Devon, Pa. – Sept. 13, 2019 – Highlighting the day at the 2019 Devon Fall Classic was the $5,000 Speed Stake, with 27 competitors vying for the lion’s share of prize money. Hosted at the iconic Dixon Oval, horse-and-rider combinations were pressured to produce a clear round with the fastest time. Ultimately, Callan Solem and VDL Wizard emerged victorious to take home the coveted Devon Blue at the end of the competitive speed class.
Comprised of 13 obstacles, Steve Stephens’ course challenged athletes and their mounts to a number of bending lines, two combinations, and delicate verticals placed strategically around the course. As third in the order of go, Solem and Horseshoe Trail Farm LLC’s VDL Wizard gave Devon crowds the highly anticipated first clear round of the evening, setting the pace for the remaining competitors with a swift time of 68.263 seconds. Solem and the 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding have been partnered together for many years, accumulating a number of wins together. Most notably, the seasoned pair were the highest placed U.S. combination at the 2016 FEI World Cup Finals in Gothenburg, Sweden, finishing in seventh place in addition to representing the United States in many Nations Cups.
Following Solem and VDL Wizard’s round eight trips later, Adam Cramer and Equi-Sport LLC’s King Clooney attempted to usurp the leaders with the next clear round of the evening, but fell just short of Solem’s time. Shortly after Cramer’s clean round, Solem entered the ring on her second mount for the night, Jasmijn Van De Renthoeve, putting in yet another clear round, but finishing with a time of 72.080 seconds that would put them in third place for the time being.
As the rounds continued, athletes and their mounts continued to accrue faults around the technical course, leaving Solem in the lead aboard her first mount of the night. Thirteen trips later, Laura Chapot and Mary Chapot’s Gideon tried their hand at the course. With crowds intensely watching on, Chapot and the 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood looked as if they might overtake Solem’s long held lead, but came just .15 seconds short of finishing in first. Ultimately, the pair ended the evening in second place.
Third place was claimed by Cramer with the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, King Clooney, on a time of 71.562 seconds. The pair have competed around the country together throughout the summer season at Lake Placid Horse Shows, the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival and the Kentucky Spring Classic. Rounding out the fourth place position was the final entry of the evening, Hannah Touring and her own Balou Moon BHF.
Earlier in the evening session, Molly Wolfe and Cinco De Mayo captured the top placing in the $1,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class after producing the fastest time. The pair sped to the highest placing of the evening ahead of their competitors as the only combination to produce a clear round. The High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper division will culminate with the SJHOF High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic, taking place at 7:00pm on Saturday, Sept. 14.
Jumper competition at the 2019 Devon Fall Classic will continue through 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. Competition will resume at 8:00am on Saturday, Sept. 14 with the Low Children’s Jumpers.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Callan Solem – $5,000 Welcome Jumper Stake 1.40m Champion
On VDL Wizard:
“Wizard always speaks for himself – he is so overqualified! He has done so much for me and I wanted to do a class that he would enjoy. If the trailer leaves without him he is so upset, he wants to go to the show. If I can keep him in classes that are fun for him that is the goal and he felt like he had fun tonight. He got to win and I got some experience on the younger ones.”
On the course:
“Steve [Stephens] always does a fantastic job. The second horse I rode, Jasmijn [De Renthoeve], I am also very excited about. We are getting to know one another but she is so careful, such a competitor and she really hates to touch the jumps so that is always great. [Erdento Van de Leeuwerk] is a new stallion that I feel so lucky to have. He is by Cradento and he is a little shy in experience but he is really special and I have a big future in mind for him, so it was great for him to get to go under the lights in preparation for the Grand Prix tomorrow.”
On winning for the second night in a row:
“It is great! You know, they say that you can’t win them all if you don’t win the first!”
About the Devon Fall Classic:
“I have to say that this is my favorite venue. They get great crowds here – these people are steeped in tradition and have been watching showjumping for decades so they know what they are looking at! They have made so many improvements here, too. The footing is fantastic – we got a lot of rain in a short period of time yesterday and it looks perfect today! The show they put on here is a super opportunity and experience for greener riders and horses. The atmosphere here changes the game a little bit. The horses have to get used to being here and the people have to get used to being here because if you think they are going to ride the same here as they do everywhere else, they just don’t, they do all different things here. This show is a great learning experience for everybody.”
$5,000 Speed Stake
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time
1. VDL Wizard / Callan Solem / Horseshoe Trail Farm LLC / 0 / 68.263
2. Gideon / Laura Chapot / Mary Chapot / 0 / 68.413
3. King Clooney / Adam Cramer / Equi-Sport LLC / 0 / 71.562
4. Balou Moon BHF / Hanna Toering / 0 / 72.576
5. Jasmijn Van De Renthoeve / Callan Solem / Horseshoe Trail Farm LLC / 0 / 72.080
6. Elyria Sitte / Filip De Wandel / 4 / 64.592
7. Out Of Ireland / Laura Chapot / The Edge / 4 / 64.990
8. Dundalk / Stella Manship / Elan Farm / 4 / 65.067