McLain Ward and Rothchild (Photos: The Book LLC)
Devon, Pa. – June 1, 2017 – Thursday night at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair belonged to world number two ranked rider McLain Ward of Brewster, New York, who surpassed 28 contenders to claim the $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4* for the ninth time in his career. Ward rode the 16-year-old chestnut Warmblood, Rothchild, owned by Sagamore Farms, around the famed Dixon Oval in front of a packed crowd, consisting of diehard show jumping fans to Pennsylvania locals, hoping to witness some of the greatest names in the sport of show jumping go head-to-head for the most coveted trophy in the Devon collection: the Celeste McNeal Harper Perpetual Trophy.
Great Britain’s Kelvin Bywater put riders to the test, challenging the international field of athletes with his technical first round track consisting of 12 obstacles each set at 1.60m in height.
Jonathan McCrea (USA) set the tone for the evening as the first to navigate the course fault-free aboard Candy Tribble’s Aristoteles V. Second to turn in a clear ride was Devin Ryan (USA) riding his own Cooper, while Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) gave Luibanta BH a clear ride for Gochman Sport Horse LLC. The remaining riders to join the jump-off were Aaron Vale (USA) riding Finou 4, owned by Thinks Like A Horse, and Ward and Rothchild.
In the end, Rothchild reigned supreme for the second time, after also winning with Ward in 2013, in the five-horse jump-off, thrilling spectators and galloping through the timers in a speedy 41.21 seconds.
McCrea was first to return to take on the shortened course, and set the time to beat at 4 faults in 46.260 seconds, which would earn him fifth place at the end of the evening. Ryan was second to return and was the first to clear the course penalty-free in 42.110 seconds, garnering him second place honors in the final standings. Derbyshire followed with another fault-free round, finishing just behind Ryan in 42.560 seconds, which would be good enough for third place. Vale returned as fourth in the jump-off order-of-go, but added 4 faults to his name in 42.950 seconds to finish in fourth place.
The enthusiastic crowd erupted as Ward and his longtime partner, Rothchild, were the final pair to cross the finish line with all of the rails intact. The ever-expressive gelding threw his infamous buck at the end of his stellar performance, knowing he had secured the title of $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4* champion.
Rothchild and Ward continue to make headlines with their impressive performances throughout the world, including those at the 2015 Pan American Games where the pair won individual gold.
To conclude the night, Beezie Madden (USA) was presented with the Richard E. McDevitt Style Award for displaying the best style of riding throughout the evening aboard Breitling LS.
Maggie Jayne and Standing Ovation Victorious in $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
After cooler weather earlier in the week, blue skies and sun set the stage for the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, sponsored by the Wheeler family, at the iconic Devon Horse Show. Thirty-one horse-and-rider pairs were put to the test and brought many spectators elbow-to-elbow on the fence line of the Dixon Oval to catch a glimpse of the action.
The two panels of judges consisted of Rick Fancher, Chris Wynne, Bob Crandall and Bobbie Reber. The lead score of 178 in the classic round was tied between Tori Colvin aboard John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC’s Cuba and Pony Lane Farm’s Standing Ovation, ridden by Maggie Jayne, for much of the first round. Allen Rheinheimer designed the course, which consisted of 11 obstacles with four high-option fences for those looking to increase their score. Both riders opted to jump all high-option fences in the classic round.
It was not long before Tracy Fenney entered the ring and laid down a trip worthy of the new leading score with MTM Farm’s MTM Outbid, collecting a score of 182.5 after expertly navigating all four high-options.
The top 12 riders in the classic round were called to the winner’s circle to take their ribbons before competing in the handy phase. Taking home top honors in the classic round was Fenney and MTM Outbid, while Standing Ovation earned the second place ribbon and Cuba secured third place.
The leading combinations returned in reverse order in hopes of impressing the judges to move up in the standings and collect valuable points towards the upcoming USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship in August.
In the handy phase, Standing Ovation and Jayne were third to last to go. They separated themselves from the pack to ultimately claim the highest overall score of 375 points, once again nailing every high-option and proving the 10-year-old Warmblood stallion’s rideability to nab a score of 197 from the two judging panels in the handy phase.
The reserve champion tricolor award was given to Colvin and Cuba, who jumped three of the four high-options in the handy to end with a total of 367 points overall. Cuba also walked away bearing the Shapley’s Best Turned Out award.
Redfield Farm’s Baranus rounded out the top three with Cassandra Kahle in the irons after returning from the first round sitting in eighth place with 167 points. Kahle knew she had to step up her game if she wanted a chance to move up in the ribbons so she and Baranus successfully took on all four high-options in the handy round. The duo garnered the third place ribbon after collecting an overall total of 361 points.
In fourth place with a total score of 360.50 was Candid, owned by veteran hunter rider Jennifer Alfano, ridden by Kristy Herrera. Herrera, longtime student and friend of Alfano, was the winner of the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship aboard another Alfano-owned mount, Miss Lucy. The winners of the first round, Fenney and MTM Outbid, finished the class in fifth place overall with 356.5 points.
Amanda Murchison Earns Back-to-Back Devon Blues in Three-Gaited English Show Pleasure
Word after waiting nearly 30 years to compete at the historic showgrounds. It has also always been one of Murchison’s dreams to win a Devon blue in front of the Dixon Oval crowds. Murchison fulfilled that dream not once, but twice as she rode away with the Robin Hill Challenge Trophy for the second year in a row in the Adult Three-Gaited English Show Pleasure class on Thursday.
Murchison of Hookset, New Hampshire and CH Spread The Word have been working together for about three years. In that time, the duo has claimed some of the highest honors within their discipline. Together, they’ve won the United Professional Horsemen’s Association American Saddlebred Adult Amateur Show Pleasure Horse of the Year and the reserve World’s Champion of Champions Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure.
In the Junior Five-Gaited Saddle Horse division, Sallie-Mason Wheeler and Ceil and Kenny Wheeler’s Bodidly rode away with the first place prize. Gabriella Snyder and Callaway’s There’s No Stopping Us earned second place, while Julia Wester and The Paper Girl JJW finished in third place.
Devon Donates $430,000 to Bryn Mawr Hospital
The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair and the Bryn Mawr Hospital have been longtime partners in the community. This past December, following its 120th anniversary, the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair presented a $430,000 donation to Bryn Mawr Hospital.
The donation is the third installment of a five-year, $2 million pledge made by the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair in support of Bryn Mawr Hospital’s modernization project.
Devon Horse Show chair Wayne W. Grafton, Devon Horse Show president Richard O’Donnell and the 2016 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair co-chairs Karin Maynard and Beth Wright presented the donation to Bryn Mawr Hospital president Andi Gilbert.
“Devon has been extremely generous towards Bryn Mawr Hospital for nearly 100 years. Their extraordinary $2 million pledge towards our ‘For Every Generation’ capital campaign is just the latest example of their generosity,” said Gilbert. “These volunteers give up themselves year round so that we can provide an enhanced experience for our patients and families.”
The $253 million modernization project, the most significant investment in Bryn Mawr Hospital’s history, was put into motion so that the 123-year-old hospital can continue to provide and improve upon its exceptional patient care. The project will include a new intensive care unit to be named in honor of the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair.
“It’s an honor to be a longstanding contributor to Bryn Mawr Hospital,” said Grafton. “The ability to present this check each year is directly tied to the success of the show, which is run by thousands of volunteers to whom we are grateful.”