Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hunters: Wellington: Shawn Casady and Vida Blue Earn the Large Junior 16-17 Hunter Championship With Impressive Scores

Shawn Casady and Vida Blue are the Large Junior 16-17 Hunter champions during the second week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival,
For Immediate Release
Brooke Bidgood for Equestrian Sport Productions

Wellington, FL - January 22, 2011 - The FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), which runs from January 12 through April 3, awarded more championships today in the junior hunter divisions. Among the various junior hunter divisions offered at WEF, the Large Junior Hunters 16-17 finished early Saturday and awarded tricolor honors to the victor.

Shawn Casady, riding the Elm Rock LLC entry, Vida Blue, rode to the Large Junior 16-17 Hunter championship in the second week of WEF.

Casady, of Midtown, TN, and Vida Blue were a hard pair to beat this week. The duo received impressive scores of 92 and 95 over fences on the first day of competition. They then went on to have a repeat the second day of competition, receiving the same two scores of 92 and 95 over fences.

Vida Blue, a thirteen-year-old, grey Holsteiner mare by Chambertin, has had an impressive show career in the junior ring. Now her success continues with Casady, who has been showing Vida Blue since November. "She is a beautiful mare to ride," said Casady.

The pair clinched the championship by winning all four over fences classes.

Shawn Casady and Vida Blue

Reserve champion honors went to Perfectionist. Perfectionist is shown by Heather Hooker and owned by Richard Prant. The pair was third, fourth, and fifth over fences and they won the under saddle class.

Casady, a high school student, is home-schooled in Wellington so that he can continue riding throughout the winter season, a decision that has proved very beneficial to his riding career thus far.

"I want to thank Susie Humes and Elm Rock LLC," said Casady of getting to ride Vida Blue.

The second week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival will come to a successful close tomorrow. The divisions will continue to award the remaining championships for the second week of competition here at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Equitation will also continue tomorrow with the Beval Palm Beach Adult Medal in Ring 6.

Tonight will be the first Saturday Night Lights event of the season. Festivities for the Equine Couture/Tuff Rider Grand Prix will begin at 6 p.m.

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