Last Night: Casady Trumps the Joker in “Gambler’s Choice”
The $3,750 Junior Jumpers Gambler’s Choice couldn’t have taken place on a more perfect evening, Friday night in the Dixon Oval. The air was full of excitement and the tension continued to build as the ring crew set boldly colored, towering jumps that looked like they would present quite a challenge for the 17 competitors. Each obstacle was valued at 10 to 120 points based on the level of difficulty and points could only be gained when jumped correctly. All obstacles had to be jumped once but were allowed to be jumped twice, then the finish line had to be crossed in order for the time to be counted. Once the course was completed the rider was allowed 20 seconds to jump the “Joker” which could either gain them 200 points or deduct 200 points from their previous round.
First in the order of go was Kalvin Dobbs riding Winde, he was the first to successfully make it clean over the “Joker” but unfortunately was outside the time allowance so he had to settle for third place. Following Dobbs in the order of go was Shawn Casady, of Wellington, FL riding Zubantos owned by Elm Rock LLC. A fiercely executed, clean first round, which he personally devised, ended in 59.897 seconds earning a total of 990 points. Casady rose to the challenge of the “Joker”. Like the rest of his round before, Casady took on the “Joker” with complete ease soaring to the top of the chart early where he would hold onto a lead that far surpassed the other scores. Michael Hughes took second and Kalvin Dobbs third.
With the “Joker” jump putting up a challenge few were able to overcome, the Gambler’s Choice was a great spectacle in the Dixon Oval Friday night.
I’ll Take a Small, a Medium and a Large
The day started early and small in the Gold Ring on Saturday, featuring the Small Pony Hunters first. Hi Lite, now owned by Madeline Schaefer won the Handy Hunter and Hunter Stake class, attaining the championship ribbon for topping the smalls. Hi Lite takes home the “Lucky Too” Challenge trophy for the third consecutive year, but under new ownership (previously owned by Madison Manners). The Chocolate Drop Trophy Challenge trophy goes home with Hi Lite as well for the second consecutive year. Made for Me, owned by Marigot Bay Farm LLC and ridden by Francesca Dildabanian, second in the Hunter Stake class, finished as Reserve Champion.
Laugh Out Loud, owned by John and Stephanie Ingram Inc. and ridden by Daisy Farish and Lucy Deslauriers, won the Medium Pony Hunter Under Saddle, was second in the Hunter Stake class and third in the Handy Hunter, with all points culminating in the Medium Pony Hunter Championship. Hilcrest Kilkenny, Isabel Ryan, won the Handy Hunter class and Sportster, Mark Goetzmann, won the Medium Pony Hunter Stake class. Cleverist, Daisy Farish, finished as Reserve Champion. Hi Lite takes home the Carolyn L. Havens Memorial Challenge Cup, for the highest scoring Small or Medium pony in the Handy Hunter class, for the third consecutive year.
In the heat of the afternoon Mapleside Denzel, owned by Nancy Baginski, won the Large Pony Hunter Undersaddle and the Hunter Stake class, finishing as Reserve Champion Large Pony Hunter. For the Laughter, Dr. Bestee Parker, finished as Large Pony Hunter Champion, having been second in the Handy Hunter class, second in the Hunter Stake and third in the hack. For the Laughter’s performance this year also secured the Devon Grand Pony Hunter Championship for the second consecutive year, taking home the Wizard of Oz Challenge trophy. The Best Child Rider on Pony Award went to Daisy Farish as Champion and Madeline Schaefer as Reserve Champion. Ms. Farish was voted Best Child Rider on Pony two years ago in 2010. The Pony Sportsmanship Award or Beatrice M. Marshall Sportsmanship Award went to Sarah Boston. Congrats!
Victoria Colvin Wins Big in Junior Hunter Stake
As the $2,500 Junior Hunter Stake took over the Dixon Oval Saturday afternoon, the crowd grew to watch what the juniors have been trying to prove since Thursday; they have what it takes to be a stand-out at Devon. At the end of the day the strenuous efforts and undeniable talent shone from the Dixon Oval, and the top riders were recognized for their consistent unsurpassable aptitude.
The afternoon kicked off with the Small Junior Hunter Stake, 16 & 17 with 24 entries hoping to have the top score once completing the 3’6” course. Anna Cardelfe riding Nadia, whom she also owns, grasped the first win of the afternoon in the Small Junior Hunter Stake with a score of 87. Moving onto the younger group in the Small Junior Hunter Stake, 15 & Under, as suspected, Victoria Colvin and Ovation, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker came out on top with a score of 91. It would be a spot Victoria would become accustomed to as the day progressed. Continuing on to the higher age group in the Large Junior Hunter Stake, 16 &17, the pair of Bishonen, owned by Southfields Farm LLC of Wellington, FL and David Oberkircher took the first place finish with a score of 86. Once again Victoria Colvin made an appearance with the blue ribbon on Way Cool in the Large Junior Hunter Stake, 15 & Under with a winning score of 88.
Making it into the money with all four horses, and two outstanding wins on both Ovation and Way Cool, Victoria Colvin won the Jeffrey B. Wilson Memorial Challenge Trophy. Not only did she win her classes but she also won the titles of Small Junior Hunter Champion, 15 & Under on Ovation, Large Junior Hunter Champion, 15 & Under on Way Cool, Overall Small Junior Hunter Champion on Ovation, Devon Grand Junior Hunter Champion on Ovation, The Angelo Award winner, and Best Child Rider on a Horse Award. When asked how it felt to walk into the ring countless, consecutive times to receive all her awards she was at a loss for words but managed to squeeze out that it was ” Amazing, just great, fantastic!” Ms. Colvin replied to the question, which of Dr. Betsee Parker’s horses was her favorite with mentioning that, ” They are all completely different. Inclusive was more ‘handy’ and that Way Cool jumps amazing.” Best of luck to Colvin as she gets ready for the two classes she’d be riding in this evening.
Hasbrouck Donovan aboard Confidential took the title of Small Junior Hunter Champion, 16 & 17. Meg O’Mara riding Walk the Line, also clinched the Large Junior Hunter Champion, 16 & 17 as well as the Overall Large Junior Hunter Champion. The long afternoon presented challenges to some and great success for others, but those competing in the Junior Jumpers were relentless and ready to go this evening for the Junior Jumper Classic -II
Radnor Hunt Hounds Return to DevonThe Radnor Hunt Hounds made a return appearance in the Dixon Oval this evening under the supervision Huntsman Joe Cassidy and his brother, Mark, acting as whipper-in. The huntsman can best be described as the quarterback of the pack, while the whipper-in is responsible for keeping the pack together and making sure no one strays. The pack appearing in the Dixon was comprised of all female hounds or bitches. The male hounds are referred to as dogs.
Most often the hounds are hunted as a single sex pack. The females tend to be a bit fleeter of foot and keener making them ideal for hunting on open ground. The males tend to be more methodical hunters and the skills are well suited for woods and hilly areas. When the hunt is taking place on varied terrain, a combined pack may be used with a lot of thought as to which animals are most suitable at any given time.
According to Collin McNeil, current Master of the Hounds along with Mike Tillson and Esther Gansky, the breeding of the pack is crucial to where they hunt. In the 1930’s and 40’s the pack was almost entirely PenMaryDel hounds, a breed that was developed by then Master, Roy Jackson (father of Barbaro owner, Roy Jackson, Jr.) Radnor Hunt has moved more into hunting the Brandywine Valley with greater expanses of open space. The pack, over the past 7 or 8 years, has been bred with hounds from other hunt clubs producing a pack that is predominantly American and Crossbred Hounds. Always mindful of their roots, some the hounds are still of the original PenMaryDel bloodline.