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News

Laura Lee Montross and Nairobi Nights Are Best in Camping World Adult Amateur Hunters 51 & Over

RELEASE: March 14, 2014
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Laura Lee Montross and Nairobi Nights (Sportfot)
Laura Lee Montross and Nairobi Nights (Sportfot)
Wellington, Fla.
- Laura Lee Montross, of Bedford, NY, took home another championship title with her own Nairobi Nights at the FTI WEF. The pair won the $5,000 Peggy Cone Adult Amateur Classic during World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Week earlier this season at the FTI WEF, and followed up that win with a week ten division championship title in the Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51 & Over division on Friday morning.
 
Nairobi Nights, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding out of Ingur B. by Nairobi, placed first, second, and seventh over fences for the division championship. The reserve championship went to Shadowplay, ridden by Gay Peterson and owned by Perry Peterson. Shadowplay and Gay jumped to third and first over fences. The pair was also awarded the Champion Equine Insurance Hunter Style Award for their efforts.

Montross was thrilled to pick up another win at the FTI WEF given the caliber of competition that attends the show. "I'm very happy to have such a nice horse and a great trainer. I love this show. It's nice to be here the whole season, and to be consistent as well is very rewarding," Montross said. "I think everybody likes to come here and you get the majority of adult riders. In summertime, people spread out. I think it is one of the more competitive horse shows that we see."
 
Since their week six win, Montross thought Nairobi Nights still felt fantastic, describing him as a horse that truly enjoys the show ring, particularly the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring at PBIEC.
 
"He felt very happy. He likes this ring a lot, so he walks right in there and does his job really well. It's nice I can gallop around, and that's when he does the best. He was good yesterday in the Rost too, but we really love this ring."
 
Montross has owned Nairobi Nights for eight years, and while she is grateful to have such a well-developed bond with the gelding, she acknowledged he was difficult as a young horse. She turned the reins over to trainer Jimmy Torano and hunter professional Holly Orlando before taking the ride back five years ago.
 
"I would try every once in a while, and then give him back to the professionals. The past five years or so, I've had him [to show on my own], and it's been great," Montross smiled.

Of Nairobi Night's development over the years, Montross noted, "He is very quiet in the ring. He puts his ears forward and just goes around. When he's feeling good, he keeps a nice even pace and he jumps a nice jump. He stays even and has a nice temperament."
 
Nairobi Nights has turned into the perfect amateur hunter partner for Montross. While he has a tendency to feed off any nerves he can sense from his rider, Montross can take it all in stride after getting to know the horse so well.
 
"I think that comes with just knowing him so well, that's why it's nice to have a horse for so long that you feel comfortable," Montross commented.
 
Showing in the adult amateur hunters has been especially rewarding for Montross, who finds her division in particular to exude an atmosphere of camaraderie.
 
"[I find that is true] especially here in Florida, because we're here for the whole twelve weeks. Even the weeks we're not showing we still come and watch our division. Everyone's very friendly, especially the 51 and over. We're all here and having a good time. It's competitive, but everybody's enjoying it."

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