Lizzie Traband and Ladonna, credit Kendall Bierer/Phelps Media Group
Elizabeth Traband and Melissa Rudershausen wrapped up the Devon Fall Classic on Sunday, September 18 with victories during the United States Hunter Jumper Association Zone 2 Horse of the Year Jumper Championships. The all jumper show ran September 15-18 at the Devon Horse Show grounds, Devon, PA.
"This is actually my first show with Ladonna, and she just went in and marched around like a champion," Traband said of her victory in the $5,000 Low Junior Jumper Classic. Four riders qualified for the speed round and only four-tenths of a second separated the top two athletes. Traband and her 11-year-old Warmblood triumphed with a time of 33.055 seconds, forcing Ashley Hartman and Clear Lady to settle for second place with a time of 33.490 seconds.
Traband was born without an arm, but never allowed herself to be held back. She said "I have a really crazy story. I became a fan of a guy named Tommie Turvey. At the time, I had this rotten pony that liked to buck me off and was horrible in the show ring. I rode him bridle-less everywhere, and one day, Tommie said, 'Why don't you come on the road with us?'" At age 7, she was given the opportunity to travel all over the country with Turvey, performing in night shows and clinics.
"In 2010, we were performing at the World Equestrian Games," the Penn State student continued. "Louise Serio was there with the international hunter derby riders. They got together and got me a grant to go to Wellington for two weeks--I was hooked."
Rudershausen and Alicante Manciaise won the $5,000 Low Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic in a time of 33.852. "Going first in the jump-off, my plan was to not go crazy," Rudershausen explained. "I wanted to be tight and tidy in the turns, save room in the turns and really let it go to the last fence."
The duo had one of the two double-clear rounds of the afternoon. Caroline Annarella earned the second-place honors aboard Maxima 103 with an errorless round and time of 36.970 seconds.
Earlier in the day, Kimberly Nevitt and Pardoned finished first in the $1,500 Low Adult Amateur Classic, while Wendy Chapot Nunn and Finella settled for the red ribbon in the class.
Alexis C. Di Pasqua and Reba Dean led the victory gallop in the second and fourth class of the day, besting five horse-and-rider combinations in the jump off of the $1,500 Low Children's Jumper Classic and $3,000 High Children's Jumper Classic. Christina Barnas and Demantur rode away with the second-place finish in the Low Children's Jumper, while Robert Matz and Vamor secured the second place honors in the High Children's Jumper.
In the $3,000 High Adult Amateur Jumper Classic, Sheila Ann Sadighi and Ulano bested the field of 22 contenders and came out on top, while Joy Slater and Oilean Uno earned second place.
The ponies took over the Dixon Oval for the $1,500 Pony Jumper Classic, and Luke Sassi stole the show aboard Sky Miles. Along with the victory, Sassi earned the Pony Jumper Style of Riding Award. Catherine Wilson and EZ to Spot finished in second.
Mattias Tromp and his 12-year-old Swedish stallion Avon won the $25,000 Devon Fall Classic Saturday night with a double-clear effort and impressive time of 39.206 seconds. The class was dedicated to the late Frank Chapot.
Twenty-two competitive horse-and-rider combinations vied for the $25,000 purse, and only seven qualified for the main event's jump-off round. The top six riders had double-clear efforts, and just tenths of a second separated the second, third and fourth place finishers.
The duo also earned the victory in Friday night's $5,000 Speed Stake, and have plans to take their talents to the indoor circuit this fall.
"I absolutely feel more prepared for Indoors," Tromp explained. "This ring, this atmosphere, made me feel like I can really trust this horse under spookier circumstances."
Brooke Kemper beat Laura Chapot and Thornhill Kate by one-tenth of a second, earning the red ribbon with Classified in 40.382 seconds.
Earlier in the evening, the spotlight was on Adrienne Marciano, who not only earned first and second in the $7,500 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, but also the champion and reserve honors of the division.
Only three horses qualified for the speed portion of the class, and Marciano was in the irons of two of them. She tackled the course aboard Canoso first and with a double-clear effort, set the time to beat at 35.093 seconds. She duplicated her effort aboard Laspari, besting her first go and breaking the beam in 34.636 seconds. Saly Glassman and Z Adermie 56 were the only other pair to qualify for the jump-off, settling for third place with a time of 41.911 seconds and four faults.
Friday night, Malachi Hinton and F15 had the sole clear round in the $1,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers in a time of 67.410 seconds to earn the blue ribbon. The 18-year-old rider and her 10-year-old Westphalian train with Kevin Babington locally in Gwynedd Valley, PA.
Anastasia Bezsylko was the quickest 4-faulter, lowering the height of a single obstacle, but tripping the timers at 63.988 seconds aboard Cakao 2.
Laura Chapot capped off the first day of competition on September 15 with a one-two finish in the $5,000 Welcome Stake. Chapot set the initial time to beat aboard Out of Ireland with a double-clear round and a time of 34.843 seconds, only to return aboard Zealous and best her effort to steal away the first-place honors in 34.584 seconds. Eight contenders qualified for the jump-off in the highlight event, but only three had double-clear rounds, and the New Jersey native earned two of the three. Hugo Huesca and Sati De La Violle, owned by Literacy Orange, were about two seconds too slow to catch Chapot, clocking in a time of 36.409 seconds, but had the only other double-clear round of the evening, earning them third place.
Earlier in the day, Cynthia McGrath of Harrisburg, PA took top honors in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class aboard the large grey gelding Caruso. The duo was third to tackle the course and first to go double-clear, tripping the timers at 35.244 seconds. The pair began their partnership only four months ago, after her husband imported the 9-year-old gelding from Europe.
Adrienne Marciano earned the second and third place slots on the High Junior/Amateur-Owner leaderboard. With Laspari, Marciano had the second double-clear round and sealed her second-place finish with the time of 38.087 seconds.