Circa and Nick Haness Leave Mark On WCHR Week at Wellington International

Nick Haness & Circa, Section A Champion of the Equine Tack and Nutritionals 3’6” Green Hunter. Photo © Sportfot

Edited Press Release

The country’s top hunter horses and riders have flocked to Wellington, FL, for World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) competition during Week 6 at Wellington International’s Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Professional riders took to the 3’6” height in the International Arena on Friday as the first tricolors of the week were awarded. Throughout the week, hunters in all divisions will be featured as amateurs, juniors, and professionals alike vie for a chance to qualify for Saturday night’s $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular.

The final phases of the Equine Tack and Nutritionals 3’6” Green Hunter division, consisting of a stake and a handy, kicked off the day in the main arena as combinations competed over their final two jumping rounds. The division was held in a California Split format where each class had two sets of results as well as two overall division champions and reserve champions.

Collecting the first tricolor of the day, the Section A championship went to Circa, an eight-year-old Holsteiner mare by Casall, ridden by West Coast professional Nick Haness for owner Glade Run Farm LLC. 

“Circa is the most incredible horse and I just have so much love for her,” Haness gushed. “I was fortunate enough to import her from Europe as a five year old and continue to be part of her life and her journey. She has been very successful through the pre-greens and now as a first year horse because she is a truly exceptional mare.”

Nick Haness & Circa, presented as Champion of the Equine Tack and Nutritionals 3’6” Green Hunter. Photo © Sportfot

The mare proved just how exceptional she was throughout the division as she earned the highest scores both Wednesday and Thursday with results of 93 and 94, respectively. Another blue ribbon under saddle clinched the division title. 

“We haven’t shown her a lot this year because we were getting her primed and ready for this important week and I feel like it has really paid off,” continued Haness, who hails from Temecula, CA, and splits his time between competing in California and Florida during the winter season. “She has a beautiful expression, and she jumps in textbook form every time. I’m so honored to continue to be a part of her career and her life, she is very special to me.” 

When asked about his plans for the weekend’s pinnacle event, Haness conceded that Circa was a strong contender for the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular as his chosen mount for ‘Saturday Night Lights.’ 

“I have two buys into the class already this week, so I can choose from a lot of horses which is a great place to be but it’s also difficult to decide,” he detailed of his many top mounts. “As today winds down, we’ll see how everyone has done and who feels ready. This was her first time jumping in the International Arena and she felt incredibly brave and confident – even loving the atmosphere – so I’m pretty confident that she could be one of my better choices to use in the class.”

Jennifer Hannan & Frosted, Section B Champion of the Equine Tack and Nutritionals 3’6” Green Hunter. Photo © Sportfot

The Section B Championship went to Frosted, Rindy Dominguez’s 10-year-old Holsteiner stallion by Connor ridden by Jennifer Hannan of Wakefield, RI. They collected first and third placings over fences and a win in the under saddle.

Reserve Champion was also split between two contenders with Section A being awarded to Holly Orlando of Wellington, FL, and Macallan, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding sired by Typhoon S and owned by Privet Farm, LLC. Southland, SG Equestrian, LLC’s eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Obos Quality, carried Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, to the Section B Reserve Championship to round out the tricolor honors.

For Haness, the winning wasn’t over. With a staggering 119 contenders in The Rein Family 3’6” Performance Hunter Stake, Haness claimed not one but both Section A and Section B Championships aboard Romeo and Queen Celeste, respectively. John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC’s 13-year-old Zangersheide gelding, Romeo (Diarado), produced a leading total of 36 points throughout two days of competition for the title.

Christopher Payne & Can Can. Photo © Sportfot

Christopher Payne of Cincinnati, OH, clocked in with the Section A Reserve Championship aboard Can Can, Stephanie Ring’s 14-year-old gelding by Cascari. Can Can was also presented with the Champion Equine Insurance Hunter Style Award by Laura Fetterman after winning the Stake with a score of 92.

Nick Haness & Queen Celeste, Section B Champion of The Rein Family 3’6” Performance Hunter division. Photo © Sportfot

Haness returned to the winner’s circle as the Section B leader with Glade Run Farm, LLC’s 13-year-old Holsteiner mare, Queen Celeste (by Cassini I) after collecting a total of 23 points. In 2023, Heinous piloted Queen Celeste to a podium finish in the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular at WEF.

Amanda Steege & Lafitte De Muze. Photo © Sportfot

Amanda Steege of Califon, NJ, and Cheryl Olsten’s iconic 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood Darco gelding, Lafitte De Muze, rounded out tricolor ribbon recipients as the Section B Reserve Champion.

This Post is Brought to You by:

America Cryo

Subzero equine therapy uses pressurized CO2 to target very specific areas such as joints, including the hock, stifle, pastern and fetlock, resulting in optimized range of motion and reduced pain.

  • Initial results visible within just 60 seconds
  • Infrared temperature and distance sensors for real-time control
  • Rapid attachment systems for faster setup and storage
  • Long-lasting battery and 15’ polyurethane-shielded cord
  • Backlit, interactive LCD screen shows treatment data
  • Treatment protocols for different conditions

Vets, trainers and physiotherapists report rapid pain relief and overall faster recovery from equine injuries through targeted cold therapy. This versatile and easy-to-use device treats numerous regions of the sports horse’s body for effective maintenance and injury prevention.