Young hunter professional Victoria Colvin once again proved unbeatable as she returned to pilot her talented 2019 $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular winner Private Practice to the victory in the premier class of WCHR week once again during Saturday Night Lights at the Winter Equestrian Festival on Saturday, Feb. 15.
The Hunter Spectacular is the highlight of WEF’s WCHR Hunter Week, which emphasizes the hunter discipline and gives junior, amateur and professional hunter riders the chance to introduce their horses to the International Arena.
A field of 37 successful horse-and-rider combinations, consisting of winners in the junior, amateur and professional categories throughout the week, contested the first-round course designed by Patrick Rodes.
Out of the original starters, the 12 pairs with the highest scores were invited to return for the second phase of the two-round classic style competition. Both courses were offered at three heights, and judging was split into three distinguished panels, consisting of Rick Fancher and Phoebe Sheets in one panel, Mary Lisa Leffler and Mark Jungherr in another, and Lyman Whitehead with Chris Wynn in the third.
When all combinations had contested the first track, returning champ Colvin and Private Practice once again sat in the top position with an average score of 90.33. Hot on Colvin’s heels was seasoned professional Scott Stewart aboard Private Life in the early second place with 89.16 points. Ten professionals, one junior and one amateur made up the returning 12 entries.
Colvin held the lead from the time she entered the ring as the fifth to go until the time she closed the class, besting her own previous score from round one of 90.33 with an improved 91.83. The victory was Colvin’s second in a row with Brad Wolf’s 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding and her stunning sixth Hunter Spectacular win since 2012.
“Private Practice is an amazing horse,” Colvin said. “He’s one of my favorite horses, and this class is a blast because we are able to ride under the lights and in the International Arena.”
Katie Taylor moved up from the third position to second and was a strong contender for the top honor, but fell just short of Colvin after completing the second round with a total of 178.82 points.
“It’s incredible to be representing the west coast here tonight,” Taylor said. “I received the e-mail a few months ago that I had qualified to come and do this, and I’ve always wanted to be a part of this class.”
Third-place honors were awarded to Stewart and Private Life, with a total combined score of 177.82.
For complete results, visit www.pbiec.com.