DEVON, Pa.--Lindsey Tomeu, 24 of Wellington, Fla., rode Bonapart to the Adult Amateur Jumper reserve championship in 2016 and then to the championship last year, but she outdid herself this year, taking both the championship with a new mount, Gold Lux ,and the reserve with Bonapart at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair on Monday, May 28..
Tomeu finished both first, on Bonapart, and second, on Gold Lux, in the $7,500 Adult Amateur Jumper Classic to top off the two days of competition during which she placed first and second in Sunday's two classes on Gold Lux and was third in one on Bonapart.
Tomeu has been riding Bonapart, known as “Bono” in the barn, since 2014, and they have won the North American League Adult Amateur Jumper Final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show three times, in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
Tomeu sold Gold Lux, known as “Goldie”, four years ago, but she recently bought the 12-year-old Irish mare back, and that pair have been winning in the Adult Amateur Jumper division, including earning the circuit championship at the Winter Equestrian Festival earlier this year.
Tomeu trains with Michael DelFiandra and Ali and Shane Sweetnam out of Sweet Oak Farm.
IN MONDAY evening’s Classic, 12 combinations were clear over the Guilherme Jorge-designed course to advance to the jump-off, and it was Tomeu and Bonapart who won in 26.628 seconds, while she finished second on Gold Lux in 27.304 seconds.
“This feels incredible," said Tomeu. "To be honest, it was my goal. I came here with a plan. Every year Bono has been great the first two rounds, and I mess it up in the classic. So I wanted him to win the classic. I didn’t care about the other rounds so much. This is my first year here with Goldie, and she has been amazing. I really wanted her to do well. I’m just over the moon about all of this. I’m so happy that both my horses’ names will be engraved right beneath each other on the championship trophies.”
“I loved the course tonight," said Tomeu. "It flowed really nicely. It was simple, but not too simple. I was definitely a little nervous. In the jump-off with Bono, I had planned three in the four, but he jumped and thought he was turning so I bent the four, and it actually worked out really well. With Goldie, my plan was really to just run because that’s kind of how she works. She’s so much fun.
“Goldie is back in the family, and I couldn’t be happier. They’re both complete opposites. Bono is a dream to ride; he has the best mouth, perfect blood and is comfortable and adjustable. Goldie goes how she wants to go. She does what she wants to do, and you’re just there. I’m definitely a passenger and I love her for it."
“I make it a point to always come to Devon because it’s the only horse show where the adult jumpers are put on the map," said Tomeu. "The crowd is huge, it’s under the lights, everyone is cheering, it’s just the best feeling. You feel like you’re in a grand prix. For some reason, I am always the least nervous here. I don’t know why, but I walk in the ring here and feel so comfortable. The atmosphere is always great and my horses feel fantastic. Normally, I can completely mess myself up with nerves, so the fact that I can come here and feel comfortable is amazing.”
MONDAY ALSO featured the beginning of adult week, with hunters taking center stage Monday through Wednesday, when the championships in four divisions will be named, and Thursday with the $25,000 International Hunter Derby.
Tori Colvin rode Brad Wolf’s Private Practice to back-to-back wins over-fences in the Green 3’9” Hunter division before a large crowd of spectators.
In the first over-fences class, Colvin scored 88 to win, with Kelley Farmer on Shameless placing second, and Patricia Griffith on Chicago was third.
In the second class, Colvin scored 91, with Griffith and Chicago second and Daniel Geitner on Walk The Moon third, after which Griffith and Chicago won the under saddle.
This was Private Practice's first time showing at Devon, but Chicago competed at Devon last year, ridden by Griffith.
Chicago's owner Callie Seaman shows him in the 18-35 Amateur-Owner Hunters division.
Seaman, who trains with Heritage Farm, bought the gelding from Hunt Tosh beforehis First Year Green year two years ago.
“He is a very special horse," said Colvin of Private Practice. "He has never been to Devon before. He used to be a jumper, and we have had him since WEF 6. Brad Wolf bought him. He gets better and better with every round that he does."
“The first round today he was a little overwhelmed with all of the people in the crowd," said Colvin. "He was a little bit more up than usual, and then by the second trip he settled right in and he was back to his normal self.”
Griffith said the Devon atmosphere got to Chicago in the first class.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect, because there was a lot more going on later in the day than when he showed here last year in the morning as a First Year horse, so for sure on the entrance I felt him sort of taking it all in and weighing it all ,and I definitely did a bit of a planned, longer entrance, said Griffith. "I thought after the line by the side with all of the people, he just settled right into the round. In the second round, he was like, ‘I got it’ and he knew exactly what he was doing.”
“He’s just awesome," said Griffith. "He is everything you think of when you think hunters. He’s a pretty mover, he’s so elegant and he’s just an awesome horse.”