21C founder picks up long-coveted equestrian title

21C founder picks up long-coveted equestrian title

OCALA, FLA (WAVE) - You'd think a successful hotelier would covet something like a Five Diamond Award.

At least that's what Al Pacino's Willy Bank character was after in the 2007 heist film "Ocean's Thirteen."

But Steve Wilson, founder of the 21c Museum Hotels, including the flagship facility in Louisville, went after and earned something different. Something much, much different.

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Wilson last weekend claimed the United States Equestrian Federation championship in the Pair Horse Driving Competition.

Wilson finished second behind Casey Zubek in the first two phases of the competition -- dressage and marathon -- in Ocala, Fla.

But his victory in the cones phase was enough to claim the overall crown after navigating the tricky 20-obstacle course.

"I am the oldest and the least experienced in this sport," Wilson joked. "I have worked for the last five years to become a serious competitor and have always hoped to win an event of this magnitude. I am really happy to have finally accomplished that goal."

Another reward in Wilson's not-too-distant future is the opening of a fourth 21c in Durham, N.C., this spring.

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