DEVON, Pa. — Students of Beacon Hill Show Stables in Colt’s Neck, N.J. took home the top prizes in the equitation classes that kicked off the Devon Horse Show.
On opening day, May 24, Madison Goetzmann and Alexandra Worthington frequented the winner’s circle to make the team at Beacon Hill Show Stables and head trainer Stacia Madden proud.
Worthington piloted her own Outshine to the blue ribbon and a high score of 94 in Section B of the WIHS Equitation Classic Jumper Phase, which was California split, then rode to another victory in Section B of the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal. Her mount, a 2007 Westphalian gelding, has been making the transition to the equitation ring after Worthington purchased him a little more than a year ago. Prior to that, Outshine was being campaigned in the hunters with Greg Crolick.
“I have been riding him for a little over a year now. I had a broken foot for most of the beginning season in Florida, but I was able to get back in time for the George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation class,” she said.
Being able to come back and ride to great success for the last time as a junior at the Devon Horse Show, which benefits Bryn Mawr Hospital means a lot for the rider and her family. “It is actually really special to me. The hospital that the show benefits, is where my grandmother died and I visited Devon in 2009 before I was really serious enough to show here. I was visiting her in hospice and then I visited the show grounds on that trip and I knew I wanted to show here one day. It is really, really special to me and my entire family. My dad couldn’t make it here, but my mom is here.”
Goetzmann, 18, executed flawless rounds throughout the day riding San Remo VDL. She claimed the win in Section A of the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search and also topped Section A of the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal, held in the Wheeler Ring.
Like Worthington, Goetzmann, who hails from Skaneateles, N.Y., was determined to make sure her last time at the Devon Horse Show as a junior was a memorable one as it marks her final year before aging out. Riding veteran equitation horse San Remo VDL, owned by Elizabeth Benson, Goetzmann was confident that she could pull off a win. The pair’s stellar partnership was demonstrated in October 2017 when they secured the highly-coveted ASPCA Maclay National Championship title together.
San Remo VDL, a 2000 Latvian Warmblood gelding, was sent to relax in a field in Cazenovia, N.Y. after his incredible performances in the fall. The 18-year-old black gelding returned to Beacon Hill Show Stables just about one month prior to start preparing for Devon. Goetzmann then took San Remo VDL to show at the Old Salem Farm Spring Show in order to practice for Devon. The team was hopeful that they could make Goetzmann’s last experience at Devon a winning one.
“It’s such a prestigious event and to be able to compete here among the country’s best junior riders is such a privilege and to have all the support and horses to do it, I’m very lucky. This is my last junior year, so it is definitely a nice way to end it,” she said.
After achieving the highest-scoring round of the day in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search, Goetzmann was awarded the Honey Craven Perpetual Memorial Trophy, donated in 2004 by Jane Macelree. Later, she was also presented with the Junior Jumper Style of Riding Award, sponsored Shalanno Farm LLC.
Yeager Wins R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch Equitation Championship
The second day of Devon Junior Weekend brought top junior riders together for another chance to claim winning prizes and carve their names into Devon history. This year, it was 15-year-old Elli Yeager who secured first place honors in Section C of the ASPCA Maclay and was awarded the prestigious R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch Equitation Championship High Point Award trophy for earning the highest score of 23 points.
The large number of entries for the ASPCA Maclay was split up into three sections of about 40 riders each, with Coco Fath and Hillside Farm LLC’s Class Action taking the win in Section A, Tanner Korotkin earning the title in Section B aboard Missy Clark’s Zapfier, and Section C honors being awarded to Yeager riding her own Copperfield 39.
Course designer Allen Rheinheimer utilized natural hunter fences to build a technical course featuring tight turns, a broken line and a double combination going towards the Wheeler Ring. While parts of the course proved difficult for some riders, Yeager executed a flawless trip in the ASPCA Maclay on her seasoned equitation partner.
The 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding navigated the track with ease, and the solid partnership between horse and rider was obvious. Yeager has been riding Copperfield 39 since she was 11 years old and knows him well, but this year marked only her second time competing at Devon. In addition to her win in the ASPCA Maclay, she also topped her section of the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search.
Judges Timmy Kees and Brian Lenehan awarded Yeager with a second place prize in their respective section of the Washington Equitation Jumper phase and a third place ribbon in their section of the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal. These top placings put 23 points to Yeager’s name, which earned her the R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch Equitation Championship High Point Award trophy. Originally, the R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch Equitation Championship was a championship class with the best riders riding for the title, but this year the format changed to a high-point award instead.
“I came off of Old Salem very confident with him, but I didn’t want to get too excited. After having a good week like that I saw the possibility [of doing well at Devon], but I knew I couldn’t get excited because I would have lost my line,” Yeager said.
Trained under the tutelage of Stacia Madden since last season in Florida, the pair just came off of a high note competing at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows prior to the start of Devon. In addition to Copperfield 39, Yeager owns another equitation horse named Alant, as well as a Medium Junior Jumper and a High Junior Jumper.
Yeager is no stranger to making sacrifices for her riding after moving with her father from her hometown of Westlake Village, California to New York. This allows her to be closer to her horses and train more frequently at Beacon Hill Show Stables.
The well-spoken young rider also balances a demanding school schedule with her riding endeavors. She is currently a student at Laurel Springs online school.
“I try to get out as much as I can. I’m busy a lot with school, but I usually make it out every weekend if not sometimes during the week. Sometimes, I won’t ride that day, but later that night I’ll go see them and give them treats,” Yeager said.
In Section A of the ASPCA Maclay, Yeager’s barn mate Coco Fath was able to celebrate her final year at Devon after nailing the course and riding to a win with veteran equitation horse, Class Action. She will switch gears to the jumper ring next as she heads to Langley, British Columbia to compete in the Thunderbird Nation’s Cup competition. After having a break this summer, Class Action will return to show at the Hampton Classic Horse Show with Fath in August.
“I couldn’t imagine myself riding any other horse. He is just incredible and I’m so lucky to have him to do this. He loves to show and loves to do his job well. It is really special to be here. It was my last equitation round at Devon and it may be his last, too. To go out with a bang is amazing,” Fath said.
Tanner Korotkin pulled off a stellar course in Section C and advanced to the flat phase to earn his spot in the winner’s circle aboard Missy Clark’s Zapfier. Kprtkin trains with Missy Clark and John Brennan and at North Run.
The 2018 Devon Horse Show continues through June 3. See www.devonhorseshow.net for details.
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