Devon, Pa. – Sept. 15, 2022 – The historic Devon Show Grounds welcomed back competitors to the Dixon Oval on Thursday morning to kick off the 2022 Devon Fall Classic. The annual show offers interactive events for optimal family fun, top equestrian competition, and a community oriented atmosphere. Vendor village was full with eager spectators ready to pack the stands for the highlight class of the day, the $5,000 Welcome Jumper Stake Table II sponsored by Breakaway Farm. Entertaining the crowd as they topped the field of 15 competitive duos was Mia Mannis and Hollyday V.
Manuel Espara (MEX) designed a course well suited for the class. Espara set a 12-obstacle track that challenged the field of riders to showcase their technique and allow their horses to carefully jump over the towering wide oxers and tall, airy verticals. The sun set over the difficult course adding another element of difficulty for horse-and-athlete pairs as each jump had its own spooky shadow.
Mannis and Hollyday V had their game faces on as they confidently walked through the arch as the first to go in the order. Aboard her very own 10-year-old KWPN gelding, Mannis proved that this is the place Where Champions Meet. “He was difficult for me to ride at first and I was having a little bit of trouble. We just kept on working and we just stayed really patient and the past three grand prix’s he has jumped a clear round for me every single time. He jumps a clear round in pretty much every welcome and he is really an amazing horse, he is really like my child right now,” comments Mannis. Setting the tone with a textbook double clear round, the duo crossed the timers in the jump off round with a time of 36.578 seconds. Not one pair was able to catch up with Mannis’s blazing fast time throughout the entirety of the class.
Following closely behind to claim the red ribbon was Morgan Ward and her longtime partner, Colourful S. Ward piloted the 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Morlynn Farm to a confident, and efficient round. Although they were quick and careful around the track, they were not quite quick enough to catch up to Mannis and her winning time. With Ward’s seasoned guidance, Colourful S galloped powerfully through the timers in 38.124 seconds.
Third place honors were awarded to Devon local, Dominique Damico. Damico rode Chatinus, the 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Show Jumping Syndications International, the great success on the beautiful Pennsylvania evening. Chatinus jumped in incredibly careful form, leaving all of the rails intact and securing their spot on the podium. The duo’s 39.168 second jump off time ultimately earned them the yellow ribbon.
Prior to the $5,000 Welcome Stake, the young jumpers set the pace for the first day of competition. Showcasing their promising talent, the 5, 6 and 7-Year-Old Jumpers took to the historic arena and delivered multiple effortless rounds. With Alexandra Hird in the Irons, the Swedish Warmblood mare Cyber Flower jumped confidently around the track in the 5-Year-Old 1.15m Young Jumper. Laura Chapot piloted her own Selle Francais gelding, Ginola, to the blue ribbon in the $750 6-Year-Old 1.30m Young Jumper. Wrapping up the young jumper divisions Peter Leone and the Hanoverian gelding owned by Linoshare Jumps LLC, LS Kantaro, stole the spotlight in the $750 7-Year-Old 1.35m Young Jumper.
Jumper competition will resume at the Devon Fall Classic on Friday, September 16, featuring the $5,000 Speed Stake, as well as the Thoroughbred Jumper Championship and the $1,000 High Junior/Amateur Jumpers.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Mia Mannis – $5,000 Welcome Stake Winner
On Hollyday V & their partnership:
“He is a 10-year-old gelding. I have had him just a little bit under a year now. When I got him he was really weak and never had really gone to a real show. He was difficult for me to ride at first and I was having a little bit of trouble. We just kept on working and we just stayed really patient and the past three grand prix’s he has jumped a clear round for me every single time. He jumps a clear round in pretty much every welcome and he is really an amazing horse, he is really like my child right now.”
On Hollyday V’s personality:
“He has the funniest personality. He is the sweetest horse on the ground with people. He pretty much hates every other horse and he has way too big of an ego. I love him with my whole heart. He is just amazing and is the goofiest horse you’ll ever meet.”
On the course:
“The course rode pretty much exactly as I had walked. I went first so I didn’t get to watch anyone else so I just went off of what I thought from the course walk. I thought we created a really good plan and I know him very well at this point so I was able to make a decision based upon his step and how he goes in there. I felt like we really executed the plan really well.”
On being at Devon:
“I love it. I was here for the Devon Fall Classic for my first time before COVID-19 and I had just started to jump the 1.40s. I had a smaller horse at the time and he was incredible. I really wanted to jump the Welcome and really wanted to jump the Grand Prix the next time I came back. I have a horse this year and starting off with a win in the Welcome is really a great start to the show. I love the ring and I love this show. It is really a great time.”
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Time | R1 Faults / R2 Time | R2 Faults
1. Hollyday V / Mia Mannis / Mia Mannis / 76.619 / 0 / 36.578 / 0
2. Colourful S / Morgan Ward / Morlynn Farm / 76.193 / 0 / 38.124 / 0
3. Chatinus / Dominique Damico / Show Jumping Syndications International / 74/864 / 0 / 39.168 / 0
4. Cedric 84 / Peter Leone / Lionshare Jumps LLC / 76.098 / 0 / 39.382 / 0
5. Olympia Van Het Eikenhof / Abigail Mcardle / Abigail Mcardle / 78.818 / 0 / 41.645 / 0
6. Gideon / Laura Chapot / Mary Chapot / 72.076 / 0
7. Souplesse / Sloane Coles / Fiddlesticks Farm / 73.32 / 4
8. 007 D’O / David Matisz / Lindsay Simmons / 83.605 / 4
9. Porlando De Roulard / Mia Mannis / Mia Mannis / 80.883 / 4
10. Big Berry / Matthias Hollberg / Alex Gartenberg / 76.255 / 12