Devon, Pa. – May 29, 2022 – One of the Devon Horse Show’s most popular events, the $50,000 Arena Eventing, sponsored by Malvern Bank, took center stage Sunday evening, welcoming some of the sport’s top three-day event competitors and their mounts to the iconic showgrounds. Since its inception in 2017, the special class has been highly anticipated and supported by some of eventing’s most esteemed riders. At the conclusion of two action-packed rounds of competition, it was the 2017 inaugural victor Sara Kozumplik and Rubens D’Ysieux who went home with the Devon blue and the lion’s share of the prize money.
Loved by competitors and spectators alike, the unique class combines two of the three elements of eventing: cross-country and show jumping. A full stadium looked on as the combinations first took on the cross-country phase of the class, featuring a 27-obstacle course that spanned the entirety of the Dixon Oval as well as the Wheeler Ring. Including skinny jumps, brush jumps, box jumps and tables, the course built by Captain Mark Phillips gave the audience a taste of many of the traditional cross-country elements as well some show jumping oxers and verticals. Following round one, the top twelve athletes returned to the Dixon Oval to complete 15 more obstacles in a jump-off round.
First to return for the second round jump-off was Lisa Fergusson on her own 7-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Honor Me. The pair, who carried 4 faults into their second round, set the pace for the remaining pack with a time of 86.461 seconds, but knocked another unfortunate rail in the jump-off. Olympian and reigning Devon Arena Eventing champion Boyd Martin was next aboard Fedarman B, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Annie Goodwin Syndicate. Riding carefully around the course, he jumped to the top spot with another clear ride and a time of 77.382 seconds.
Fellow Olympian Phillip Dutton was next aboard his first of two mounts, Hachi, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Limona Road Partners LLC. Dutton and Hachi accumulated just one time fault in the first round, but was still in a good position on the leaderboard going into the final phase. However, the pair had a rail down in the second round, finishing with five total faults in a time of 85.69 seconds. Erin Sylvester and Marnie Kelly’s Campground entered the Dixon Oval with 4 faults in hand, and picked up 0.8 more faults along their 89.855-second round jump-off. Jennie Brannigan and her second mount of the evening, her own Connory, crossed the timers at 88.444 seconds and 8.4 faults.
Ema Klugman and Bendigo were next, bringing in just 0.8 faults from the first round. The pair produced a clear ride in the jump off and time of 83.893 seconds to put them in the second place position heading into the final few competitors. Her top position didn’t last long, as Arielle Aharoni and Christina Aharoni’s Dutch Times took the Dixon Oval by storm, flying into the new second place spot carrying only 0.4 faults from the first round and crossing the timers in 79.788 seconds.
Next to contest Phillips’ shortened track was Amanda Beale Clement and Get Ready Syndicate LLC’s Carlson 119, carrying 0 faults in the first round. They suffered two unfortunate knockdowns on course, landing them outside of top contention. Kozumplik and Rubens D’ysieux, a 17 year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by Rubens D’Ysieux Syndicate LLC, took to the Dixon Oval ready to take back their 2017 winning title, successfully producing a fast and careful round in 73.223 seconds to rocket them straight to the top of the leaderboard.
With only a handful left to go in the second round, Dutton re-entered the ring with Carlchen, a 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Caroline Moran. A partnership since 2019, Dutton and Carlchen most recently competed at the Fair Hill International April Horse Trials and CCI-S in the Open Preliminary division with a seventh place finish. The duo exited the Dixon Oval with 4 faults to their name and a time of 85.690 seconds to ultimately land them in sixth place at the end of the night.
Martin and his second mount of the evening, Fernhill Prezley, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Nancy Hathaway, were last to enter the ring. Returning with no faults, Martin had one final shot to take back his first place spot on the leaderboard. Though Martin and Fernhill Prezley produced a clear effort, their time of 84.171 seconds ultimately gave the pair a third place finish to end the night, turning his reigning title over to Kozumplik. Martin settled for the second place finish on his other mount, Ferdarman B.
Competition at the Devon Horse Show will resume Monday, May 30, welcoming the professional hunter exhibitors to the Dixon Oval. The Model Green Conformation Hunters will kick off the day beginning at 8:00 a.m.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Sara Kozumplik – $50,000 Devon Arena Eventing, sponsored by Malvern Bank, winner
On Rubens D’Ysieux:
“When I first came here with him when he won the inaugural [Devon Arena Eventing in 2017], our partnership was actually quite new. I felt like I made a couple of mistakes that time but he’s such an unbelievable horse, he’s so careful. He was fast enough to do it that time but it’s really fun for me to come back. He was actually second place the next year but I had broken my knee in between and I wasn’t in great shape and I didn’t feel like I did a great job. It’s really fun for me to be back here because I adore this, it’s really cool they let us be here. The Dixon Oval is so iconic and the crowd is just as good as Kentucky – very different, but it’s that great feeling. We don’t get that opportunity very often so it’s very kind of [Devon] to let us be here. Today I felt like I did him justice. He’s obviously amazing but I felt like I actually rode him well in the jump-off. When I ride him well he is bloody fast, and there’s not too many horses that you can gallop to a jump like that. I had that advantage, but what great company. Boyd Martin has had an amazing season with Annie [Goodwin’s] Fedarman B, and I thought his round was beautiful. It’s nice to beat him! It’s not something I expect to happen all the time, and I thought it was impressive he was second and third.”
On watching Boyd Martin’s round:
“It didn’t impact me, actually. I really enjoy watching Boyd go because he’s such a beautiful rider, especially cross country. I was curious what he was going to do on some of the lines and it didn’t really impact me because I know my horse. I think he made some very good decisions out there that were appropriate for what was happening for him. But I actually just thought, ‘If I get a nice shot to do three strides to the corner, I’ll do it.’ A few horses didn’t quite come off the turn like that, so you’ve got to do four strides. I got the shot so I was really happy.”
On the last fence in the jump-off:
“Honestly I just galloped to it, but there aren’t too many horses that do that. I trust [Rubens D’Ysieux] and I just softened the reins and galloped to it. At that point, you’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose.”
On the Devon Horse Show:
“The atmosphere is incredible and I have the exact right horse for this sort of thing. To be fair, the horse [Rubens D’Ysieux] is actually good at everything. He’s good at dressage, he’s good at cross country, he’s kind of a freak that way. It does feel amazing to be back here. When I broke my back and my neck in 2018, that obviously slowed me down for a little bit. I had to have surgery and I wasn’t allowed to do anything really for six months. It’s nice to have come back from all of that and feel back on top form. Devon does that full circle. I was here when I first got [Rubens D’Ysieux], I was here after one knee injury, I was commentating when I had broken my back and neck, and now I’m back again which is fun that it has come full circle. I always said to myself, after the accident, I always wanted to do something with horses, but if I wasn’t the same I’d stop, but I felt totally fine.”
On what’s next:
“[Rubens D’Ysieux] is going to Bromont. I adore Bromont, it’s a great event. I’m not doing the long there because he’s done quite a few longs in his life, so I was going to bring him up there and do the short. I thought it would be great practice. He did a super job in Kentucky in the four-short. He’s 17 years old so I’m very careful about what I do with him. I do get to do a bit of show jumping and he’s taught me a lot because he’s so good. I can jump some of the small grand prix classes which I’m nowhere near good enough to do but I get to ride him and so I get better. Then I am hoping to do the CCI5* at Fairhill in the fall.”
On arena eventing:
“Arena eventing is great for so many things. For us, we are getting in front of a new crowd, people get to see what we do a little bit. It’s definitely not the same as eventing. I think it’s great for younger riders that haven’t had the opportunity to get in front of the crowd because really, in this country in eventing, you only really get in front of big crowds in Kentucky. It’s really good practice under pressure. I think it’s great for older horses like mine – we are not going to be running them at everything but it’s a great opportunity and he has a blast and he’s very good at it. I think it’s really good for the sport for people to see what we do. Most of them think we are a bit crazy, but we can get them on our side a little bit! [Rubens D’Ysieuz] loves the crowds but he’s very chill at home. This sort of thing turns him into a circus pony and he thinks it’s great. I can barely get on him, which is fun at 17 years old, he’s got lots of life left. He owes me nothing and I’m just enjoying what every month brings.”
$50,000 Devon Arena Eventing Sponsored by Malvern Bank
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1.Rubens D’ysieux / Sara Kozumplik / Rubens D’ysieux Syndicate LLC / 0 | 167.981 / 0 | 73.223
2.Fedarman B / Boyd Martin / Annie Goodwin Syndicate / 0 | 165.72 / 0 | 77.382
3.Fernhill Prezley / Boyd Martin / Nancy Hathaway / 0 | 171.866 / 0 | 84.171
4. Dutch Times / Arielle Aharoni / Christina Aharoni / 0 | 172.573 / 0 | 79.788
5. Bendigo / Ema Klugman / Ema Klugman / 1 | 173.977 / 1 | 83.983
6. Carlchen / Phillip Dutton / Caroline Moran / 0 | 159.513 / 4 | 85.690
7. Campground / Erin Sylvester / Marnie Kelly / 4 | 167.506 / .8 | 89.855
8. Carlson 119 / Amanda Beale Clement / Get Ready Syndicate LLC / 0 | 168.478 / 8 | 83.702
9. Hachi / Phillip Dutton / Limona Road Partners LLC / .8 / 5.2 / 88.552
10. Honor Me / Lisa Fergusson / Lisa Fergusson / 4 | 162. / 8 | 86.461
11. Connory / Jennie Brannigan / Jennie Brannigan / 2.4 | 177.798 / 8.4 | 88.444
12. Twilight’sLastGleam / Jennie Brannigan / Nina Gardner / 4 | RET