DEVON, Pa.--Following her win in Thursday’s speed class, Daisy Farish on her own Great White placed second in Saturday’s $20,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Jumper Classic on Saturday evening, May 26, to win the Junior Jumper Championship, while Paige Matthies, who won the Classic on Climbus, took the Reserve Championship.
Matthies won back-to-back Devon blue ribbons, but Friday's was with Dirkie Z while Saturday evening's was on Climbus.
Out of the starting field of 26, seven were clean over Guilherme Jorge’s challenging opening track on Saturday.
Paige Matthies and Dirkie Z were the first pair to tackle the jump-off round and finish double-clear in 31.764 seconds.
Samantha Cohen and her Carmen were also clear in the jump-off as third in the order, and she beat Matthies’ time by one second in 30.551 seconds.
Fourth to go, Farish, who trains with Andre Dignelli of Heritage Farm, was also clean to take over the top spot in 29.064 seconds.
Last to go was Matthies on Climbus, but Climbus threw a shoe in the warm-up, so a team of farriers quickly went in to action to get the shoe back on.
THE DELAY made Matthies slightly anxious, but she returned to the Dixon Oval confident and poised to produce the final double-clear round of the class in 28.957 seconds for the win.
Farish finished in second, while Cohen took home third place.
Combining Thursday’s win and Saturday’s second, 17-year-old Farish of Lexington, Ky,, clinched the championship with 19 points as well as the Leading Junior Jumper Rider award.
Matthies was reserve championship on Climbus with 15 points.
“I have had him for three years now.." said Farish of Great White. "I got him when he was 7 so I was able to bring him along, which is a cool experience. He turned out to be more than we ever could have hoped for. He was a horse shown to us in Florida a few years ago. I didn’t have a jumper at the time, and my horse was getting older. He just seemed like a nice, sweet horse. He had a bit of an attitude, but we worked through that together. My biggest classes have also been his biggest classes, which is really cool for me. His barn name is Bruce after the Great White in Finding Nemo.”
“It wasn’t his best jump-off.," said Farish. "It was kind of a ‘quick across the ground’ type of jump-off, and he’s more of a ‘leave strides out’ kind of horse, but I thought I had nothing to lose so I went for it and he was amazing. I actually wanted to do seven to the end fence as the fourth jump because I didn’t think there was a six, but Andre said, ‘Just go for it. You can get the six.’ Andre never screams in the ring because he is very conservative, but after I did the six he yelled, ‘Go for it! Go for it!’ I was laughing because he was really excited.
“It was emotional because it’s my last junior year here," she said. "I’ll be back though. It was a really great one, one I’ll definitely remember. It is going to be a different experience coming back as an amateur. I was happy to finish on a good note.
“This year, I kind of had fun with him and we put him in some bigger classes," Farish said.. We jumped our first 3* grand prix last week at Old Salem Farm. He is amazing and jumps better as they get bigger. He is a great horse to get" me in the bigger classes.”
CHLOE WHITE, 17 of Berwyn, Pa., on Tztargazer amassed 28 points to win the championship in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunter division, which was also enough points to give her the Grand Junior Hunter Championship.
White has been training with the team at Madison Hills Farm, based in Gates Mills, Ohio and Wellington, Fla., for the past three years.
The team has a tight-knit relationship and she considers them her second family.
Recently, head trainer Michael Rheinheimer passed away in 2017, leaving trainer Amanda Lyerly to take over the reins.
Tztargazer is blind in one eye, yet it does not seem to have any affect on his performance in the ring.
A former grand prix jumper, “Utah,” as he is called in the barn, has made the transition to the equitation ring a smooth one.
The gelding started competing in hunters in February with Caelinn Leahy in the irons, but excels in the equitation as well.
Returning to Devon for the first time since she showed ponies, White rode to her first-ever high score of 90 on Friday afternoon over fences and then placed second in the under saddle.
White also shows her equitation horse, Cooley Nothing Better B, and while going from a course walk to the classroom might be strange for some riders, for White, as a local rider, it’s just another normal day.
On Friday afternoon, White walked the course for the Washington Equitation Classic, changed clothes, drove to class at The Shipley School, and returned to the showgrounds to compete later on in the day.
White was also named Best Child Rider after her performances in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunter division with Tztargazer.
“I knew what I had to do to be champion, and I was terrified," said White. "This was my first time showing horses at Devon, so I just wanted to have nice rounds. I never thought this would happen. It feels surreal.”
“Utah is awesome," said White. "He used to be a grand prix jumper and then a year ago in February he started doing the hunters with Caelinn Leahy. He’s just really stepped up to the plate this year. I never expected this out of him. I am so proud of him. He is blind in his right eye. We keep his whiskers long and everyone says, ‘Does he have allergies?’ and we respond, ‘No, he’s blind.’ He is perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better horse this weekend.”
“Really nothing changes," said White of riding Tztargazer. "I have never ridden him differently. He likes his left lead, because it is his right eye that is blind, which I completely understand. I have watched videos of him in the jumpers and he would make crazy right turns and I don’t know how he does it. He came in from the field one day with a completely deflated eye and the vet was able to save it. He’s pretty cool. He’s not your average junior hunter. He is a little sensitive, so he likes a very light feel and a nice pace going up to the jump. He’s awesome.”
“I believe hard work pays off, so I always try to listen to everything Amanda says and everything that I can remember that Mike said and just try to apply that," White said. "I also like re-watching my rounds.
“I go to The Shipley School," she said. "It’s about twenty minutes away from here. It is a little difficult to balance it all. My teachers are always surprised when I show up. I went to school on Thursday after I walked the Washington. I quickly changed and got in my car, went to school for a little while and came back to show.”
GRACE DEBNEY and her large pony, Storyteller dominated the pony competition to win the Grand Pony Hunter Championship.
Debney and Storyteller were first and third In Friday’s over fences classes, and In Saturday’s over fences classes they were first and second to win the Large Pony Championship.
Debney was also awarded with the Best Child Rider on a Pony and the Dresden Challenge Trophy.
The Medium Pony Hunter champion was awarded to Alexandra Sica and her own Greystone’s Star Bright while Izzy Beisel and her own Weebiscuit were Small Pony HunterChampion.
“He is the sassiest pony that I know," said Debney of Storyteller. "He is so goofy, but when it’s time to do his job he knows exactly what to do. In the stall though he is so playful, he sticks out his tongue and plays a lot. I’ve been riding him for almost two years. He always tries his best and he knows when it’s a big show, he really wants to win. He tries so hard and it’s such a honor to be able to ride him.
“It’s so amazing to be here," said Debney. "I love the atmosphere here a lot with the fairgrounds and other stuff. This is my fourth year, and I just love it and am so happy to be here.”