DEVON, Pa.--Scott Stewart won once again, for the 17th time, the title of Leading Hunter Rider, receiving the Hope Montgomery Scott Perpetual Trophy, at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair on Wednesday, June 1.
Stewart of Flemington, N.J., had previously received the award 16 times over the years, including each year of the Devon Horse Show since 2015, with no signs of letting up in his domination.
Riders accumulate points in one or more of the professional hunter sections, but if the rider rides more than one horse in a class, only the points of the top placed horse counts.
Stewart accumulated points from Ever After, champion in Green Hunter, 3'6", Nottingham, champion in Green Hunter, 3'9", Charlemagne, who won two class in High Performance Conformation Hunter, and Love Note in High Performance Hunter.
“I have a discussion about cutting back all the time with Ken Berkley," said Stewart, referring to his partner. "It’s hard to cut back. For me I have a lot of young horses, two and three-year-olds, and if you cut back then you don’t really pipeline them coming along. So far I’m sound and everything."
"I don’t actually show all that much," said Stewart. "In Florida I show eight or nine times, maybe 10, but I don’t show that many. I’ll go to Upperville next week, then I will come back here for Brandywine for some of the young ones, then I won’t show again until Bluegrass in August, so my summer is light. My horses that I show myself, ideally they do 12 or 13 shows per year. It’s pretty much the same schedule every year, it doesn’t vary too much.”
THE LEADING Lady Rider Award was given to Amanda Steege of Califon, N.J., with her points accumulated on Lafitte de Muze in the Regular Working Hunter Section.
Only Always, ridden by Nick Haness, won the Grand Hunter Championship after almost sweeping the Green Conformation division to accumulate 45 points.
In Green Conformation, Only Always, owned by Carleton Brooks, scored 88 in Monday’s over fences class, a second place finish and score of 87 in the second over fences, and third place finish in the under saddle plus wins in both Tuesday’s handy with a score of 88 and the stake with a score of 89.
“He definitely has lived up to our expectations," said Brooks. "Beyond this, I think there are still great things to come, much bigger. He’s very, very brave, we’ve never thought about the derbies. He does enough divisions every week. I watched him jump two jumps on the video and said, ‘Buy him.’ The first thing was his presence, then his balance, his proportions, how he landed, he cantered away from the first jump. It was a line I saw first and you always go with your first instinct. I watched more and he actually was better."
Ashleigh Glorioso of Burke, Va., on Epilogue won the Side Saddle Championship with 26 points.
This style of riding was first introduced in Great Britain by Anne of Bohemia in 1382, at the time of her marriage to King Richard II.
It introduced a more independent way of travel, since travel was primarily through cart or carriage back then.
First time champion of the division,Glorioso won the Ladies Side Saddle Under Saddle and the Ladies Side Saddle Over Fences and was second in the Ladies Side Saddle Hunter Hack for a total of 26 points.
Alexis C Dipasqua on Reba Dean was the reserve champion with a total of 20 points.
"Epilogue is a 23-year-old thoroughbred," said Glorioso. "He used race and and then steeplechased, so this is his third career. We’ve had him for a while, almost 10 years. He really likes the side saddle. He just goes a little better side saddle. When you ride him he can be particular but he was good today.”
"This is the first time I’ve been champion and the first time Epilogue has been champion here," she said. "It’s a special atmosphere here, it’s different than most other shows; you have the fair, you have the different disciplines. It’s pretty special to show here.”