UPPERVILLE, VA., JUNE 7 -- A glimpse into the future of the hunter class was seen today in the Upperville Colt and Horse Show, where For Many Reasons won the first-year green working hunter and Kildare captured championship honors in the second-year green working hunter.
For Many Reasons, owned by Cismont Manor Farm and Julian Heron, was ridden by Tommy Serio of Keswick, Va. Kildare is owned by Bertram R. Firestone and was ridden by Henri Prudent, a newcomer to the hunter division.
"It's much harder to ride hunter; you have to hold so much back, you can't let go," said Prudent, a Frenchman who developed his skills riding jumpers in Europe.
Jumping begins Friday with competition in preliminary jumpers high and low fences, junior/amateur owner jumpers and modified. With jumpers, the emphasis is on strength and speed; they must clear the rails cleanly and complete the course as quickly as possible. Three rounds of each class culminate Saturday, when points from each day are totaled.
In the hunter class, smoothness, style and an illusion of nonchalance are what the judges look for. "You have to invisibly take him around and it has to look like everything's working perfectly," said Louise Serio, who rode Harbor Bay, owned by Kim Lloyd, to championship honors in regular working hunter.
For Many Reasons is showing all the signs of developing into a top regular hunter. "He's probably one of the better ones I've had, he's just young now," Tommy Serio said. "He's very, very pretty, he's correctly made, he's an exquisite mover, and when you get down to it he jumps great."