Devon, Pa. – Sept. 13, 2019 – A fall feel in the air, cool temperatures and a light breeze set the stage for jumper competition Friday morning at the Devon Fall Classic. Mid-way through the day, Thoroughbred Jumpers took to the Dixon Oval, which was lined with festive pumpkins and cornstalks. Several entries made an appearance over the two days of Thoroughbred competition but ultimately, it was Amanda Dobbs and MJ who took the overall championship title.
Dobbs and MJ got a strong start to the division on Thursday in the $500 Thoroughbred Jumper class, where the pair topped a field of 15 competitors with a clear ride and speedy time. Prior to that class, Dobbs and MJ won the $500 1.00m Jumper class out of a whopping 66 horse-and-rider combinations. Keeping their winning streak going, Dobbs and the 11-year-old gelding went on to win the second class of the division Friday morning. The 1.00m to 1.05m course was no match for the scope and speed of MJ, who tripped the timers in winning fashion. To cap off the division, Dobbs and MJ received seventh in the $1,000 Thoroughbred Jumper Stake, but were able to keep their overall lead and claim the championship title.
Originally, Dobbs purchased MJ as a 3-year-old racing Thoroughbred. MJ claimed one win during his racing career, but Dobbs decided that she wanted to try jumping with him and made the decision to retire him. Dobbs describes MJ’s showjumping start as a wild one, but he soon settled into the change of pace and has since grown to love his new job.
In the runner-up position was Gracie Allen and Wise Son who claimed the reserve championship title after taking sixth and second in the first two classes of the division. In the classic round, Allen and her 8-year-old gelding placed second with a double clear ride and a jump-off time of 30.182 seconds to finish in the reserve championship position.
Allen was also seen aboard Breda in the classic round. Second to enter the arena, the duo quickly became the pathfinders of the Steve Stephens designed course. The 7-year-old mare jumped a clear round in 60.232 seconds to move onto the jump-off. Allen showed no mercy over the shortened track, racing to finish in 29.592 seconds with all jumps remaining untouched. Allen and Breda’s time would remain the fastest of the class, securing them the blue ribbon in the classic round.
Jumper competition at the 2019 Devon Fall Classic will continue Friday evening with the highlight event of the day, the $5,000 Speed Stake, and will conclude on Sunday, Sept. 15. With a wide range of classes available, from young jumpers to the highlight event of the weekend, the $25,000 Devon Fall Classic Grand Prix on Saturday evening, there is something for every competitor.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Amanda Dobbs – Thoroughbred Jumper Grand Champion
“I got him when he was 3 years old. We’ve had him a really long time and he is a really sweet and fun horse to own. He used to race and even won a race! But I had to retire him because he was so much fun. He is so much fun to be around and I wanted to be around him more often so we turned him into a jumper.”
On MJ’s transition to the jumper ring:
“He was a little bit wild for his first couple of years and now he is such a good boy. He really loves it and he looks forward to being in the ring. He loves the ribbons!”
On the course:
“We just rode as straight as we could and left him alone to do his thing. He loves this and he is pretty solid on course.”
On competing at the Devon Fall Classic:
“This is our first time here! We came because Bob Allen pushed for us to come to the show and do the Thoroughbred classes so he is the reason we’re here. It has been really cool showing here at Devon. The whole venue, the footing, and the people are all so wonderful. It’s great fun.”