Jennifer Wood and Sabrina Brashares for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
January 7, 2021 – Wellington, FL. Competition in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring began on Thursday morning with Holly Orlando and Fable taking home top honors in the 3’6” Green Hunters, presented by Equine Tack and Nutritionals. The duo received a high score of 89 for a blue ribbon on the first day of the division, as well as a second-place finish in the under-saddle. They added another two second places as well as a third to their total tally.
Orlando, of Wellington, FL, is going into her third year showing James Anderson’s nine-year-old Warmblood gelding by Coupe De Alb. Anderson also takes over the reins on Fable in the 3’6” Amateur-Owner Hunters.
“We did pre-green hunters with him for a year when we got him, then he started the first year greens last year and we ended up reinstating him because of COVID-19,” Orlando explained. “The last time he showed was WEF 10 last year, so he’s had a long time in between shows. He came out really fresh and crisp with four nice rounds which was great.”
Despite the pair having a break from the show ring, Orlando and Fable remained consistent both days of the division to come out on top. The duo received a score of 90 and two scores of 89 in a competitive class of 30 entries.
“I’m wildly proud of him and Holly for coming back after an almost ten-month hiatus and earning champion,” commented Anderson, of Bedford Hills, NY.
Orlando was also pleased to start the season with Fable on such a high note. “He tried so hard in all four classes,” Orlando described. “It’s hard, especially with a first year horse, to put four good rounds together in a row. This is a great start. It couldn’t have gone any better and now he can be James’ [horse] next week.”
The pair aims to continue their success during the rest of WEF and hopefully qualify for the Devon Horse Show in the 3’6” Green Hunters.
Reserve champion of the division went to Cincinnati, OH, resident Christopher Payne and Still Water Farm LLC’s Reign. Payne piloted Reign to a first, two seconds, and a fourth-place ribbon.
Hunter competition will continue on Friday with the $25,000 United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby in Rings 11 and 12, while the jumpers continue their classes across multiple rings at PBIEC, including the Lugano Diamonds High Amateur-Owner Jumpers as the first class of the morning in the International Arena.