Iceman and Laurie Stevens Take Home Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51 & Older Championship for Second Consecutive Week
RELEASE: January 18, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Laurie Stevens and Iceman (Anne Gittins Photography)
- Iceman and Laurie Stevens were triumphant for the second week in a row at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). The duo received championship honors in the Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51 & Older (Section A) division during week one before taking home the championship again in week two. Stevens, of Boca Raton, FL, and her eleven-year-old Westphalian gelding placed first and eighth over fences on day one, followed by second and first places over fences and second place under saddle on day two.
LDM Dramatik, owned and ridden by Lynn Berg, was reserve champion of the division. Berg and Dramatik finished in third and eighth places over fences day one and rode to fifth place over fences and eighth place under saddle on day two.
Stevens bought Iceman two years ago after his owner passed away from a brain tumor. "He had gotten [Iceman] as a four-year-old and he was his pride and joy. Some of his last words were, 'Make sure my horse has a good home.' And I feel like Bryan is always watching down on me, like an angel on my shoulder when I'm riding Iceman," Stevens stated.
Iceman and Stevens' close relationship began at the FTI WEF 2012. "Iceman's just a good guy. He always goes in the ring, he's got a smile on his face, (and) he's just happy to do it," Stevens stated. "I trust him. My trainer [Lainie Wimberly] goes up to New York six months a year and I keep him here by myself. I don't need someone always putting him together for me. He's just this good old guy."
Stevens felt confident going into the ring with her trusted companion, especially after winning a class day one and being named division champion the week prior. "When I walk in the ring on him, I just tell myself to relax. He'll relax and pick up this pace and never change," Stevens described.
Stevens, an eleven-year veteran of the FTI WEF, recently moved permanently to Florida, allowing her more time with her family while still enabling her to compete at a high level. "When we moved down here, it made it a lot easier. Now, instead of leaving my kids and flying, I drop them off at morning care and I get to come and show," Stevens explained.
The friendly yet competitive atmosphere at the FTI WEF is what keeps Stevens coming back year after year. "I love all the friends I've made here. I love competing with all of them. We're all rooting for each other and it's very good camaraderie. And, [the FTI WEF] is a high level competition that challenges me. The bar is set so high," she related.