Devon, Pa. – May 28, 2019 – Tuesday at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair welcomed back top professional hunter athletes in the Dixon Oval as they vied for championship honors in their respective divisions. In the Green 3’6” Hunters, it was Scott Stewart and Bikoff Equestrian LLC’s Cabrio who walked away with the first tricolor of the day, sponsored by Dr. Betsee Parker and Huntland Farm. The pair accumulated high placings in four over fences classes and in the undersaddle class, spanning over two days of competition, to earn a total of 34 points for the James J. Piehler Memorial Challenge Trophy.
On Monday, Stewart and the 7-year-old Holsteiner took home two fourth place ribbons in the division’s initial over fences classes with scores of 86 and 84. The gelding also dominated Monday’s undersaddle competition to conclude the day with a first place ribbon. Stewart came back strong on Tuesday to claim two more Devon blues with Cabrio in the handy and stake rounds with scores of 90 and 88, respectively. As a result, the pair took home the division’s overall title in addition to the Dorris Daniel Klein Memorial Challenge Trophy and the Wolk Foundation Challenge Trophy.
Cabrio was purchased by Bikoff Equestrian LLC in August 2018 from Ken and Emily Smith of Ashland Farms, with the purpose of helping 14-year-old Ella Bikoff move up to the junior hunters. Since then, Stewart has piloted the flashy gelding to a number of high placings throughout the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) season in Wellington, Florida, in the Green 3’6” Hunter division.
Reserve champion was captured by Tara Metzner, after dominating both over fences classes on Monday. Aboard Lion, a 9-year-old Selle Français owned by Davlyn Farms, Metzner accumulated 28 points to earn runner-up honors in the Green 3’6” Hunter division.
Immediately following in the Green Conformation Hunters, Stewart dominated once again to win the championship, sponsored by Courtyard Marriott. This time aboard Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Scandal, Stewart finished the division with a total of 39 points to claim the Just for Fun – Two for One Challenge Trophy. Scandal, a 6-year-old Oldenberg stallion, will eventually be shown and ridden by owner Becky Gochman, who is looking forward to competing the impressive chestnut stallion in the future. Reserve honors were captured by Jennifer Bauersachs and Lee Kellogg Sadrian’s Rafiki.
In the Green 3’9” Hunters, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds, the championship tricolor was presented to Ann Rice Ervin’s Alright and Holly Orlando, earning the pair the Fisher & Son Co. Challenge Trophy with 23.5 points. Orlando, who is no stranger to the winner’s circle, piloted Alright through the duration of the 2019 WEF circuit with the goal of qualifying for Devon. Most recently in preparation for Devon, the 8-year-old Warmblood gelding captured the top prize in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at the Camden Spring Classic with Hunter Kay. Reserve honors were awarded to Amanda Steege and Lafitte De Muze.
Competition will resume on Wednesday at 8 a.m. with the handy and stake rounds of the High Performance Conformation Hunter division as well as the undersaddle. The champion and reserve champions of that division will be honored before more awards presentations, including the naming of the High Performance Hunter Leading Lady Rider, Leading Mare, Devon Grand Hunter Championship, Devon Leading Hunter Rider and Devon Leading Groom Award.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Scott Stewart – Green 3’6” Hunter and Green Conformation Hunter champion
“We bought him at the end of last summer for Ella Bikoff as one of her first junior hunters. I showed him five or six times in Florida just to go around. He is primarily going to be her junior hunter though. We bought the horse from Ken and Emily Smith last August. He is a really easy ride but very fancy and a great mover. He rides around super easy.”
On the division:
“It was a tough division. Tara [Metzner] rode great and it was close. I think whoever won the last class was the deciding factor for who won, it was separated by just one point. I was trying not to worry about the points today. We had a great time showing, we always do here at Devon.”
Becky Gochman – Owner of Scandal
“The way he went this week was really great. He looked like he had done this a thousand times before and really relaxed. We got him a while ago, at least two years ago. I’m very trusting of Scott when he decided it’s time for me to ride. [Scandal] is very loving in the barn, he’s beautiful, and very smooth. He rode around the Devon ring like he was an old time campaigner. I’m really excited and I can’t wait until I get to step in the irons myself.”
Holly Orlando – Green 3’9” Hunter champion
“Ron Danta, Danny Robertshaw, and Hunter Kay are his trainers. Hunter usually rides him, but he hurt his ankle in Florida so I took over the riding. Hunter has done all of the work and I have to give him a lot of the credit. [Alright] is the sweetest and most fun horse to ride. He tries so hard every time he steps in the right.”
On showing at Devon:
“This ring is amazing, it’s so much fun to pick up a gallop and fly around. I love it here.”
Hunter Kay – Rider and trainer for Alright
“He is 8 years old. We got him just under a year ago and he started showing in the [First Year Greens]. I showed him at the end of the summer and he was great. He stepped up to the 3’9” this winter during Florida. Unfortunately I broke my ankle the first week, but we’re lucky enough to have Holly to ride for us. He qualified for Devon which was the ultimate goal for the year. He is such a sweet horse and takes very little prep time. I knew that coming here he would be a little more interested in the ring with so much going on but the venue really worked for him. I’ll show him now and his owner [Ann Rice Ervin] will too.”