Take Away and Cortright Wetherill Conclude Junior Year with National Horse Show Hunter Championship Title
Wellington, FL - December 8, 2007 - Cortright Wetherill triumphed for first place honors in the $25,000 National Horse Show Hunter Championship today at the 124th National Horse Show and Family Festival. The horse show features hunter, jumper, and dressage competition and continues through tomorrow at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington, FL.
Eighteen-year-old Wetherill, who has been on a winning streak this year, surpassed junior, amateur-owner, and professional competitors for the championship's blue ribbon win. Held this morning in the Internationale Arena, 37 entries participated in the first round of the National Horse Show Hunter Championship. The top 12 horse and rider combinations then returned for the second round of competition.
Wetherill, who scored an 89 in the first round, executed a beautiful ride aboard his horse Take Away. The pair revisited the arena ninth in the order for the second round, and Take Away succeeded for another stunning performance. As the duo trotted out of the arena, a score of 90 flashed on the scoreboard. Their total of 179 ranked them at the top of the leader board and held up for the overall win. Wetherill and Take Away took home the top award and $7,500 in prize money. Additionally, the duo proved victorious yesterday when they earned the championship for the Large Junior 16-17 Hunter division.
"I feel great!" smiled Wetherill after his victory gallop. "This was my last official class with him, so it was pretty awesome to win. Everybody rode so well, so it was pretty exciting to come out on top. This is my last show as a junior and my last junior class, so this was a great way to finish the year."
"It was challenging today because everybody rode so well," he said. "It was fun riding on the grass field. Going into the second round, I guess I felt like I had nothing to lose. I decided to go right to the first fence and do an inside turn to the first line because I knew I had to have an almost perfect round to beat everybody."
He continued, "My horse felt really good. He jumped as good as he could; he felt awesome. I feel a lot better today too. I didn't feel well this week because think I caught the flu or something at school, but I definitely felt better than I did yesterday."
Wetherill is a freshman at Rollins College in Orlando, FL. He intends to major in history and attend law school once he graduates. "It's hard to manage school with riding, especially during indoors," he revealed. "That was really hard flying back and forth. It's helpful too because I get my mind away from the horse show during the week and then I can focus solely on the horse show when I'm here. Since I go to school in Orlando and don't have horses up there, I only ride when I get here," he admitted. "I don't get to practice at all, so it's pretty difficult, but I ride as much as I can. As soon as I get here, I'll hop on a horse if it's light out."
Wetherill trains with John Brennan and Missy Clark, and he has owned Take Away, an Oldenburg gelding, for three years.
In addition to the National Horse Show Hunter Championship, the Bainbridge Farm Adult Hunters concluded for championship honors in the Rost Arena. In the Bainbridge Farm 18-35 Adult Hunters, Stella Blue and Sloan Brown of Katonah, NY, came away with the tricolor. The reserve championship was presented to Sea Walker and Nicole Oliynyk of Franklin, MA.
In section A of the Bainbridge Farm Over 35 Adult Hunters, Norlando and Marsia Holzer of New York, NY, were awarded the championship. Regall and Bruce Duchossois of Aiken, SC, took home the reserve tricolor. In section B of the Older Adult Hunters, Special K and Lora Schultz were awarded the championship. Schultz resides in Wellington. FL. The reserve championship went to Orka and Laurie Stevens of Boca Raton, FL.
Hunters at the 124th National Horse Show and Family Festival continue tomorrow, and pony hunters will wrap up for championship awards.
$25,000 National Horse Show Hunter Championship Results
1. 232, Take Away, Cortright Wetherill, Cortright Wetherill, 89.000 90 179.000
2. 565, Beyond, Scott Stewart, Scott Stewart, 86.000 85 171.000
3. 311, Africa, Tim Goguen, Janet Read, 84.000 86 170.000
4. 548, Lazy Sunday, Samantha Schaefer, Keli Colby, 85.000 83 168.000
5. 204, Lyle, Taylor Ann Adams, Stephanie Keen, 78.000 87 165.000
6. 109, Lights Out, Jennifer Waxman, Nellie Ann Foosaner, 81.000 82 163.000
7. 251, Perfectionist, Samantha Schaefer, Scott Stewart 77.000 84 161.000
8. 383, Granted, Alexandra Arute, Olympic Dreams 80.000 78 158.000
9. 303, Late Entry, Hugh Mutch, Paradysz Farms 82.000 73 155.000
10. 419, Say The Word, Nicole Bellissimo, Far Niente Equine, 79.000 75 154.000
11. 136, Charleston Z, Caitlin Ziegler, Artisan Farms LLC, 76.500 69 145.500
12. 408, Saloon, Jennifer Waxman, Whitney Roper, 90.000 Withdrew
Photo Credit: Cortright Wetherill and Take Away, National Horse Show Hunter Champions. Photo (C) 2007 Randi Muster. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.
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