DEVON, Pa.--Victoria Colvin on Brad Wolff’s Private Practice won the Devon Grand Hunter Champion on May 29, and she also won the Leading Lady Rider award to complete the day.
Scott Stewart was Devon's Leading Hunter rider for the 15th time.
Stewart was awarded the title based on his performances with a number of mounts, including Scandal, Private Life, Catch Me, Lucador and more.
Colvin and Private Practice, a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding, won the Championship in the High Performance Working Hunters en route to the Grand Championship..
In Tuesday’s over fences classes, Private Practice scored an 89 and 90 to take home two Devon blues.
ALTHOUGH competition on Wednesday was close, with Scott Stewart and Catch Me winning the day’s over fences classes, Private Practice won the blue in the under saddle, ultimately securing their championship win.
Originally trained as a jumper, Private Practice has made quite a name for himself in the hunter ring.
With 21-year-old Colvin, the 16 hand gelding won the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship.
Since then, the pair have been in numerous winner’s circles, including the 2019 $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular during the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington.
“I started riding with Scott, and he gave me so many horses to show.," said Colvin. I" probably wouldn’t be here without him, so he’s definitely a big influence.”
“I was champion last year with Private Practice, but not grand,' she said."He was really great this year. I had a couple more horses this year too, so I was a little busier. It means a lot to me to win the championship. I wasn’t really expecting to get champion today so it was a shock, but a good shock.”
"Private Practice always rises to the occasion," said Colvin. "He is a really spectacular horse. He had a little bit of a jumper background, so he always comes in and impresses everyday. He is never spooky, he will always jump anything, but he never gets bored with the jumps. He’s never get plain. He still jumps every jump like he’s never seen it before. He is pretty special.”
“It’s always really exciting to win," said Stewart. "It doesn’t get any easier, that’s for sure. It’s a really exciting accomplishment. All in all my horses were great this whole week.”
“It’s always funny at Devon, the horse you’re expecting to do well usually doesn’t win." said Stewart. "Some of my underdogs ended up champion and it’s always seems to happen like that here. There’s so much that can go wrong and right. Some horses rise to the occasion in this ring and all depends on the judging. It was great to have Scandal and Cabrio, both new and young, win here. That’s really what I like doing, moving young horses up to this point. I will continue to do that.”
THE LADIES Side Saddle division took center stage during Ladies Day.
Susan Sisco and Ringfort Tinkaturk won the championship tricolor, earning first place in the under saddle and in the hunter hack, and second in the over fences.
Sisco and Ringfort Tinkaturk are no strangers to the Devon winner’s circle.
They took home the championship in 2016 after Ringfort Tinkaturk made a career change to side saddle from eventing.
The 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding competed at the CCI2* level with Lizzie Snow and served as Snow’s CH-Y2* mount at the 2013 North American Junior & Young Rider Championships.
The transition proved to be no challenge for Ringfort Tinkaturk under the expert guidance of Sisco.
Side saddle has been a long standing tradition at the Devon Horse Show.
The 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.
Devon carries on the tradition of this unique division every year on Ladies Day of the annual Devon Horse Show and Country Fair
“He’s a horse that I first saw a few years ago and didn’t really have anyone for him," said Sisco of the gelding. "About six months after I saw him, I saw him again in Aiken, didn’t know it was the same horse and showed him to his now owner, Barbara Wanamaker, and we left after trying him, called each other and said ‘Oh we love him. I tried him six months ago and I loved him then. That is a really good horse’. Barbara does all of the conditioning and training and keeps him at home. She just loves him like a pet. When he was injured and we weren’t sure how complete is recovery would become, she would have been happy if she could only walk him on trail rides. She loves him that much.”
“He was a 2* event horse which is hard to believe," said Sisco. "One of the reasons why he wasn’t successful is that he’s just not that fast. The transition wasn’t difficult for him. He’s such a good horse. He is so humble and he just does whatever it is you want and thinks that’s what a horse should do. He requires less preparation than any horse I’ve ever had. He walks from the stall to the ring.”
“It’s so exciting," she said. "I’ve done this for a very long time – this is probably my 40th Devon, or getting close to that. A Devon win is always an honor but I’m on a horse that I know can be the winner, so I just try not to make a mistake.”