Devon, Pa. – May 27, 2022 – The final class of the day in the Dixon Oval, the $3,750 Junior Jumper, sponsored by Land Services USA, welcomed rising talents back to the iconic arena for another shot at the top prize. Following Thursday’s round one speed competition, won by Zayna Rizvi and Excellent, a field of 25 talented junior athletes and their mounts were hopeful to close out Friday’s competition with a coveted Devon blue ribbon, but it was ultimately Alexa Elle Lignelli and Billy Kiara who took home the top prize and the Wigg’s Bar Challenge Trophy.
Olaf Peterson, Jr. set forth a challenging 14 fence track fit for the talent of the 21 young athletes including two combinations and long bending lines throughout the arena. The second pair on course, Zayna Rizvi and Chaplin W, laid down the first clear ride of the night, crossing the timers within the time allowed at 76.886 seconds. Ansley Wright and Diamanto JT Z were next in the Dixon Oval, also adding their names to the jump-off list. At the end of the first round, eight horse-and-rider pairs qualified for the shortened track with seven opting to return.
The trail blazer from the first round, Rizvi and Peacock Ridge LLC’s Chaplin W, kicked off the 8 effort jump-off but an unfortunate rail at the second fence left them out of contention for the night’s title. Stella Wasserman and her own ElDorado WP Z were next to cross under the iconic Devon arch, leaving all the fences up and producing a time of 45.984 seconds. Alexander Alston and Alston Alliance LLC’s Prestigious were next to tackle the course, but had two unfortunate rails on course and a time of 48.775 seconds. Mimi Gochman and Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Celina BH entered the Dixon Oval next, determined to put their best foot forward. The pair successfully laid down a fault-free ride, tripping the timers in just 43.577 seconds to take over the lead.
Tessa Downey and Horse Orchard LLC’s Isabelle were next to contest with a clear round, but came in just a few seconds over Gochman’s time at 45.258 seconds. Gochman and her second mount of the night, Gigi’s Girl BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, crossed the timers in 46.108 seconds but picked up 4 faults on course before saving the fastest for last. Alexa Elle Lignelli and Hampton Green Farm’s Billy Kiara put on a show with all eyes on them as the final pair. Turning and burning around the track, the pair rode a quick and careful round in just 43.548 seconds to lead the victory gallop at the end of the night, also taking home the Wigg’s Bar Challenge Trophy. Gochman settled for the red ribbon on Celina BH, while Downey and Isabelle ultimately took home a third place finish.
The $20,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Jumper Classic will take place Saturday evening, set to begin at 7:00 p.m., followed by the crowning of the 2022 Junior Jumper Champion.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Alexa Elle Lignelli – $3,750 Junior Jumper, sponsored by Land Services USA
On her horse, Billy Kiara:
“She’s pretty new, I got her during the Winter Equestrian Festival and we have just been getting to know each other. I took her to Global Champions Tour Miami. We won there, and I won the first time I showed her in the low juniors at WEF, so we have just been going slowly up the ranks. She’s definitely a different horse to ride when you get to higher heights, just in her style and she’s a little more careful when it gets bigger, so I’ve just been kinda getting the hang of that, and that’s kind of what happened yesterday. I just was too ambitious and was riding for 1.30m instead of 1.40m, so today I just revised my plan with my trainer Evan [Coluccio] and it just worked out.”
On the course:
“The first round I felt good, I liked the course. There were a mixture of different results from people so I kind of was just going in thinking about my own plan, I liked the jump-off. It was great for my horse. She’s quick off the ground and she’s quick on the ground, so it just really worked out in our favor but it definitely comes with hard work and a lot of thought. If I didn’t revise my plan from yesterday I definitely wouldn’t have won today just based on being too ambitious like I said and today I just took a step back. Since she’s so fast naturally, I just needed to take a breath myself and sometimes I’m so in it to win, that I need to aim for second or third, and then I end up winning, so it’s a different mentality with her.”
On showing at the Devon Horse Show:
“I have been here before, I was Grand Champion on a pony and best child rider, so I kind of had experience here. I have not ridden horses here, so it was different this year. I have done Junior Hunter Finals and Brandywine last year with my hunters, but I was excited to do jumpers here based on the reason that I really only started doing the [high junior jumpers] with her recently. I did two classes, well one week, during WEF 12, so I won enough money and we were hoping that I would get [into Devon] and I got in and it worked out!”
On her future plans:
“Just keep growing, go indoors and grow in our partnership. [Billy Kiara] is a bit quirky and hot blooded, so I just have to get used to that but hopefully it continues to be successful. I hope to continue with my other horses as well.”
$3,750 Junior Jumper
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1. Billy Kiara / Alexa Elle Lignelli / Hampton Green Farm / 0 | 75.147 / 0 | 43.548
2. Celina BH / Mimi Gochman / Gochman Sport Horse LLC / 0 | 75.890 / 0 | 43.577
3. Isabelle / Tessa Downey / Horse Orchard LLC / 0 | 76.328 / 0 | 45.258
4. ElDorado WP Z / Stella Wasserman / Stella Wasserman / 0 | 78.028 / 0 | 45.984
5. Gigi’s Girl BH / Mimi Gochman / Gochman Sport Horse LLC / 0 | 78.288 / 4 | 46.108
6. Chaplin W / Zayna Rizvi / Peacock Ridge LLC / 0 | 76.886 / 4 | 46.720
7. Prestigious / Alexander Alston / Alston Alliance LLC / 0 | 77.340 / 8 | 48.775
8. Chapka De Moyon / Grace Debney / Temple Equestrian LLC / 0 | 77.752 / WD
9. Adelita / Lola Head / Lola Head / 2 / 80.043
10. Gagarin / Kat Fuqua / Kat Fuqua / 3 | 81.814
11. Excellent / Zayna Rizvi / Peacock Ridge LLC / 4 | 74.552
12. Nashville Hero / Amira Kettaneh / Leigh Kettaneh / 4 | 75.490