The New Devon Fall Classic Is a Hit
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The New Devon Fall Classic Is a Hit
October 2012 - Kimberly French

The New Devon Fall Classic Is a HitLisa Jacquin, Unionville, PA, rode D.D. Matz's Quinta to two blue ribbons in the Seven Year Old Young Jumper Division at the inaugural Devon Fall Classic.

A new horse show came to a venerable location this fall. The first annual Devon Fall Classic jumper show and fall festival was held at the Devon Horse Show grounds September 12 through 16.

Project Manager Mimi Killian explained the impetus for the creation of the new show: “We wanted to be an integral part of the community year round. We don’t want (the show) to be here 11 days in May and then they don’t think about it again. People have been asking for years for us to bring back a fall jumper show and we finally did.”

The appearance of a fall jumper show on the Devon calendar is a reminder that the site used to host the American Gold Cup each fall. The new show concentrated strictly on jumpers, with classes for Young Jumpers, Juniors, Children’s, Amateurs, Ponies and Open Jumpers.

Grand Prix
The featured class of the show was the $25,000 Devon Classic Grand Prix, won by Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, N.J., on Umberto. Out of 29 starters, Chapot finished first and third, with clean rounds in the jump off in a time of 40.288 on Umberto and 42.929 on Zealous. In between those times was second place finisher Alison Robitaille of Upperville, Va., on Cover Girl, who went clear in 40.988 seconds.

“I was very pleased with Umberto,” said Chapot in a press conference after the Grand Prix. “I had hesitated about entering him at Devon at night. The crowd makes him spooky. So I was very happy with the way he came through tonight.”

This was Chapot’s first Grand Prix with Zealous, who was also the winner of the $5,000 Welcome Jumper Stake on the show’s opening day. “It was also her first time under lights. I was thrilled she stepped up and gave it a great effort,” she said. “It’s so nice to have had such a great crowd. I hope it continues to grow.”

Big Crowd
The Classic drew a big crowd that came close to rivaling the crowd seen on Grand Prix night at the Devon spring show. Free parking, free admission and open grandstand seating made the show inviting to crowds. The only spectator charge was for reserved boxes for the Saturday night Classic.

“People can come and watch the horses and not spend a dime. Our primary goal was to establish this as a great show,” Killian said. “We want people to come in and come back because they had a great time.

“For a lot of the exhibitors here, especially those for the Zone 2 Championships, it’s an opportunity to ride at Devon. It’s not a qualifying show, so it gives them that chance that they might not ordinarily have,” Killian said.

Young Jumpers
Prior to the weekend, classes were held for young jumpers. Lisa Jacquin of Unionville, Pa. rode D.D.Matz’ Quinta to win their second blue ribbon in Seven Year Old Young Jumpers at the Devon Fall Classic at the Devon show grounds on September 14.

“We just bought Quinta this spring,” said Jacquin, a team silver medalist from the 1988 Seoul Olympics, of the 7-year-old mare. “She was bought for Alex (D.D. and Michael Matz’ son). She’s a lovely mare, but she’s still a little too green, so I’m showing her in Young Jumpers. Alex has shown her a little in Low Junior. He didn’t show this weekend because of school, but he’ll show her in Florida.

“I love having this show here,” said Jacquin. “It’s a beautiful show, and it’s always fun to show at Devon. It’s exciting to have another show in our backyard.”

Tracy Magness rode Dante Z to win the Eight Year Old class.  Saly Glassman of Gwenned Valley, PA rode Cover Girl to win the High Junior/Amateur Jumper class, the only one in the three horse jump-off to go clean. She was also third on GK Calucci, while Stacey Davis was second on Khyron.

Zone 2 Championships
In addition to the $25,000 Classic and the various division classics and championships the show also played host to the Zone 2 Jumper Championships on the final day of the event. Sunday’s schedule included the championship classes for Low Adult Amateur; High Adult Amateur; Low Children’s; High Children’s; Low Junior; Low Amateur-Owner and Pony Jumpers.

Pennsylvania riders came out on top in several of the Zone championships, including 16-year-old Sydney Munro of Phoenixville, Pa., riding Hay Jude. Munro went clear in a six horse jump off to win  the Pony Jumper Zone 2 Championship.

Hope Batchelor of Chester Springs, Pa. won the High Adult Amateur Zone 2 Championship on Orlando, after turning in the best round in an eight horse jump-off in just 37.628.

Fourteen-year-old Madeleine Jefferson of Abington, Pa. won the High Childen’s Jumper Zone 2 Championship on her unusually named mount, 2oodles. That class was one of the tightest with Jefferson coming out on top by just a half a second in a two horse jump-off against Jacqueline Morton on Counterfoil.

While many of the classes were well filled and very competitive, there were some divisions that were lighter than others for this first time event. The Zone 2, Low Junior Jumper Championship had just three horses entered, and all were ridden by Catherine Wachtell, who won with VDL Theresa Lady owned by The Coverboy Group.

Killian explained that the show was budgeted around an expected figure of 200 horses, but as it turned out, there were nearly 300. “We definitely see continuing a fall show for many years to come,” she said.