DEVON, Pa.--For the 14th time his his career, Scott Stewart of Flemington, N.J., won the Leading Hunter Rider Award at the Devon Horse Show, and he also rode Dr. Betsee Parker’s Private Life to the Devon Grand Hunter Championship.
And he did all that despite having two broken ribs from a recent fall.
Stewart relied heavily on his team at River’s Edge to prepare the horses so they would be able to perform at their best at Devon.
I tried to ride in the morning during Junior Weekend, and I couldn’t really," said Stewart. "I had to rely on everyone else to get my horses ready. I literally didn’t ride until Monday, which was a little rough, but I got through it. I decided I was going to try to ride the first day and see how it went. I had to rely on all of my riders to get them ready for sure this year."
Stewart and Private Life won High Performance Conformation Hunter Championship with 42 points, and finishing as reserve champion with 24 points was another one of Stewart’s mounts, Lucador, also owned by Dr. Parker.
“He’s awesome," said Stewart of Private Life. "He’s just 7 and he always tries to win. He’s really the most straightforward horse, from the beginning. Even last year, I think he was champion here and all of indoors as a 6-year-old. He’s just the same everyday. He’s a blast to ride.
“HE WILL keep doing the Regular Conformation. He will go to Upperville from here, but then we won’t show him again until probably the Hampton Classic.
“Morgan Ward bought him in a Dutch auction as a 4-year-old, and she was actually working for us at the time or right before she started working for us. So after indoors that fall, I went and looked at him and Ken and I bought him and did the Pre-Green year with him. Then Betsee bought him in the beginning of his First Year year. He’s by Verdi and is from the pretty big auction there, I think in Holland.”
I’ve always liked that name and there was a horse with that name a long, long time ago," said Stewart. "Richard Slocum actually showed him. He was a big chestnut horse – Jefferey Welles showed him. I’ve always liked that name.”
In the High Performance Working Hunters, Becky Gochman’s Catch Me, ridden by Stewart, was champion with 38 points,and reserve champion was Kensel LLC’s Mindful and Holly Shepherd with 26 points.
"Amanda Derbyshire rode Catch Me," said Stewart. "I haven’t jumped Catch Me since Kentucky. I jumped a couple jumps on him before Becky [Gochman] rode him, but that’s the last time I rode him.
“He used to be a little bit spooky when he was younger, so he naturally is a very careful horse and now that he’s matured he’s really easy and his rhythm is nice to ride. He’s very simple.”
“I really love this ring ,and I love that it’s a one-ring horse show," said Stwart. "It’s one of the few times that everyone can watch you, and you can watch everyone else’s horse go, too. You’re not running off to another ring. It’s one of the few shows left that it’s special and you can really pay attention to everyone. It’s definitely a goal where you want your horses to peak this week.”
Additional awards included the Leading Mare Award and the “Bunty” Sellers Perpetual Trophy which was presented to Bridget Martell’s Nina, ridden by Louise Serio of Kennett Square, Pa.
The Lady Leading Rider award and the Tarad Hill Perpetual Trophy was earned by Holly Shepherd.