LEXINGTON, Ky.--Scott Stewart of Flemington, N.J., finished first and second on Betsee Parker's Mayflower and Standstone, respectively, in the first round of the 3'/3'3" Green Hunter Incentive Championship at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington on Aug. 13.
Tying for second place with Stewart was fellow Tier I rider Chris Payne on Gratitude, owned by Still Water Farm, LLC.
"I always look forward to coming here," said Stewart. "It’s really nice going in this ring, but the horses aren’t used to it so it’s a little bit of a hard day the first day. I think each day will get a little bit easier."
Competing at the 3' fence height, Stewart and Mayflower, a 5-year-old Deutsches Sportpferdf mare, scored 91, 88 and 88 for a total of 267 and $10,079.25 in prize money.
"I think the Championships are great to highlight the young horses for the owners and riders," said Stewart, who was champion in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
Stewart is also the leading Tier I rider for the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program.
TYING FOR second place with an overall score of 264 and each winning $5,634.30 were Stewart on Sandstone, a 6-year-old Palomino KWPN gelding, and Chris Payne on Gratitude, a bay warmblood gelding.
Stewart and Sandstone, owned by Betsee Parker, tied for second place in the First Round of the 3'/3'3" Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship. Photo: Tricia Booker/USHJA
Judging the Championships this week are Tom Brennan, Richard Fancher, Daniel Robertshaw, William Sparks, Geoff Teall and James Toon.
The 3'/3'3" Championship features three rounds of competition over three days.
The first round paid out $40,317 to the top 30 placings.
Horses will return for the second round on Aug. 14, and will again compete for $40,317.
The top 30 horses, including those tied for 30th, with the highest cumulative scores from Rounds 1 and 2 will advance to the final Championship Round on Aug. 15, where they will start with a clean slate and compete for $80,634.