Makes The Journey East To Compete in The AHJF Hunter Classic
7, 2003 -- Wellington, Florida -- On February 15, 2003 the
seventh annual American Hunter-Jumper Foundation (AHJF) Hunter
Classic Spectacular will be featured under the lights in Wellington,
FL. Among the list of top notch competitors will be Peter
Pletcher, who is the 2002 Chronicle of the Horse Professional
World Champion Hunter Rider. He earned his ticket to compete
when he won that title. Pletcher will come from the West Coast
to the East Coast to compete in this prestigious event.
talked with Pletcher, of Magnolia, TX, about his journey East
and about the Classic. Pletcher noted, "It's the top
hunter event in the world and it is very important for a hunter
rider to try and compete in this class to support the sport.
It is also one of the biggest money classes for hunter riders.
President, Geoff Teall, is pleased that Pletcher sees the
value in traveling to Florida. I think it is great that
Peter is showing such interest in the program, as well as
the class itself. I am sure he will be a big threat to everyone
involved, and I hope he wins. He has been a great supporter
of the program and the AHJF since its inception, and we really
began riding when he was 12 years old on a three-quarter Arabian
he got for his birthday. He recalls first riding bareback and then
with the help of school friends he started to learn to jump over
picnic table benches. Eventually he got more serious and in his
junior years trained with Bill Robertson, Joanie Waterman, Johnny
Conn, Bill Robertson, Shane George, and Jimmy Lee. As an amateur
he trained with Debbie Stephens (then Shaffner), Bernie Traurig
and Billy Glass. After seven years as an amateur he made the decision
to become a professional, but wasnt sure how successful he
would be. Im an easygoing, happy person, and I didnt
think anyone would take me seriously."
didnt have to worry because right from the beginning he was
successful. By 1996, Linda Hough asked him to ride her horses. Eventually
Pletcher started his own farm called PJP Farm, Inc., a 60-acre facility
in Magnolia, TX.
the years Pletcher has claimed many honors. One of his many successes
happened in March of 2001 when Pletcher rode Geste, who is owned
by Judi McGee Holmes, to a record-setting perfect score of "100"
at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show Classic. "To have a rider
like Peter score a perfect 100 during our $10,000 Open Hunter Classic,
was an honor for Pin Oak," commented President, Lynn Walsh.
"It was a magical evening. They never missed a beat."
2002, USA Equestrian honored Pletcher with The Emerson Burr Trophy
for an equestrian competing in hunter classes over fences. His title
of 2002 Chronicle of the Horse Professional Rider of the Year as
well as being Champion in the First and Second-year Green Hunter
division at Blowing Rock Charity, Champion Green Hunter at HITS
Tahoe III and Champion of the First Year Greens at the Kentucky
Spring Show helped earn him this honor.
in 2003, Pletcher will attempt to add a new victory to his long
list of wins, since he has never won the annual AHJF Hunter Classic.
THE AMERICAN HUNTER JUMPER FOUNDATION
AHJF was founded in 1992 by Louise Serio, Geoff Teall and Kavar
Kerr. At that time it had 400 members and four designated member
shows in each of five regions. Today the AHJF has over 1,000 members
and 48 designated shows in 8 regions.
AHJF was created for the purpose of rewarding the hunter riders
who are often overlooked when compared to the jumpers. Beyond the
awards program, the AHJF also has an Emergency Relief Fund, the
Retired Equine Placement Service, and a BSA 401(k) Profit Sharing
Plan. It works towards educating spectators and encourages grass-roots
organizations. The AHJF is a non-profit, member and sponsor-supported
attached is Peter Pletcher after winning the 2002 Chronicle of the
Horse Professional World Champion Hunter Rider title at the Capital
Challenge Horse Show. Diana De Rosa Photo
For information about the Hunter Classic contact the AHJF at 335
Lancaster Street, West Boylston, MA 01583-0369, call 508-835-8813,
fax 508-835-6125, for point standings go to http://www.ryegate.com/AHJF/2002/stand/standing.htm,
or email AHJF@aol.com.
to the Winter Equestrian Festival are available by phone at 793-JUMP
or at the gate. Admission is free on Wednesdays. Children 12 &
under are free all days. Senior admission is $5 every day. Adult
admission is $5 on Thursday and Friday, $10 on Saturday, and $15
on Sunday. Parking is free.
Equestrian Festival Dates:
week runs Wednesday through Sunday beginning at 8:00 AM)
Gold Coast Classic - January 29 - February 2
Wellington Dressage January 30 February 2
Kilkenny/ICH Internationale February 5 9
Florida Classic/WCHR Spectacular February 12 16
Florida Dressage Classic February 13 - 16
Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters February 19
Tommy Bahama Palm Beach Open February 26 March 2
Cosequin Wellington Finale March 5 9
Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic March 13