Scott Stewart Secures 2012 WIHS Grand Hunter Championship and Leading Hunter Rider Award

Beholden and Scott Stewart. © Shawn McMillen Photography

Scott Stewart Secures 2012 WIHS Grand Hunter Championship and Leading Hunter Rider Award

Newlands and Portela Top Amateur-Owner Hunter Championships; Montross, Caslin, and Vale Are Best in Jumpers

Washington, D.C. – October 24, 2012 – Day two of the 2012 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) featured the presentation of championship honors in the professional and amateur-owner hunter divisions at Verizon Center in downtown Washington D.C. This year’s professional World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Scott Stewart continued his winning season with multiple division tricolors, the overall Grand Hunter Championship aboard Rose Hill Farm’s Enjoy, and the award for Leading Hunter Rider among his many accolades in the first two days of competition.

Garfield and Scott Stewart. © Shawn McMillen Photography

Wesley Newlands and Daryl Portela earned the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Championships. The $10,000 Children’s and Adult Jumper Championships and the first $10,000 Open Jumper speed class were featured during the evening session with Nina Montross, Ericka Caslin, and Aaron Vale coming away with wins. The show will continue through Sunday, October 28.

Scott Stewart kicked off the day by winning the High Performance Working Hunter championship aboard Alexandra Crown’s Garfield. Stewart and Garfield earned two blue ribbons over fences and placed third under saddle to be awarded The “NOT ALWAYS” Challenge Trophy, donated by Miss Peggy Steinman. 

The High Performance reserve championship was presented to Dr. Betsee Parker’s Rosalynn with Hunt Tosh in the irons. The pair won the under saddle and earned two second place ribbons over fences. Rosalynn was also awarded the special Protocol Trophy as the overall High Point High Performance Working Hunter from the Devon Horse Show, Pennsylvania National Horse Show, and Washington International Horse Show.

Stewart continued to win throughout the day, also taking home the Green Conformation Hunter championship aboard Fashion Farm’s Beholden with first and second place ribbons over fences and wins in both the under saddle and the model. The duo was awarded The Valiant Hark Memorial Challenge Trophy, donated by Mrs. Stephen J. Clark.

Gramercy Park, owned by Lynn Ellen Rice and ridden by Tom Brennan, placed first, second and sixth over fences and fourth under saddle to finish in reserve.

Brennan and Gramercy Park were also reserve champions in the First Year Green Working Hunters with two first place ribbons over fences and a fifth place under saddle. With two reserve championships in a row, Gramercy Park’s owner Lynn Ellen Rice was presented with the show’s Leading Hunter Owner Award, sponsored by The Reid Family.

As the day went on, the First Year Green Working Hunter championship went to Stewart and Rose Hill Farm’s Enjoy, who placed first, second and second over fences and also earned the second place ribbon under saddle. In addition to the division win, Enjoy was presented The Claire Lang Miller Challenge Trophy as the show’s Grand Green Working Hunter Champion, as well as The Rave Review Challenge Trophy, donated by Stoney Hill, as the overall Grand Hunter Champion.

Stewart was then honored with the Leading Hunter Rider Award, sponsored by The Gochman Family.

Beholden and Scott Stewart. © Shawn McMillen Photography

For the win, Stewart was presented with The Robert Coluccio Leading Hunter Rider Perpetual Trophy as well as a beautiful Rolex Luxury Timepiece, courtesy of Tiny Jewel Box, which he also took home last year. This was Stewart’s seventh time earning the leading rider title at WIHS in his illustrious professional career

Following the ceremonies, Stewart spoke about winning at one of the nation’s most prestigious competitions. “It is still always exciting to win,” he stated. “It is a little nerve-wracking here. This horse show always seems to come down to the last class because we only have three jumping classes, so it is always really tight. I think every division was a tight race till the end.”

The big winner this week was Enjoy, a six-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Cassiano that Stewart purchased as a two-year-old and showed for the first time at Capital Challenge last fall. Enjoy has really proven himself this year and had several great rounds in D.C. over the last two days.

“He’s a really simple, easy horse and he usually doesn’t worry about the environment at all,” Stewart noted. “Today he was actually a little bit spooky, but in a good way; it kept his jump sharp. He was nicely spooky up the outside line, but he is usually not that interested in everything. He is such a young horse, but he is the same every day pretty much. He is like a big pony. He is really sweet to work around and he is just really friendly.”

Stewart and his team work hard to make sure that their horses peak at the right time for indoors, and part of that system is planning the horses’ show schedules carefully. The WIHS is always an important stop in the season, and having a good group of people to help makes a big difference. For Stewart, there is a unique quality to the show that makes it special each year.

“The hard part about it is the good part,” he declared. “I like being here in the city, it is different. There are more classes to watch and a little more atmosphere than some of the other shows. I think it is a special place.”

He added, “We have great help in the barn. Brigid and Tori (Colvin), and Samantha Darling helps. I don’t have to be here all night long. My job is pretty easy with the staff that we have; they do a great job.”

In addition to the championship wins, Stewart was reserve champion in the Regular Conformation Hunter and Second Year Green Working Hunter divisions with horses Showman and Dedication respectively. Stewart was beat out in both of those divisions by fellow top hunter rider Peter Pletcher.

In the Regular Conformation Hunters, Pletcher guided Becky Gochman’s Sambalino to the championship honors and was presented with The Mary Farren Perpetual Trophy. Sambalino placed first and fourth over fences and won both the under saddle and the model. Stewart and Krista and Alexa Weisman’s Showman finished in reserve, placing first and second over fences and second in both the under saddle and model.

Enjoy and Scott Stewart. © Shawn McMillen Photography

In the Second Year Green Working Hunter championship, Pletcher and Becky Gochman’s Empire were the winners with Stewart and Fashion Farm’s Dedication in reserve. Empire won two classes over fences and Dedication won one class over fences and topped the under saddle. Although both horses finished with the same number of points overall, Empire’s points over fences took top honors.

In addition to the reserve award, Stewart and Dedication were presented with The Windy Acres Challenge Trophy earlier in the morning. The trophy, donated by Mr. James O. Pease, is awarded to the overall winner of classes 24 and 34 for the best Green Working Hunter stake round. Stewart and Dedication’s high score of 90 in the Second Year Green Working Hunter Stake was the best of the day.

Newlands and Portela Named Leading Riders and Amateur-Owner Hunter Grand Champions

The Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions concluded their second day of competition on Wednesday and awarded championship honors as well. The Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” championship, sponsored by The Davis Family, was awarded to Wesley Newlands, of Toronto, ON, aboard Pure Abundance. The pair earned the Frank Counselman Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by Friends of Frank Counselman. Newlands was also awarded the Leading Amateur-Owner Hunter Rider Award for the 3’6” level. 

They were the champions of the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 18-35 division after placing first, second and fourth over fences and winning the under saddle. Jazz Johnson Merton and James Johnson’s Kingston finished in reserve with two blue ribbons over fences and a sixth place under saddle.

Newlands has owned Pure Abundance, an eleven-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Acord II, for five years. The pair has shown at WIHS three times and this was their first championship win as well as her first leading rider title. The 24-year-old rider was thrilled with her horse.

“This is my best horse show!” she beamed. “I have never been grand champion before, anywhere. This is my third year here and I have always wanted to be champion here!”

“He is the best horse,” Newlands said. “I can always depend on him when I go in the ring and I know he is ready to win. My rounds were very good; he felt really good. My stake was my best class because I let him go forward and was loose and we went in to win, and luckily it went in our favor.”

Sambalino and Peter Pletcher. © Shawn McMillen Photography

She has been training with Steve Weiss for two years and lives in Toronto, but enjoys spending time in Washington D.C. each year and made the trip worth it this week. “It is a beautiful show,” Newlands concluded. “They do such a nice job and it is always the favorite horse show to come to.”

In the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” Over 35, Katie Robinson and Rock Steady, owned by KJ Robinson LLC, earned the division championship. The pair placed first and fourth over fences and first under saddle. Becky Gochman and Sambalino earned two blue ribbons over fences and finished fifth under saddle to earn the reserve championship. Gochman and Sambalino were also awarded The Shari Hollis Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by the Late Col. J.B. Hollis and Ms. Jeannie Hollis, which is presented to the overall winner of classes 54 and 64 in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” stake rounds for their high score of 87.

As the day continued, it was a clean sweep for Daryl Portela and James B. Pirtle Ent., Inc.’s Winner in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Over 35 division. The pair won all three jumping classes and the under saddle, were awarded the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Championship, sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Earnest M. Oare, and Portela was named the Leading Amateur-Owner Hunter Rider for the 3’3” division overall. The pair also earned the Best Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Stake Round presented to the overall winner of class 74 and 84 with a high score of 86.

“It is awesome. I am on a big time high right now,” Portela smiled. “He was great. Harrisburg was great, but he felt better here. He went great in the ring and every class was just solid and super.”

This was Portela’s first time showing Winner at WIHS and he handled it like a pro. “I felt it didn’t faze my horse at all. This is my first time showing him at indoors. We had a great first year.”

“This show is special; I like the environment in the city because I am not used to that,” Portela noted. “We live out in the middle of the country. I think it is always exciting; there’s just something about it.”

The Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Over 35 reserve champion was Castlekeep, owned by Richard Prant and ridden by Nancy Hooker. Castlekeep and Hooker placed second, third and fourth over fences.

In the Amateur-Owner Working Hunter 3’3” 18-35 championship, Amanda Hone and Instantaneous were the victors with Chelsea Ireland and Surely in reserve. Hone and Instantaneous finished first in two classes over fences and third under saddle. Ireland and Surely won the under saddle and one class over fences.

Jumpers Complete Their First Day at WIHS

The jumpers took to the arena for the first time on Wednesday with children’s, adult and open jumper classes. Anthony D’Ambrosio, of Red Hook, NY, is the course designer this week.

The $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship was the first jumper class to be held with an exciting win for 14-year-old Nina Montross, of Bedford, NY, aboard Caprifol. 

Thirty-two entries showed in the first round of the children’s championship, and eleven jumped clear to advance to the jump-off. Montross and Caprifol, owned by Palm Meadow Farm LLC, completed the only double clear round to earn the victory in 26.456 seconds, which was also the fastest round. For the win, the pair was presented with The H. Fenwick Kollock Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by Friends of Fen.

Second place went to Devon Monroe aboard Shinkansen with four faults in 27.430 seconds in the jump-off. The third place prize was awarded to Michael Mahoney and Remonta Haron with four faults in 27.970 seconds.

“It is really exciting to win here,” Montross stated after her win. Montross started riding in the hunters when she was younger, but quickly realized how much fun it was to go fast.”

Her trainer at the time, Jennifer Bliss, got her started in the pony jumpers, and Montross is moving up the levels now riding with Jimmy Torano. 

Montross described what she loves about showing in the jumpers, stating, “It is really just you and your horse against the course and what you can do out there. I really like going fast. I like feeling speed and I like the feeling after you go really fast in the jump-off and then stopping. You just feel accomplished.”

“Caprifol is always fast,” she said. “I just have to stay on the speed the whole round and work on not being choppy. Sometimes I’ll either be really fast or really slow, so I just have to work on a happy medium.”

The $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship was held next in the evening session and the win went to Ericka Caslin, of Parkville, MD, riding Rioletto last in the jump-off. Twenty-seven entries jumped in the first round and nine went clear to jump-off. Only four were able to jump double clear through the short course, and Caslin and Rioletto had the fastest time of 30.945 seconds to win The Dorothy Foote “Goodie” Taylor Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by Mr. & Mrs. Robert Ashton Hill and Miss Linden Joan Hill.

Second place went to Haley Schaufeld and Ana Sia with a clear jump-off round in 31.572 seconds. Third place went to Hannah Murrin and Valentina, jumping clear in 33.758 seconds. Chiara Parlagreco and Belle Grey Farm LLC’s Chacca Blue completed the other clear jump-off round in 36.232 seconds to finish fourth.

Ericka Caslin’s winning mount, Rioletto, is an 18-year-old Royal Dutch Warmblood mare by Olisco. Caslin explained that the veteran mare showed with Christine and Jonathan McCrea in the 1.40m speed classes and has now stepped down to the adult amateur classes. She purchased the mare from Donald and Kara Cheska a year and a half ago. Caslin works full time for the American Horse Council and commutes to Washington D.C. for work every day, so she does not get to ride very often. Rioletto stays with the Cheskas in Wisconsin and Caslin meets them at shows.

“It makes it a little more special because I don’t get to ride or practice very much,” Caslin said following her win. “I’m a full-time mom and a full-time employee. I only get to ride the horse at shows. I show up and hop on. I’m very lucky to have a horse that knows her job and trainers that keep her well prepared.”

This was Caslin’s third year showing at the WIHS. She showed and won the same championship in 2005 aboard Maizy Totlien. She also returned in 2008 for the 50th anniversary. “I love coming here; it’s such a nice show,” Caslin expressed. “It feels so prestigious; the prizes, the atmosphere, such an incredible show.”

Caslin also has a lot of family and friends in the area who got to watch her win. “My mom, my dad, my sister, my in-laws, my niece, all my friends, probably 20-25 people came,” she smiled. “We had a box and seats. I had a lot of text messages from people saying they watched it online from the live feed. My family from New York was watching from the live feed, my family in Colorado too. It is neat to have people not only come here and watch, but also be able to watch from Colorado and New York.”

The day’s competition concluded with a $10,000 Open Jumper 1.45m speed class and a win for Aaron Vale (USA) and Palm Sunday, owned by Amen Corner Farm. The pair had the fastest of 11 clear rounds in 49.29 seconds out of 39 competitors. Tim Gredley (GBR) and Unex Competition Yard Ltd.’s Unex Valvente stopped the clock in 49.70 seconds to finish second. Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Stone Hill Farm’s Temmie earned the third place prize with their time of 49.91 seconds.

The Washington International Horse Show continues on Thursday with the beginning of Junior Hunter competition in the morning and Junior/Amateur-Owner and Open Jumper competition in the afternoon. The evening session will welcome local horse lovers, riders, trainers, and their families for the “What’s Your Dream?” themed Barn Night, presented by Dover Saddlery and media partner The Equiery, beginning at 6 p.m.

The WIHS is excited to announce that the $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, CSI 3*-W will be aired on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, October 28, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. EST.

The show will also be live streamed in its entirety at, and also available on USEF Network on Saturday evening at

The WIHS Silent Auction is live all week long and includes lots of terrific one-of-a-kind items that can’t be missed. Visit to register to bid on the great items or stop by the Silent Auction Area on the Shopping Concourse at Verizon Center to see the items in person.

WIHS tickets are available at or by calling 800-745-3000. General admission is $15 Tuesday through Sunday with children 12 and under admitted free for daytime performances before 5 p.m., courtesy of Washington Area Chevrolet Dealers. Reserved and VIP tickets are available for evening performances. Ending times are approximate. For Discounted Group Sales, call 202-661-5061. Tickets also may be purchased in person at the Verizon Center Box Office. For information about Verizon Center accessible seating and services, call 202-661-5065 (TTY). Full ticket information can be found by visiting

For full results, more information, or to watch the free live feed of the show, please visit www.wihs

About the Washington International Horse Show (

An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is the country’s leading metropolitan indoor horse show and the pinnacle of the equestrian year with top riders, including Olympic medalists and their world-class horses. More than 500 horses participate in show jumping, hunter and equitation events during the six-day show, with many competing all year just to qualify. Highlights include the $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix (a World Cup qualifier), the Puissance (high jump) and WIHS Equitation Finals featuring the country’s top junior riders. Exciting equestrian exhibitions, boutique shopping and community activities, such as Kids’ Day and Breakfast with the Mounted Police, round out this family-friendly event.

Since its debut, the WIHS has been a Washington, D.C. institution attended by celebrities, business, military, and diplomatic leaders, as well as countless horse enthusiasts of all ages. Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.