Bright Start for TJ O'Mara in Equitation Divisions at Devon Horse Show
Devon, PA - May 26, 2016 - As the sun rose over the Dixon Oval, TJ O'Mara rode into the ring ready to make the most of his final junior season at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. The rising talent did just that, riding away with his first blue ribbon in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search. O'Mara was also awarded the Honey Craven Perpetual Memorial Trophy for delivering the highest-scoring round in the Talent Search.
|TJ O'Mara and Kaskade
"I've been coming here since I was 12," O'Mara said. "I've been here for the equitation for many years. I've received every other ribbon except for first, so it feels good! That was my goal for this year, and it feels great. Kaskade is really just amazing; I couldn't have asked for a better horse."
O'Mara, who trains with Max Amaya, said he began working with the 10-year-old mare in early 2013, making this year the duo's fourth appearance at Devon.
"I know her temperament pretty well," O'Mara commented. "She's normally pretty chill in the ring and tends to build up towards the end of the course. So, I was a little worried about the water, but she was really just amazing. She was a hunter before this, so she has a nice extension."
The day began with the WIHS Jumper Phase, which was split into three sections. It was Lucy Deslauriers' score of 94 that took the top spot, while Maya Nayyar's score of 92 also earned her a blue ribbon. The third blue ribbon was awarded to McKayla Langmeier with a score of 90.
"Skyfall was really great for his first class," Langmeier said. "He went in there, didn't spook at anything and went right to it. I really liked the course. For the first course, you never know what you're going to get. You don't know if it's going to be hard, and if the time allowed is going to be really short, but it was nice and inviting."
The second-place finishers in the WIHS were TJ O'Mara, Summer Hill and Katherine Bundy, while the third-place ribbons were awarded to Samantha Cohen, Adele McKenna and Daisy Farish.
In the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search, which was split into two sections, Lucy Deslauriers joined O'Mara as the second winner.
|Lucy Deslauriers and Class Action
"I had just come from doing the [WIHS] jumper phase, and I knew Class Action was going well today," Deslauriers said. "Everything was going according to plan, so I just tried to ride the plan. I had to take care of the time and the jumps are a little bigger, but I felt pretty confident going in. It was a good first course to start the weekend. I usually ride Class Action in both the Washington and USEF, so I knew going in that he knew his job."
Deslauriers, who trains with Stacia Madden, said she has been riding the 17-year-old gelding, Class Action, for two years.
"He's a veteran," Deslauriers added. "He's been coming to this show for a number of years, so he knows his job. As long as I don't get in his way, he rides according to plan."
The second-place spots in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search went to Carly Hoft and McKayla Langmeier, with Madison Goetzmann and Daisy Farish taking home thirds.
"They stepped it up for the USEF," Langmeier commented. "But I know Skyfall pretty well, like the back of my hand. He's a pretty special horse to me. He's won all over. I always know going into the ring that he's going to be there and try to win."
|McKayla Langmeier and Skyfall
As the day continued with the Pessoa Hunter Seat Medal, which was also divided into three sections, Daisy Farish, Madison Goetzmann and Katherine Bundy took home the top honors. Second place went to Samantha Cohen, Lucy Deslauriers and McKayla Langmeier, with third place going to Taylor St. Jacques, Emma Kurtz and Ellyn Fritz.
Thurday's winners will continue on to compete for the R.W. "Ronnie" Mutch Equitation Championship High Point Award on Friday morning, which, for the first time, will awarded by class results instead of on a point basis.
O'Mara, whose sisters have each missed claiming the Ronnie Mutch High Point Award by one point, said he is looking forward to competing in the class for the honor.
"Meg and Abbey say they would've won it if it was a class, and now it is," O'Mara commented. "I hope I win, but I know there is going to be a bunch of great riders in there, mostly from my barn. Hopefully it'll be friendly competition. I'm excited to see what happens."
Regardless of the results, the riders and horses alike are glad to be back at Devon.
"This is such a fun show," Deslauriers said. "I've been coming here since I was doing the medium ponies. So, everyone knows what to expect. The fair, the fudge, the tea sandwiches - everything about it is so much fun. I'm really excited to be back."
The equitation will conclude on Friday with the R.W. "Ronnie" Mutch Equitation Championship class and resulting High Point Award. Highlight events during the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair will include the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and the $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4*.
The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is the longest running and largest outdoor multi-breed competition in the United States. With the grandeur of Philadelphia's prestigious Main Line setting the stage, the event features a world-class field that annually ranks among the most prominent internationally. The event also includes the Country Fair that offers world-class shopping, rides and games for kids, multiple dining options and special entertainment events.