Thursday’s competition featured an impressive championship win by Rob Carey, of Bolton, ON, Canada, and First Watch, owned by Barbara Mitchell, in the Perfect Products USHJA Hunter 3’ division. The pair mastered the course set in ring 11 and prevailed with three firsts and a third over fences, with a second in the under saddle.
When asked about his goals going into today’s competition, Carey said, “We weren’t focusing on anything in particular, just winning! We wanted to get [First Watch] back to his winning ways.”
The seven-year-old Oldenburg is a recurring WEF competitor, having returned to Wellington to show for three years in a row. Carey and the young gelding competed in the Pre-Green 3 & 4 Year Old division in 2016, and continued on to capture the top tricolor more than once in the Green Hunter 3’3” division for WEF 2017, with multiple scores in the 90s. This week’s win marks First Watch’s second time back in the show ring after eight months off.
“He is the nicest hunter I have ever ridden,” said Carey. “Everything about him is absolutely fantastic.”
Carey hopes to show the seven-year-old during weeks 11 and 12 at WEF and plans to move him up to the 3’3” height.
“I think that it will be a really easy transition for him,” said Carey. “He can jump some big jumps!”
Sarah Sturges took the reserve championship win aboard Drake, owned by Christopher Payne, with a first in the under saddle and a first, fourth, seventh, and seventh over fences.