Hunters have a reputation for being boring. Because, and I say this with love, they are boring. Most of the time.
(Unless you’re watching the amateur ring. Because things can get very exciting there. It’s just not usually intentional.)
Compared to show jumping, said color commentator Oliver Kennedy, watching hunters is like “figure skating versus hockey.”
I think that might be a generous comparison. Figure skaters fall down. The most dramatic moments from Saturday night’s $100,000 Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Spectacular at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL consisted of this tension-filled head toss.
Molly Ashe Cawley’s stock tie coming untucked. (The horrror!)
And this spook.
Plus the odd refusal and missed distance.
Long analogy short, hunters are more ice dancing than figure skating—technical, refined, precise. But not exactly nail-biting action.
That is, of course, unless you’re watching hunter prodigy Victoria Colvin.
Last night, the 16-year old from Loxahatchee, FL won the WCHR Palm Beach Spectacular. FOR THE THIRD YEAR IN ROW. It’s just one of many her firsts.
In 2012, Colvin became the youngest rider to win the event. Ever. (I’m 95% sure. Don’t quote me on that.)
In 2013, she recorded the highest scores in the history of the Palm Beach Spectacular. (That is true. Co-commentator Geoff Teal tells us so.)
And this year, she didn’t just win. SHE TOOK SECOND PLACE TOO. (The only other rider to win it three times is Emily Williams on Strapless between 2001 to 2003.)
Not surprisingly, Colvin’s performance elicited gushing reviews.
“She’s like the female Rodney Jenkins,” said Kennedy. (FYI: Jenkins, also know as The Red Rider, is considered to be one of the greatest show hunter and jumper riders of all time.)
“In my accounts, she’s the best child rider ever,” agreed Teal.
“First to go, lays it down, nobody can catch her,” continued Kennedy.
“The only one who almost caught her was herself,” countered Teal.
It was a regular Victoria Colvin lovefest. And rightfully so.
Watch the video of her top two rounds and you’ll see why. Here she is on the first place winning Ovation.
And here is with her second place ride on Way Cool.
I’m not even sure what the point of this post was. Be like Colvin? (If you can.)
Carley Sparks covers show jumping and related ridiculousness at getmyfix.org.
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