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Devon Horse Show - May 26, 2016

May 26, 2016 
 
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.  
 
Brian Moggre and MTM Flutterby Master 
Junior Jumper Welcome Speed
 
For many riders, competing at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is at the top of their list of goals - winning is just icing on the cake. For Brian Moggre, his first trip to Devon is proving to be a dream come true. Qualifying for the Junior Jumper division after a successful winter season at HITS Ocala, he and his 9-year-old Thoroughbred gelding MTM Flutterby showcased their skills with a win in the $3,750 Junior Jumper Speed Stake.

Brian Moggre and MTM Flutterby

The first event in the Junior Jumper Championship, 26 of the top horse and rider combinations in the country competed in front of the opening day crowd at the Dixon Oval. Giavanna Rinaldi and Dulf Van Den Bisschop set the pace to beat as the first to cross the finish line in under 60 seconds, breaking the beam at 55.355 seconds with all the rails intact.

Katherine Strauss tried to catch the time set by Rinaldi with her mount All In, but was a few seconds shy with a clear time of 59.062 seconds, which would be good enough for fourth place. Eve Jobs slipped ahead of Strauss, piloting Sandor de la Pomme to a faultless effort in 58.659 seconds for third place. Only one rider was able to best Rinaldi - her friend Brian Moggre.

Giavanna Rinaldi and Dulf Van Den Bisschop

Moggre and MTM Flutterby picked up a fast gallop to the first fence and never let off the gas. Carefully clearing all of the fences, they dashed across the finish line in 55.355     seconds, just 5/10ths of a second faster to take over the top spot and lead the lap of honor at the end of the night.

"I made up time in the air," explained Moggre. "Gia's horse just jumps more lofty in the air, but we rode similar tracks. My horse is a little closer to the jumps and doesn't jump as high. She's not as lofty in the air, and I think that's what made the difference between the two."

Moggre has been riding MTM Flutterby for just over a year, and the horse has proven to be much more than he imagined. "She's not what we expected," he admitted. "She was a diamond in the rough. We were expecting to buy her and make her an investment horse and sell her later on, but I was like 'No. I'm keeping this one!'"

The decision certainly paid off. The chestnut Thoroughbred is currently leading the nation in the High Junior Jumper standings, and now has secured Moggre his first victory at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. 

Brian Moggre and MTM Flutterby

"She's a very uphill, hot kind of ride," noted Moggre. "You have to be really cold. If you're a rider that gets tense and crazy, you're not right for her. If you put crazy with crazy, it's uncontrollable. She's just awesome and so cool."

Moggre concluded, "It's pretty awesome to win the first Junior Jumper class. It's such a cool horse show and it's awesome to be here, especially to win. I'm star struck!"

The Junior Jumpers will compete again on Friday, and the champion will be crowned after Saturday night's $20,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Jumper Classic. Junior riders will take center stage throughout the weekend, competing in the Junior and Pony Hunters, as well as the R.W. "Ronnie" Mutch Equitation Championship. 

RESULTS: $3,750 Junior Jumper Speed Stake
1    304    MTM FLUTTERBY     BRIAN MOGGRE     0    55.355    
2    1321    DULF VAN DEN BISSCHOP     GIAVANNA RINALDI     0    55.876    
3    113    SANDOR DE LA POMME     EVE JOBS     0    58.659    
4    1105    ALL IN     KATHERINE STRAUSS     0    59.062    
5    616    REMBRANDT     EMILY PEREZ     0    62.998    
6    973    TOSCA DU FEUGRE     LAUREN FISCHER     0    63.312    
7    1258    BLUF     BRETT BURLINGTON     0    63.597    
8    176    HESTER     LUCY DESLAURIERS     0    63.732