Devon, Pa. – Sept. 15, 2019 – The final day of competition at the 2019 Devon Fall Classic kicked off on Sunday, Sept. 15. A sunny day in Devon, Pennsylvania perfectly lit the light blue outskirts of the historic Dixon Oval, setting the picturesque stage for a final day of competition. In the $5,000 Low Amateur-Owner Jumper Zone 2 Horse of the Year (HOTY) Championship, Leslie Schillat and Three Pugs Farm LLC’s SLF Destiny walked away victorious after putting in the fastest double clear round of the day.
With the final Steve Stephen’s designed course of the day, amateur-owner competitors and their mounts competed over 12 obstacles. With challenges such as delicate verticals and a number of rollback turns, athletes had to be on their best game to advance to the jump-off round. Ultimately, five combinations produced clear rounds under the time allowed of 77 seconds to continue on to the jump-off.
A Devon local, Schillat came out on top after trying her hand at the modified course as last in the order of go. With her previous competitors putting on the pressure with clear rounds and times that continued to shave off the seconds, the pressure was on. Utilizing the 13-year-old Hanoverian’s swift pace, the pair crossed the timers at 34.053 seconds to take home the tricolor ribbon. Partnered together for almost three years, the pair have moved up the ranks together to achieve their goal of competing in the Amateur-Owner divisions. Capturing the reserve championship was Kendra Sue Walmer and her own Printings Pola Z, finishing on a time of 35.877 seconds.
A handful of other classic rounds took place earlier in the day, with the first on the schedule being the $1,500 Low Adult Amateur Zone 2 HOTY Championships, sponsored by Dr. Wendy Dixon. Claiming championship honors was Shelby Bently and her own Lucky Penny, while Misty Linaberry and her own Celestine picked up reserve champion.
In the $1,500 Low Children’s Jumper Zone 2 HOTY Championship, Madison Briggs and MJM LLC’s Doutzen walked away with the championship. Elizabeth Harvey and Christopher Harvey’s DD Boy rounded out the top two by claiming the reserve champion honors. Third in the lineup of exciting classes was the $3,000 High Adult Amateur Jumper Zone 2 HOTY Championship. Sarah Wood and Neal Shapiro’s Corozano received the top tri-colored ribbon while Emily Throop and her own Capitalist took home the reserve championship ribbon for their ride.
The $3,000 High Children’s Jumper Zone 2 HOTY Championship was won by Corinne Davies and her own En Vogue. Carly Eakin captured the runner up position in the class aboard Riding Rink LLC ‘s Dior. Finally, Mark Leone and Redfield Farm’s Exite were victorious in the $5,000 Low Junior Jumper Zone 2 HOTY Championship. The reserve champion honors were claimed by Morgan Webster and her own Excentriek.
The 2019 edition of the Devon Fall Classic concluded on Sunday, Sept. 14. After taking a year off from the event, the Devon Fall Classic was thrilled to see such high numbers of entries throughout the entire week at the newly revamped show. With prize money offered in almost all classes, exhibitors from all levels of show jumping experienced a successful week of competition. Additionally, the Devon Fall Classic boasted an impressive and record number of Show Jumping Hall of Fame Inductees, either attending as competitors, trainers, or event management members. The inductees present at this year’s 2019 Devon Fall Classic included course designer Steve Stephens, show manager Peter Doubleday, grand prix rider and trainer Anne Kursinski and trainers Joe Fargis, Mary Chapot, Michael Matz and Neal Shapiro.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Leslie Schillat – Low Amateur-Owner Jumper Zone 2 Horse of The Year Classic Champion
On SLF Destiny:
“I have had SLF Destiny for two and a half years now. I got her in Canada and started doing the Adult Jumpers with her. We did that for a year and a half and went to the finals for it. We figured we would just try to move up to the Amateur-Owners and she has been brilliant. We never expected it.”
On her course:
“The lines were tough with some of them being very steady, some with lots of options and a lot of bending lines. We did what we thought would be best for [SLF Destiny] and shaped lines where we could. Steve made us work and she rose to the occasion. The time allowed was tight – we had to plan to be tight on all of the corners. We really had to be smooth, neat and get the numbers. It worked out! In the jump-off we had planned on leaving out a stride in the first line. Because there were a lot of lines in the jump-off they were really your only place to make some time up. To the last line, I took a stride out and I think that is where I made up the time – it felt good so I went for it and it worked! I would have been disappointed if I didn’t do it.”
On competing at the Devon Fall Classic:
“I live 15 minutes away, I grew up in this area and my dad used to bring me here as a kid to do the ponies. We qualified for the Adult Jumpers here last year but [the Amateur-Owner] division is not offered at Devon in the Spring, so to have this show and to be able to come here and do this is such a good opportunity. When they announced the show was coming back this year I knew we had to go! I put this show on the calendar in January because I couldn’t wait to come! I hope they keep this up because it is just such a great opportunity and to have a blue ribbon is just overwhelming.”