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Saturday, May 27, 2017


Boyd Martin a favorite to win Devon Horse Show’s exciting new competition, Arena Eventing

DEVON, Pa.-Olympic veteran Boyd Martin of Cochranville, Pa., is one of the favorites to win Arena Eventing on Sunday, May 28 at 7 pm, the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair’s newest addition to its lineup of exciting, world-class competitions.

Boyd Martin Steady Eddie photo by Allen MacMillan DSC 5928 Boyd Martin on Steady Eddy competing at Rolex Ky - photo by Allen MacMillanDevon runs May 25 to June 4 and benefits Bryn Mawr Hospital, to which it has donated over $14,000,000.

Martin was the top-placed U.S. rider at both the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, riding Shamwari 4, and the 2010 WEG in Lexington, riding Neville Bardos.

He was a member of the 2016 and 2012 US Olympic Teams and is one of the leading event riders of today.

In addition to representing the USA, Boyd has enjoyed international competitive success, finishing seventh in the world in 2014 and in the top 10 at every four-star in the world: Rolex Kentucky CCI4* in Lexington, Ky.; Pau CCI4* in France; Boekelo CIC4* in the Netherlands; Luhmuehlen CCI4* in Germany; the World Equestrian Games in the USA and France and Burghley CCI4* in England.

But one of the biggest reasons he is a favorite to win Devon’s Arena Eventing is that he was won a similar event in Wellington Fla., all three times it has been run.

“Devon’s Event is similar to the one in Florida,” said Martin. “It’s a very exciting event for the crowd, because they can see the whole competition up close while sitting in a chair. That’s not usual for eventing.”

“Arena eventing is not going to replace regular eventing, but it’s a great showcase for our sport,” said Martin. “It’s held in a smaller venue before a different crowd,”

Devon’s prize money of $50,000 is the third highest prize money for any type of eventing held in this country, with only Rolex Kentucky CCI4* and Wellington offering more prize money.

“The prize money is great,” said Martin. “The majority of it goes to the owners of the horses, and it’s great to repay these owners for how much money they’ve put into this sport.”

The first round will incorporate both cross country and open jumping fences, and the course of about 25 jumps, designed by Captain Mark Phillips, will wind through both the Gold Ring and the Dixon Oval.

Faults will be assessed for knockdowns and for exceeding the maximum time,

There will be a jump-off in the Dixon Oval for all those going clean in the first round.

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Jersey-bred Irish War Cry among early favorites to win Ky. Derby. Fillies by Union Rags among those aimed at Ky. Oaks

Trivia question: When was the last time a New Jersey bred won the Kentucky Derby? Answer: Almost never.

CORRECTION: The filly Regret, bred by Henry Payne Whitney, won the 1915 Kentucky Derby as the favorite in the race; and in 1934 the colt Cavalcade, bred by an Englishman in England and imported in utero to Morristown, N.J.,, where he was foaled, making him a N.J.-bred, won the Derby. He was owned by Isabel Dodge Sloan's Brookmeade Stable in the race, having been bought by her trainer for Sloan at the 1932 Saratoga Sale for $1,200.

IrishWarCry Wood.PMIrish War Cry winning the Wood Memorial - photo by Patricia McQueenIn fact, you might ask, when was the last time a Jersey bred even ran in the Derby? The answer to that is probably very few if any..

But all that may change on May 6 when Irish War Cry goes to the post as one of the favorites in this year’s Derby.

Irish War Cry, who is owned by Isabelle de Tomaso and was foaled at Overbrook Farm in Holbrook, N.J., will not be the only northeast representative in the spotlight during derby week.

Two fillies by Union Rags, who was bred by Phyllis Wyeth of Chadds Ford, Pa., will be running in the Kentucky Oaks on May 5. They are daughters of the Wyeth-bred and owned Union Rags, who was the leading sire of 2-year olds for a while last year.

One, Tequilita, was bred and is owned by Dorothey Matz of Coatesville, Pa.

Irish War Cry, who was also bred by deTomaso, is trained at Fair Hill by Graham Motion.

Irish War Cry won his first race, a Maiden Special Weight at Laurel Park, on Nov. 11, 2016 and has since won three stakes, the Marylander Stakes at Laurel on Dec. 3, the Lambholm South Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 4 and the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 8.

In between, he inexplicably threw in one bad race, the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream on March 4.

Other top favorites to win the Derby are Classic Empire, trained by Mark Casse, who won the Arkansas Derby, and Always Dreaming, trained by Todd Pletcher, who has only started three times but won the Florida Derby at Gulfstream on April 1.

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Randy Rouse, of Arlington, Va., dies at 100

Randolph D. “Randy” Rouse, 100 of Arlington, Va., whose latest steeplechase winner, High Soar, ridden by Gerard Gilligan, had crossed the finish line first in the open hurdle race at the Orange County Point-to-Point just one week earlier, died April 7.

DSC 6139 1Randy Rouse, top amateur steeplechase rider - photo provided by Liz CallarJust the year before, Rouse had saddled High Soar to win the same race at Orange County, thus becoming, at 99, the oldest trainer ever to saddle a winner.

Rouse was born in Smithfield on Dec. 30, 1916 and raised on a farm in Newport News, but he didn’t grow up riding, only discovering his love for horses in the 1940s, after graduating from Washington & Lee in 1939 with a B.S. in commerce and serving in the Navy during World War II.

He was invited to hunt with Fairfax, and was hooked, joining the hunt in the late 1940s and becoming Joint Master of Foxhounds in the mid-50s, a position he held for 55 years until his death. After first joining Fairfax Hunt, Rouse built a clubhouse for the group while it was located in Reston at Sunset Hills Farm and owned by the Bowman family.

He also built a steeplechase course in Reston and later at Belmont along Route 7 in Fairfax.

Due to creeping civilization and development, the hunt, along with many others, eventually migrated west. It is now known as the Loudoun-Fairfax Hunt.


AS AN amateur steeplechase jockey, he won all 11 races in which he rode his Cinzano, and his wife, Michelle, also rode in steeplechase races as an amateur.

He owned and trained many racehorses, including Ricacho winner of the 1960 Virginia Gold Cup, ridden by the great Joe Aitchenson Jr.

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World Cup Champion McLain Ward will defend his Devon Horse Show titles

DEVON, Pa.-McLain Ward, fresh off a smashing victory in the World Cup Finals in Omaha, Neb., will be at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, May 25 – June 4, to defend his Devon Leading Open Jumper Rider title.

devon 1The Carriage Pleasure Drive at the Devon Horse ShowWard of Brewster, N.Y., a four time Olympian with two team gold medals, also rode last year’s Open Jumper Champion, Tina La Boheme.

But Ward will face plenty of challengers at Devon, including Laura Chapot of Neshanic Staion, N.J., who has swapped Leading Rider and Open Jumper Championships with Ward over the past years, and Irish Olympian Kevin Babington of Gwynedd Valley, Pa., who rode Mark Q to win last year’s $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon.

Chapot has won the Leading Rider title eight times and Ward has won it five times; Chapot has ridden the Open Jumper Champion six times and Ward has been up on the Open Jumper Champion twice; but Ward has won the Grand Prix eight times while Chapot has yet to win the most financially rewarding class at Devon.

Ward rode HH Azur to four rounds without a single rail down to win the World Cup against the top riders in the world on April 3.

Chapot was the circuit ending Leading Open Jumper Rider at the Winter Equestrian Festival, and she was also won the Martha Jolicoeur Award for Leading Lady Open Jumper in grand prix classes.

“When I go to Devon I just try to do my best with my horses,” said Chapot. “I don’t think about the other competitors.”

“McLain is always a difficult person to beat,” said Chapot. “He always goes in to win, but I always strive to beat him.”

Chapot will ride Dual Star, Thornhill Kate, Quointeau Un Prince and California at Devon.

Ward said that he didn’t know yet which of his horses he will ride at Devon.

"I'm so grateful not only for the horses that I had over the years but for the people behind me," said Ward, who has had many great horses over the years, including the mare Sapphire, for whom the Devon Grand Prix is named.

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Many more improvements at Devon Horse Show and Country Fair

DEVON, Pa.—The 121st Devon Horse show and Country Fair, May 25 to June 4, is just a few weeks from now, and when competitors and spectators arrive, they’ll see many more improvements to the show grounds.

devon 2A Lead Line competitor at the Devon Horse ShowFor competitors, an additional 80 stalls of the 900 permanent stabling have been reconstructed to add to the many that have already been upgraded over the past few years.

For spectators, additional men’s and women’s restrooms have been added where the first aid station used to be.

“We’ve doubled the size of the patio in front of Clydesdale Corner,” said show Chairman Wayne W. Grafton. “Spectators can sit on the patio and watch exhibitors warming up.”

“There’s new LED lighting in the cupolas on the roof,” said Grafton. “The new building has been painted Devon blue.”

“There’s $25,000 worth of new on-site landscaping, and the back gate by the new building has been reconstructed,” Grafton said. “There are two new vendor boutiques.”

“Storm water management has been improved,” said Grafton.

Managing the storm water is a very important improvement, as in years past, when a particularly heavy and long rain occurred, there was a terrific build-up of water by the barns.

But the biggest new addition, according to Grafton, is that of a $50,000 Arena Eventing competition at 7 o’clock Sunday evening.

Olympians Phillip Dutton and Boyd Martin helped create the concept of the class, as well as Captain Mark Phillips, who will be the course designer.

“Competitions somewhat similar to this have been done in Wellington and Tryon,” said Grafton.

Unlike Wellington, however, Devon’s Eventing competition is not by invitation but is open to all who qualify, although it is limited to the first 40 entrants.

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