|Hunt Tosh and Lone Star Make a Sweeping Comeback at Kentucky Spring Classic|
|Written by Kendall Bierer|
|Thursday, 17 May 2012 15:57|
Today marked the first day of the Kentucky Spring Classic as horse and rider combinations gathered at the Stonelea Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. The professional divisions started out the morning, seeing some of the nation’s most talented riders vie for the top honors in their respective divisions. Riders who rode to the blue today included Victoria Colvin, Scott Stewart, Havens Schatt and Hunt Tosh. The competition was fierce, but it was Tosh who came out on top in three of his divisions, including with the famous Lone Star, who made a clean sweep during his comeback in the Performance 3’6” Hunter division.
Although it was the Performance 3’6” Hunters who rounded out the day, the hunter excitement was nowhere near at an end. Tosh navigated Lone Star, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker of Middleburg, VA, to a clean sweep of the division. It has been well over a year since Lone Star last showed; however, it appeared as though the horse did not miss a beat as he posted the division’s top scores of 88 in both rounds over fences. Havens Schatt guided Just Fred, owned by R. Bruce Duchossois of Aiken, SC, to scores of 87 and 85, taking the second place honors.
“The plan was all along for him to come back, and we have been ironing out a few things since his injury to get him going again,” Tosh stated. “He obviously has a soft place in my heart, forever. He is such a trier, and he always wants to do his best. He walked in there today like he had shown only last week.”
Tosh continued, “The course was beautiful, they always do a good job here and decorate so well. It rode nicely, and the footing was great. They make the presentation of the jumps very special, and the management here is fantastic. This is the best place to show for sure.”
“He was great the other day when we schooled, so we decided to jump here today. With the way everything went, I am pretty sure that we will head back to the four-foot, soon,” Tosh described. “I think, knock on wood, that everything is day-by-day, and although I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, hopefully we will be able to do the derbies again. It really is special to land after that last jump and realize that he is back.”
The morning saw rider, Victoria Colvin, and professional rider and trainer, Scott Stewart, battle to the top of the leader board in the Second Year Green Working Hunters. Stewart rode Dedication, owned by Fashion Farm of Philadelphia, PA, to the first and second place honors over fences as well as the second place in the under saddle. His scores of 89 and 90 were impressive, but it was Colvin and Inclusive, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, who posted the day’s high score of 92 points.
“I have been riding Inclusive, for about two years, and he is a great horse,” Colvin explained. “Not only does he have a nice ride and know what he is supposed to do in the ring, but he is full of good humor on the ground, too.”
“I love the feeling of being out there and having a great time. I always laugh and smile around the course. I don’t know why everyone is so serious out there,” Colvin laughed. “Everyone always comments that I constantly smile, but I don’t see why not. I love being able to ride and especially experience all of these different places, and my horses are wonderful.”
During the Regular Conformation Hunters, Hunt Tosh rode Cold Harbor, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, to the first and second place over fences, and the first place finish in the under saddle. Sambalino with Ken Berkley in the irons took the second and first place honors over fences in addition to the second place in the under saddle. Although Berkley and Sambalino, owned by Becky Gochman of New York, NY, earned scores of 85 and 84 for their rounds, Tosh and Cold Harbor moved ahead in the standings due to Cold Harbor’s pristine conformation.
“Cold Harbor has been fabulous, and he is such a good horse. Not only is he beautiful and wins the models, but he tries so hard,” Tosh elaborated. “We haven’t shown him since the fifth week of Ocala. He has had a bit of a break, and this is preparation for Devon, but he looks great and is jumping outrageous.”
Tosh returned to the ring with Dr. Betsee Parker’s Rosalynn for the High Performance Working Hunters. They laid down an excellent two rounds, earning an 82 and 88 for their efforts, eventually good enough for the second and first place in the over fences. They also took the first place finish in the under saddle.
“Rosalynn hasn’t shown since the last week of Florida, so it was nice to go in and remind her what the height is. I thought she was really good, and I think she will come back tomorrow and be even better,” Tosh described. “A horse like Rosalynn, who has been there and done that, is able to come back and hardly miss a beat. During her break we just kept her fit and sound, she doesn’t need much training at home. She jumps beautifully, and it is just about getting her back into the rhythm.”
The standings are going to be close tomorrow for the High Performance Hunter horses. Havens Schatt also made her mark during her rounds today with Valencia, owned by CH Farm LLC of Delano, MN. She earned scores of 85 and 84 in the over fences, taking the first and second place finish over fences, and the second place in the under saddle.
“Valencia is going great!” Schatt exclaimed. “After Indoors last year, we gave her a break. We trail rode her, kept her fit, and didn’t push again until we went to Florida. She came back a really happy horse, and she knows her job. She is so easy to ride over four foot. She likes to jump that high, she gets more loft at four feet, and seems to be happier out there.”
Tomorrow concludes the professional hunter divisions where the top horse and rider combinations will compete for the tricolor awards during the Kentucky Spring Classic. This week also features the Amateur-Owner Hunter and Junior Hunter divisions. The week holds many highlights, including the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby.
Photo Credit: Hunt Tosh and Lone Star swept the Performance 3’6” Hunters on the first day of the Kentucky Spring Classic. Photo By: Kendall Bierer/PMG. Photo may only be used in relation to this PMG press release.