By Kate Pettersen for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Competition began in Ring 11 on Thursday morning with the ESP Open Hunter 3’3” division sponsored by Gold Coast Feed & Nutrition. After earning three firsts and two second place ribbons, Tamara Provost and Beth Bailey’s Independent took home the championship title.
Independent is a catch ride for Provost, who is keeping the gelding in the show ring for his owner, Beth Bailey. Provost, of Westfield, IN, has only shown Independent a few times and always enjoys the opportunity to compete with him.
“I love him. He is really nice to ride,” said Provost of the coming 11-year-old Holsteiner by Ibisca. “He is a good jumper, good mover, and each time you walk into the ring you feel like you have a great shot on him.”
The duo bested a field of nine competitors to win the under saddle as well as both over fences classes on Thursday.
“He had two great rounds today,” explained Provost. “He is so comfortable and soft to ride. He is a horse that you get on and you like to ride. He is beautiful to jump, beautiful to flat; he is just all of it.”
Provost is excited for the remaining four weeks of WEF with Independent as well as her other horses. The rider also has a busy spring and summer horse show schedule to look forward to this year.
“I love the weather here at WEF,” commented Provost. “The rings and jumps are beautiful, and the overall atmosphere is fantastic.”
Ed Copeland, of Monmouth Beach, NJ, and Mary Mitsch’s Lavender earned two blue ribbons on Wednesday to end as reserve champion in the division.