King's kindness, a 5-year-old gray gelding, sailing gracefully over eight hurdles here today to win the Founders Cup in the Upperville [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] Show.
The winning [WORD ILLEGIBLE] was Charlie Weaver, who also rode the second place horse, Stocking[WORD ILLEGIBLE]
For winning the cup event in what is the country's oldest horse show, King's Kindness owners - Mrs. R. Haake and Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Wheeler - received a replica of the original cup designed in 1853 for the first show.
The Upperville show was begun by Richard Henry Dulany, a Virginia gentleman who wanted to stimulate local breeding and encourage the proper care of draft and riding stock in Loudoun and Fauquier counties.
King's Kindness' performance today was remarkable in that the California-based Cismont Manor Farm horse, previously owned by Paul Mellon, was once a race horse and has been preparing for the Upperville show for only three weeks.
Besides the cup event, King's Kindness also won the Green Conformation Championship in this, his first East Coast show.
Weaver, 24, said the transition from the race to show horse was not that difficult for King's Kindness. "Show horses just don't have the ambition to work at the race track. Sometimes, people go to the race track looking for good show horses. He's such a good looking horse, I imagine that's why the change was made.
"He's a quiet horse. He didn't get upset from the racing so his trainer (who is also owner Wheeler) started teaching him to jump beginning with the lower fences to build his confidence."
Stocking Stuffer is owned by Mr. and Mrs. August A. Busch Jr.
Showing two horses in the same event is not difficult, Weaver said. "I'm used to riding a lot and you have to be versatile and adjust from one horse to the other. You suit each horse to the course and just try to jump each fence the same, striving for consistency. You want it to be as even and smooth as possible between the jumps."
Stocking Stuffer, the Upperville grand champion last year, "is an older, more experienced horse who can go with a little more pace." he said.
Razzle, owned by J. Berk Lee and Cross Roads, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Leffert Lefferts, finished third and fourth among the field of 15 in the cup event.
Saturday, competition will begin at 8 a.m. for working hunters, in which riders must be in hunting attire. The Upperville hunter classic will began around noon. The show is on Rte. 50 and general admission is $1 for adults and 50 cents for children under 12.