Devon, Pa. – May 23, 2019 – The highly anticipated 2019 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair kicked off on Thursday morning with equitation competition taking center stage in the iconic Dixon Oval. Leading junior riders took to the ring to compete in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 3*, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds, which was split into two competitive sections. After a total of 53 horse-and-rider combinations, it was Elli Yeager and Mimi Gochman who rode to victory in each of their respective sections.

Elli Yeager and Copperfield 39

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For 123 years, the Devon Horse Show has been the place “where champions meet” every May to earn top prizes, leading rider titles and the honor of competing at the historic show. The most talented riders throughout the United States set their sights on qualifying for the prestigious event each year, which has been running since 1896. Devon also provides equitation exhibitors the chance to accumulate valuable points towards year-end finals.

Elli Yeager and Copperfield 39 win the Honey Craven Perpetual Memorial Trophy

 

Highlighting a day filled with equitation, the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 3* saw Yeager and her longtime partner Copperfield 39 claim the Section A title, after completing two rounds of competition. Yeager and Copperfield 39, who won the 2018 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Equitation Final, are no strangers to the winner’s circle in the Dixon Oval, having won the R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch Equitation Championship in 2018 with the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding. Yeager also walked away with the Honey Craven Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated in 2004 by Jane Macelree, for scoring the highest round of the day.



Mimi Gochman and Heroy Von De Hei

 

In Section B, Gochman stole the show with her partner, Heroy Von De Hei, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood. The pair expertly tackled the first course, which featured an open water obstacle, and continued to consistently perform during the flat phase. The flat test asked the top 12 athletes to demonstrate a number of tasks, including a sitting trot, a counter-cater and extended canter. Gochman has piloted the Gochman Sport Horses LLC-owned horse in the Dixon Oval for two years, with regular top placings in the equitation ring.

Paige Matthies and Agusta Iwasaki

 

Earlier in the day, the WIHS Equitation Classic – Jumper Phase took place, where four athletes walked away with their Devon blues, after the class was split into two sections and then ribboned in a California Split. In Section A, barn mates Augusta Iwasaki and Paige Matthies took home the win aboard Ashland Farm’s Vanderpump and Barbara Smith’s Blurred Lines, respectively. The pair, who walked the course together, both aimed to put in smooth rounds that would earn them scores into the high 80s. Following, Section B saw Sam Walker and Jordan Allen dominate their competitors. Walker, aboard North Run’s Waldo, earned the highest score of the day, a 92, to seal the win, while Allen claimed an 85 with Ashland Farm’s Quite Cassini.

Junior Weekend at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair will resume on Friday morning with the ASPCA Maclay starting at 8 a.m. followed by the R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch Equitation Championship and sections of the Small and Large Junior Hunter divisions. Friday evening will see the best young athletes battle it out in the Junior Jumpers in the Dixon Oval beginning at 7 p.m.

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE

Elli Yeager – Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Section A winner

On her Copperfield 39:

“I’ve had him for six years so he’s a part of the family at this point. He’s the best partner and the horse of a lifetime in my eyes and I wouldn’t be here without him today. He’s very opinionated. If he wants something or he wants something done a certain way, that’s the only way it will happen. If it doesn’t happen that way, he’s really opinionated. He loves his job and really loves everything about competing. He thinks it’s a lot of fun.”

On her plan for the course:

“It’s my first round on him [today]. I haven’t ridden since Old Salem I and I’ve been taking finals at school so I was just coming in to have a solid round. I wasn’t expecting anything but I had high hopes for myself. Winning wasn’t my end game and I just wanted to go have fun with him.”

On what it’s like to show at Devon:

“The atmosphere to me is amazing. There’s all the fans and the carnival and there’s always something going on. The atmosphere is creates is one [Copperfield 39] thrives in. It’s really fun having everybody watch. My dad is here with my long time family friend and she always comes with me so it’s nice to do that all overall again.”

Mimi Gochman – Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Section B winner

On her Heroy Von De Hei:

“This is my second Devon on him, he’s just perfect. He’s a little grumpy with the other horses but overall he’s so friendly to humans. He tries his best over all the jumps. He always tries and he is game for anything. He’s perfect, I love him so much.”

On her plan for the course today:

“The time was slightly tight from watching the first few. I planned to be neat but not too fast because the obstacles are a bit bigger and in order to keep them all up, you have to gauge where you can go and where you should slow down. [My plan] was of course riding up to the water, getting across, making sure he’s confident and balanced and also measuring the lines so he feels comfortable jumping everything. I just went in trying to follow the pattern, what Stacia [Madden] said and it worked out today.”

On getting to show at Devon:

“I love Devon. It’s always been one of my favorite shows. It’s so pretty and beautiful and it kinda just has an iconic name and feeling when you get here. I’m so privileged to show here and I love it. I have to thank my parents, my trainers, my horses, for making it all happen and making it all possible for me to come and show in the Dixon Oval. It’s just an honor to be here.”

RESULTS

WIHS Equitation Classic – Jumper Phase – Section A (California Split):

Place / Horse / Rider / Owner

1. Blurred Lines / Paige Matthies / Barbara Smith

1. Vanderpump / Augusta Iwasaki / Ashland Farms

2. Checkland / Ana Robson / Nina Columbia

2. Constantinos / Emma Pacyna / Georgy Maskrey-Segesman

3. Zapfier / Tanner Korotkin / Missy Clark

3. Contelido / Sophie Gochman / Gochman Sport Horse LLC

WIHS Equitation Classic – Jumper Phase – Section B (California Split):

Place / Horse / Rider / Owner

1. Waldo / Sam Walker / North Run

1. Quite Cassini / Jordan Allen / Ashland Farms

2. Common Sense / Alexandra Pielet / Co-Pielet LLC

2. Kalimero Van Het Kruisblokhof / Ava Stearns / Nutmeg Group LLC

3. Cool De Reve / Kathryn McCarthy / Kathryn McCarthy

3. Alligator / Mia Mannis / Grindstone Farm LLC

Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search – Section A:

Place / Horse / Rider / Owner

1. Copperfield 39 / Elli Yeager / Elli Yeager

2. Conto Blue / Paige Matthies / Barbara Smith

3. Zapfier / Tanner Korotkin / Missy Clark

Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search – Section B:

Place / Horse / Rider / Owner

1. Heroy Von De Hei / Mimi Gochman / Gochman Sport Horse LLC

2. Vanderpump / Augusta Iwasaki / Ashland Farms

3. A Picobello Star Z / Emma Crate / Emma Crate

Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal – Section A:

Place / Horse / Rider / Owner

1. Crossbow / Sophee Steckbeck / Redfield Farm

2. Blurred Lines / Paige Matthies / Barbara Smith

3. Quimby / Grace Debney / Temple Equestrian LLC

Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal – Section B:

Place / Horse / Rider / Owner

1. Waldo / Sam Walker / North Run

2. Cent 15 / Dominic Gibbs / Dominic Gibbs

3. Colando / Emma Wujek / Nevergreen Farm LLC and North Run

Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal – Section C:

Place / Horse / Rider / Owner

1. Acer K / Kaitlyn Lovingfoss / North Run

2. Joli Van De Groenedyck / Claudette Yarbrough / Charisma Ventures LLC

3. Quantico / Gigi Moynihan / Christy Johnson

TAPinto coverage of the 2019 Devon Horse show was provided by Phelps Sports.