Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 18, 2022 – The Walnut Ring welcomed back the most established, professional hunter riders on Thursday morning to vie for the win in the Platinum Performance USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship 3’0” to 3’3” and 3’6” to 3’9” sections. The Green Hunter 3’0” and 3’3” came back for round three to ride for the tri-color, while the 3’6” and 3’9” horse-and-athlete combinations entered for their first round of competition. Bobby Murphy (USA) set a course that allowed the riders to accentuate their horse’s style and scope to impress the panel of three judges.

Scott Stewart & Nottingham

John French and Wyatt succeeded with great mastery to earn the first tri-color of the week in the Platinum Performance USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship 3’0” and 3’3” section while Daniel Geitner and Mr. Manhattan took home the blue in the first round of the 3’6” and 3’9” section. The day concluded with Scott Stewart and Nottingham taking home championship honors in the Platinum Performance USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship 3’6” and 3’9” sections to wrap up Green Hunter Incentive competition.

Daniel Geitner & Mr. Manhattan

Starting the morning off, Daniel Geitner and Martin Schlaeppi’s Mr. Manhattan won the judges over, jumping in top form to earn scores of 89 and two 90’s to total 269.00 points. “I wouldn’t choose any other horse than the one I’m sitting on,” comments Geitner on the 8-year old German Sporthorse gelding. “He was bred here in the US by Emil Spadone and Redfield Farm. He’s green, but he really is a special horse.”

John French & Wyatt

Green Hunters from the 3’0” and 3’3” section were welcomed back into the Walnut Arena one final time to ride for championship honors. After combining their scores from the last two days of competition, the top 30 horse-and-athlete combinations entered their final round on a clean slate. Second in the order to contest for championship honors was Hunt Tosh aboard Ceil Wheeler’s 7-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Twain. Champions of this class in 2021, the polished pair were the ones to watch. Jumping to scores of 88 points, 85 points, and 87 points, they held the top of the leaderboard for 15 rides.

Hunt Tosh & Twain

French piloted Susan Moriconi’s, Wyatt, the 7-year-old warmblood gelding, to scores of 86 points, 88 points, and 91 points to total 265 points, overtaking Tosh’s high score and granting them an early lead in the class by a margin of 5 points. Tim Gougen and Endeavor, the 7-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Belhaven Stables LLC, entered the ring 25th in the order, ready to overtake both French and Tosh’s high scores. Murphy’s traditional hunter course allowed the pair to float effortlessly around the arena to impressive scores of 87 points, 84.50 points, and 88.50 points respectively to tie with Tosh for reserve championship honors.

Tim Goguen & Endeavor

The sun dimmed on the Walnut Arena, but the final section of Green Hunter Incentive athletes shined in their second round of the day for the 3’6” and 3’9” division. Third to contest in the championship round was Jimmy Torano aboard Isalou, Inc.’s 10-year-old Westphalian gelding, Laskano. After taking the fourth award in the first round this morning, the long-time pair were top contenders. Landing from the final jump with a large round of applause, and scores announced of 92 points, 91 points, and 86.5 points for a total of 269.50 points, the pair took an early lead of the class.

Scott Stewart & Nottingham

Although they were feeling the pressure, Stewart and the 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, showed they were more than worthy of championship honors. Jumping to new high scores of 93 points, 90 points and 92 points, for a total of 275 points, Stewart and the eye-catching grey took command of the top leaderboard spot leaving Torano and Laskano to settle for reserve champion honors. “I was lucky enough that Jimmy [Torano] went before me and had a really good round so I knew I really had to go all out,” explained Stewart. “If I hadn’t seen him go before me I would have been a bit more conservative, but my horse [Nottingham] was fabulous, so it was great.”

Jimmy Torano & Laskano

From The Winner’s Circle

Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship 3’0”/3’3”

John French – Green Hunter Incentive Champion 3’0”/3’3”

On being back for the Green Incentive:
“It is great to be back. It is a great class to have 100 + horses and young horses where everyone is aspiring to have as their next superstar. It is really nice to see the quality of the horses here.”

On Wyatt:
“The first day he was a bit tense and then he was fourth. I knew he had it in him. Today I took him out in the field because I didn’t want him to be too bored doing it three days in a row and I think it definitely paid off. His owner, Susan Moriconi, moved to me at the beginning of Florida this year. He had been recently imported so I started him in the first year. He was a bit green to put straight in the first year even though I knew he had the jump and the scope. He needed to be hunterized a little bit so I backed him down before I did too many shows. I thought that this would be my goal, to get him ready for this class.”

On the Green Incentive and prize money:
“It is nice to see some money going to the hunters since it always goes to the jumpers with all of the grand prixs. To see it put into the hunters helps to get owners interested in buying them and really bringing them along. To have this class makes people want to buy them young and bring them along. If we didn’t have this by the time they got to bigger classes they would already have so much money in them.”

John French & Wyatt

Hunt Tosh – Green Hunter Incentive Championship Reserve 3’0”/3’3”

On his strategy with Twain this year:
“It is interesting. The horses get a little bit tired doing three days in a row but my horse was great all three days. I was very happy with him. Like John [French] said, it is a great group of horses and a great class. It is a great opportunity for the young horses to have a chance to win this kind of money.”

Tim Goguen – Green Hunter Incentive Championship Reserve 3’0”/3’3”

On the class:
“I agree with both [French & Tosh]. It is a great class. I think three days in this ring can be a little bit difficult for them as they are going up and down the hill. I think my horse got a little better each class. The first class he was a little frozen and I wasn’t sure if he had enough left in the tank, but he went beautifully and I couldn’t be happier with him.”

On the Green Incentive and prize money:
“I think it also helps develop some of these horses. It helps to develop some of them to be junior and amateur horses down the road. I think that there would be less horses in the pool of junior/amateur horses if we didn’t have this class so I think it is a great program.”


Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship 3’6”/3’9”

Scott Stewart – Green Hunter Incentive Champion 3’6”/3’9”

On the strategy going into this year’s Green Incentive:
“My horses have not shown since Upperville [Upperville Colt & Horse Show]. I was really happy with how this group went. I was lucky enough that Jimmy [Torano] went before me and had a really good round so I knew I really had to go all out. If I hadn’t seen him go before me I would have been a bit more conservative but my horse [Nottingham] was fabulous so it was great.”

On working at home with his horses:
“I have been home for the past couple of weeks. I ride them everyday and I have a little pony course where I jump 3 or 4 times a week. I don’t jump higher than that really at home and try to simulate this kind of course so we are comfortable. I am fine not showing that much but it took me a couple of days to settle.”

On his plan going in:
“Well Jimmy [Torano] did exactly what you would want to do in the ring so it didn’t leave me an option. Nottingham is really great at that and he has a really big stride. He is really great and he is really brave and he never gets quick. He is really adjustable so he is the perfect horse for this course, it suited him.”

Jimmy Torano & Laskano

Jimmy Torano – Green Hunter Incentive Championship Reserve 3’6”/3’9”

On Strategy:
“I thought he went well this morning and I can always trust that horse. I thought he felt great in the ring and he is always best out of real gallop so I knew I could go in there and lay it down. My horse and Scott’s [Stewart] horse have been going head to head all year. Those two horses are neck-and-neck every week and I really thought that it was a great class.”

“That horse will go again tomorrow. I can trust the horse; he isn’t spooky at all. He has won six derbies this year so I am hoping that he will keep going the way that he has been.”

On the clean slate format for the final round:
“I think it all depends on a given day. If you are leading you want to stay there, but it is kind of nice. It brings you in even. I like it and it makes you jockey for position.”

On being tier two top ten:
“I think the programs that they have now between this and the derby. For the last ten years or so people always talk about getting a derby horse and getting to the green incentive. You talk about Nick [Haness] and he came in with a lot of horses and a big group gearing towards this. It has become a really big thing for the hunters and I think it needed it. The jumpers have the grand prix at the international level and this is the grand prix for the hunters.”


Nick Haness – Green Hunter Incentive Championship Fourth Place 3’6”/3’9”

What it was like to ride in the classes this week:
“This course offered a lot of places to gallop and watching both of them [Stewart & Torano] they demonstrated a great hunter pace. It is certainly very fun to watch. My goal today was to be smooth and have the same consistency throughout the round and my horses were great and did that. It has been a great week for me as far as the incentives and championships have gone. A great first two days which were awesome, very fun, and exciting. Today was the day that proved that everyday is a new day and in this format green horses can be green horses but overall the horses went super. The classes were really decided upon quality this year which is really awesome.”


Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship Round 3’0”/3’3”

Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Score
1. Wyatt / John French / Susan Moriconi / 265
2. Twain / Hunt Tosh / Ceil Wheeler / 260
3. Endeavor / Tim Goguen / Belhaven Stables LLC / 260
4. Advent / John French / Marta Rocha / 259
5. MF Starboy / Michael Britt-Leon / Michael Britt-Leon / 257.5
6. Avila / Elizabeth Boyd / Emo Stables / 254.5
7. Tom Sawyer / Sara Taylor / Anne Keesler / 254.5
8. So Special / Victoria Colvia / Paula Horton / 254
9. Zephyr / Geoffrey Hesslink / Signorino Family Farm LLC / 253.5
10. Momentous / Victoria Colvin / LG Sport Horses LLC / 253

Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship Round 3’6”/3’9”

Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Score
1. Nottingham / Scott Stewart / Dr. Betsee Parker / 275
2. Laskano / Jimmy Torano / Isalou INC / 269.5
3. Casanova Royal / Scott Stewart / Stepahnie Danhkal / 263.25
4. HH Elmo / Nick Haness / Lindsay Maxwell / 263
5. Small Love / Nick Haness / Iwasaki & Reilly / 262.25
6. Creekside / Elizabeth Boyd / Gigi Manigault / 259.5
7. Rock Point / Scott Stewart / Rivers Edge / 258
8. Pendleton / Jennifer Alfano / Kathy Chiaf / 257
9. Bettina / Elizabeth Boyd / Mary Caroline Nolan / 252.5
10. Easton Blue / Jef Lauwers / Papandreou Hunter Jumper LLC / 251.5

About the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships:

The Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship brings forth some of the top hunter athletes across the country who compete over three days at their respective height. In the 3’0”/3’3” height, all horses compete in the first two rounds, in which they receive numerical scores. The top 30 horses, including those tied for 30th, with the highest combined scores from the first two rounds, advance to the third round, where they start with a clean slate. The 3’6”/3’9” Championship consists of two rounds where all horses must compete in the first round in which they will receive numerical scores. The 30 horses, including those tied for 30th, with the highest scores from the first round, advance to the final round where they start with a clean slate.

The USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program offers a Rider Ranking System for riders to earn additional prize money. Use of the Rider Ranking System is optional in Stake Classes and Regional Championships but is a key offering at the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships each year. It is designed to allow riders who are newer to the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program to earn additional prize money, which helps encourage new participation as the program grows.
Within the Green Hunter Incentive Rider Ranking System, riders are categorized each year into two tiers based upon their prior earnings within the program. Tier I riders are those who are ranked 1-30 in money won in the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program over the past three years, and all other riders are considered Tier II. For more information on Green Hunter Rider Ranking System and the breakdown of prize money, please visit, https://bit.ly/3QS7bIh


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