DEVON, Pa--Andrew Kocher rode Kahlua to win the $70,000 Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake CSI4* on Saturday evening, June 2 at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, and that, combined with Kahlua's sixth in Thursday’s $250,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4* and his win on Zantos II in the $35,000 Devon International Speed Stake CSI4* on Wednesday, gave Kocher 26 points and the Devon Leading Open Jumper Rider Award.
Kahlua's win in Saturday's Jumper Stake CSI4* and his sixth in the Grand Prix gave him 16 points and a share of the Open Jumper Championship with Eyecatcher, ridden by Mattias Trompe, who had won Thursday afternoon’s $35,000 Main Line Challenge CSI4* and was second place in Friday’s $35,000 Devon Speed Derby CSI4* to also accumulate 16 points.
Kahlua and Eyecatcher shared the Little Big Man Challenge Trophy..
The Leading Lady Rider award and Carol Hoffman Thompson Leading Lady Rider Challenge Trophy went to Beezie Madden with 12 points, who rode Abigail Wexner’s Breitling LS, Jiva and Darry Lou to top finishes throughout the week.
Nine of the starting field of 37 were clean to advance to the jump-off in the $70,000 Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake CSI4*.
KOCHER on Kahlua, a 9-year-old KWPN mare, second to go in the jump-off, finished in 38.82 seconds to win over Nicole Shahinian-Simpson on Akuna Mattata, clean 39.25 seconds, while Madden placed third and fourth, third on Breitling LS, 39.68 seconds, and fourth on the stallion Darry Lou, 39.79 seconds.
“She’s a machine," said Kocher of Kahlua. "She won two ranking classes in Kentucky and a ranking class in Wellington. Her first grand prix was the World Cup qualifier in Vegas. I jumped her in a 3* in Wellington and then a 5* in Miami then New York. I really threw her to the wolves! She has lots of personality. She has her own way of doing things. Overtime, I’ve gotten her to be more agreeable when I need her to be. In the ring, she’s a totally focused machine. She’s really fit right now but she’s a big, fat horse. She’s obsessed with food in the barn.”
“For me, it’s a little weird," said Kocher. "I never thought I’d be leading rider at Devon. I would be happy just to compete in the grand prix. Now, I’ve gotten to where I want to win a lot of classes. You always want to do more. I’m almost so happy I’m quiet for the first time.”
“This is my second FEI show with Eyecatcher," said Trompe. "She’s a very fast speed horse. If you can lay down the track, she’s pretty much unbeatable because her canter is so fast, and she kind of skims the fences. She’s a very funny mare actually. She has a lot of blood. She’s very active and sensitive, but when you go into the barn or even as soon as you walk out of the ring she’s quite, calm and docile. She’s a sales horse of mine, so ideally I’d like to sell her at some point, but until then I’m going to have fun with her and win as much as I can.”
“It’s very exciting," said Trompe of riding the Open Jumper Champion. "There’s not another horse show in the United States that has the atmosphere and the audience like Devon does. It’s very exciting to do well here, more than any other show I think.”
DAVID RAPOSA on his own Iliona won the $35,000 Devon Speed Derby CSI4* Friday evening.
Catherine Tyree on Catungee held the early lead in the class of 24 competitors, finishing in a quick 60.250 seconds before Tromp on Eyecatcher finished in 59.790 seconds, snatching the lead from Tyree, but he in turn was caught by Raposa on Iliona, who finished in 59.750 to claim the win..
Raposa has been competing Iliona, who he’s owned for two years, in internationally ranked competition since August 2017, and they won a number of grand prix in Florida last winter.
“She’s a 10-year-old Belgian mare," said Raposa of Iliana. "She started doing some small grand prix classes last year after Florida. She’s just been stepping up since then. She jumped both weekends at Lake Placid clear last year then she ended the season last year winning the $100,000 Hudson Valley Jumper Classic CSI5* in Saugerties. She won three grand prix events this winter in Florida, and today she won today. She’s a fast, good, trying horse.”
“Devon is a great show. You have to bring good horses to compete here for sure," said Raposa. "I brought her to do this because of the classes. She got a good ribbon in two CSI3* classes at night down in Palm Beach. This is like playing with her a little bit but it’s good for her to have some fun and take the pressure off the other horse.”