for championship honors in their respective green hunter divisions. In the Green 3’6” Hunter, sponsored by Dr. Betsee Parker and Huntland Farms, it was Scott Stewart and Bikoff Equestrian’s Ever After who took home the first tri-color of the day. The pair accumulated a total of 22 points over the two days to secure The James J. Piehler Memorial Challenge Trophy.
During Monday’s portion of the competition, Stewart piloted the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding to scores of 92 and 90 to take home first and second place honors in the first two over fences classes. They continued their consistent streak, securing a second place in the under saddle that afternoon to set themselves up nicely for championship honors Tuesday. Reserve champion honors in the Green 3’6’’ Hunter were awarded to Hunt Tosh and Redfield Farm’s Corragio. Accumulating 20 points in the division, Tosh piloted the 10 year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion to two scores of 91 to take home first and second place in Monday’s over fences classes, as well as score of 88 in Tuesday’s stake for a third place finish.
Immediately following, in the Green Confirmation Hunter, Nick Haness and Balmoral’s Only Always captured the division tri-color. Haness and the 10 year-old Warmblood gelding scored a total of 45 points in the division to secure their names on The Just For Fun-Two For One Challenge Trophy. Only Always, purchased off of a video by owner of Balmoral Farm Carleton Brooks, has won championship honors at every show he entered since arriving in the states, proving to be one to watch.
The gelding concluded Monday’s classes with scores of 88 and 87 to take home first and second honors, respectively. Tuesday morning proved to be even more successful as Haness showed off Only Always’ hunter style to earn two Devon blues and exited the Dixon Oval on scores of 88 and 89 and ultimately the championship. The reserve championship was awarded to Holly Orlando and James Anderson’s Adler with 26 points.
The green divisions closed out with Stewart taking home his second tri-color of the day in the Green 3’9” Hunter division, this time aboard Dr. Betsee Parker’s Nottingham. The pair earned 34 points over the two days, taking home two blues Monday with scores of 92 and 93, and first and third Tuesday morning riding to scores of 88 and 91 respectively. Jimmy Torano and Isalou Inc.’s Laskano took home reserve champion with 27 points accumulated throughout the division.
Professional hunter competition at the Devon Horse Show continues Wednesday as athletes vie for final points toward the coveted Devon Grand Hunter Champion and Devon Leading Rider Award. Competition in the Dixon Oval is set to begin at 8:00 a.m.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Scott Stewart – Green 3’9” and Green 3’6” Hunter Champion
On Ever After:
“He is awesome. This might only be his fifth or sixth horse show, so he hasn’t really done a whole lot and he hasn’t really shown since Week 10 at the [Winter Equestrian Festival]. I was really happy with him yesterday, he was great. Today he got a little green in the hady and got a little spooky but for the most part he’s always really straightforward and nice. I’m really thrilled. He’s 12 years old and he was a grand prix horse. He is by Nick Skelton’s horse Arko. His job is going to be a large junior horse for Ella Bikoff, his owner. The courses rode great. I love the handy round, maybe not for him but it was beautiful. It was great to ride out there, the courses were nice.”
Nick Haness – Green Confirmation Hunter Champion
On Only Always:
“What an exceptional animal this horse Only Always is, and what makes it more exceptional is the team behind him. I’ve been very fortunate that Carleton [Brooks] selected me to be this horse’s rider. We came together at the end of last year and we had our sights on being champion at Devon so this moment really gives me goosebumps. It’s exciting.”
On his partnership with Carelton Brooks:
“We’re both professionals from California with our own businesses and it’s really a treat to come together and so special on a horse like this because horses like this don’t come around that often, he’s a very special horse. He’s a beautiful jumper and it’s been a beautiful journey to be able to work together and collaborate – me as his rider and Carelton [Brooks] behind the scenes, training him at home and bringing him to the ring and presenting him the way he does. He’s turned out beautiful and it’s a testament to Balmoral and their care and Tracey and Carelton [Brooks] do an exceptional job with that so for me, it’s a blessing and privilege to be able to get on a horse and just do what I love to do and go in the ring and shine, especially today and throughout this whole week. It’s been a really fun process, the horse has been consistent throughout the weekend in every class and we couldn’t be more thrilled for today’s outcome.”
On traveling to the Devon Horse Show
“I think more than anything, this is a long way for us to come and I think it’s really important the West Coast comes and shows what we’ve got, which is a really strong build up of great horses, especially [Only Always.] To come all this way, it’s certainly a trek, for me I left my business in California, I’ve got 28 horses showing in California back at home. I’ll be on the red eye back to the show tomorrow. The Devon Horse Show is an iconic horse show that most people dream about being here to compete and be champion here. We didn’t show this horse much last year, he sort of bloomed this year and came out in the winter really strong and blew people away from the beginning. He’s been champion almost every time he’s ever shown so we really wanted to bring him to Devon. Today, this moment, is something we’ve really been working towards together for the whole time with this horse. It paid off to come all this way from California and to have a great week. I’m proud of the horse and I’m proud of the team.”