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Serio and Goguen Victorious in First Hunter Championships Pinned at 2007 WEF

Wellington, FL January 25, 2007 The Grand Hunter Ring at the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival awarded the first champions of this years circuit today, with professional riders such as Tommy Serio, Tim Goguen and Scott Stewart coming out on top.

In the Regular Conformation Hunter division, Serio of Keswick, VA, piloted the 10-year-old bay stallion Popeye K to the tricolor spot with two wins over fences and a second in the model on Wednesday, and a second and third over fences and a third under saddle today.

The stallion has had time off since the Washington International Horse Show in October, but the vacation did not seem to affect his performance. I thought yesterday he was good. He can be a little bit of a bully the first time out of the breeding shed and stuff, but I thought actually he rode around pretty good. Today I thought the lines got quiet for him, but again, thats a detail we can work out, Serio said.

The Second Year Green Hunters drew 29 entries, and Tim Goguen and Boulevard Deir came away with the championship. The pair were 2006 Conformation Hunter Champions at Horse Shows by the Bay in Traverse City, MI. On Wednesday, they collected a second place under saddle, and a first and a third over fences. Thursday, however, did not bring the same results, with Boulevard Deir earning an eighth place finish and a score of 40.

Goguen cited the rainy, cold weather as a possible cause for the horses change of mood. He was terrible today in this cold weather! He was quiet yesterday and I thought hed be all right, and he was just a horse. Hes a good horse, he just got lit up today, Goguen explained. Hes seven now, he had a great year last year, and he probably would have been fine if the weather stayed the same. I think actually hes going to jump the Second Year height really well once he gets going again and have a really good year.

In the Regular Working Hunter divisions, it was Scott Stewart of Flemington, NJ, who took home the most points and the championship on Beyond. The pair is off to a good start and could have a repeat performance of 2006, where they were the Regular Working WEF circuit champions. On Wednesday, Beyond earned first and fourth places over fences, and first and second over fences and third under saddle on Thursday.

Stewart noted that Beyond was purchased to do that specific division, and said that, Hes gotten so easy, hes nice. We know him so well now that we know how to get him to the ring and keep him fresh.

Stewart continued his winning ways in the Green Conformation division aboard the 8-year old Bavarian Warmblood West Point, placing second in the under saddle class, and winning the model and both over fences classes on Wednesday. Stewart has had the horse since he was two years old and has slowly brought him through the ranks. The pair were Pre-Green circuit champion in 2006 at WEF.

I had to take it slow with him because hes such an over-jumper. He was always so careful jumping. I think hes really going to be a great one, Stewart commented.

Hunter competition will continue on Friday, with championships for the Adult Amateur 33 Hunter division and the First Year Green Hunter divisions contested in the Grand Hunter Ring and the Rost Arena at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington, FL.

PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Goguen and Boulevard Deir. Photo 2007 Randi Muster.


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