LEXINGTON, Ky.--Jeffrey Ayers of Sellersville, Pa., rode his own Cartel to lead in the Green 3’9” Hunter division on Tuesday, Nov. 2, the first day of the National Horse Show.
Ayers won the first class of the division with a score of 88 and then scored 89 in the second class, the handy hunter, to place second.
Ayers said he was thrilled with the young horse’s performance as he heads into Wednesday’s competition which will determine the champion.
Course designer Bobby Murphy set the first round hunter track equipped with beautifully decorated natural fences that mimicked the traditional hunt style.
The long-set lines made for the perfect course that required a forward pace and open stride throughout.
IN THE FIRST of the professional hunter competitions Tuesday morning, Laena Romond of Somers, N.Y., rode Traveller to lead in the Green 3’6” Hunter division.
With 13 in the 3'6' DIVISION, it was Scott Stewart of Flemington, N.J., on For Always who won the first over fences with a score of 91 from hunter judges Jennifer Bauersachs and John French, with Romond on Traveller placing second.
In the second, the handy class, Murphy’s unique handy course, which featured two trot fences and a variety of inside turn options to showcase horses’ adjustability, proved to be a challenging one.
Tight rollbacks and transitions were no problem for Romond on the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding, Traveller, who scored an 89 from the judges to win.
With a second-place and first-place finish, Romond leads the 13-horse pack going into Wednesday’s wrap up of the Green 3’6” Hunter division.
The remainder of the week will showcase hunter and jumper action that includes Thursday’s $72,900 International Welcome Stake, as well as Friday’s $36,600 International Two-Phase and National Horse Show $50,000 Hunter Classic.
Saturday’s highlights will include the $213,300 FEI Jumping World Cup Lexington and the $25,000 Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix, and Sunday will conclude the show with the ASPCA Maclay National Equitation Championship.