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Devon June 4th

June 4, 2016 
McLain Ward Closes Out Devon Horse Show with Open Jumper Championship         
Devon, Pa. - June 4, 2016 - On Friday, McLain Ward of Brewster, New York, was named the Longines World Number One in show jumping. He has spent the last week competing at the historic Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, and on Saturday night he captured his third victory, winning the $50,000 Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake aboard Tina La Boheme. 

McLain Ward and Tina La Boheme. Photo by: The Book, LLC.

Six entries advanced to the jump-off in the highlight event of the evening sponsored by Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar. Laura Chapot set the pace to beat with her first mount Thornhill Kate, clearing the track in 37.082 seconds. Her lead was short lived, as Ward entered the arena aboard Tina La Boheme, who has proven to be a dominating force in the Dixon Oval. The pair was four seconds faster and left all the rails intact, crossing the finish line in 33.906 seconds. 

Only Chapot was able to beat the initial time she clocked, beating her first mount's time on Quointreau Un Prince. The duo had a faultless time of 36.660 seconds to place second, while she and Thornhill Kate took third. The fourth place prize went to Danielle Torano and Callas III, the only other pair to clear the short course. 

With a quick and clear double clear, Ward not only won the $50,000 Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake, but also earned the Open Jumper Championship with Tina La Boheme and the Leading Open Jumper Rider title. 

"We're obviously very excited," said Ward. "I think Tina has won her last four classes in a row. It's really great to see how she's progressing. At the end of Palm Beach and even Old Salem, when I stepped her up to some bigger classes I had to kind of help her a long a little bit. She was a very good jumper, but she was green. It's interesting to see her come out of that show at Old Salem and be very handy in this ring and start to follow where I am going. That's what makes a horse fast, they look for the next fence. We are really excited about her. We'll keep our fingers crossed for the future." 

Open Jumper Champion and Leading Open Jumper Rider McLain Ward

Ward has been competing since he was just 5-years-old in the Leadline division. Now, he is the top ranked rider in the world. "It's a great recognition of consistent success because our peers are so good now," explained Ward. "The top of the sport now is so good and so competitive, so I am proud of that. I can't say that was ever a goal. The goal has always been championships and medals and the biggest grand prix events in the world. The honor in that is amongst your peers."

After placing second and third in Saturday's main event, the Carol Hoffman Thompson Leading Lady Rider Challenge Trophy was presented to Laura Chapot, who also earned the title in 2014.

Laura Chapot and Quointreau Un Prince

"This is one of our favorite horse shows, and I think this is one of the most important shows in the country," noted Chapot. "They really raised the bar this year with added prize money and making it an FEI competition. To be the leading lady rider here is certainly very prestigious, and I am so proud to win the trophy that is donated by Carol's family. She was a great friend to us. I'm really thrilled to have won it again."

Earlier in the day, the Amateur Owner Jumpers competed in their highlight event, the $20,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur Owner Jumper Classic. After fourth place finish on Friday, Alex Matz came back for the victory in the Classic with Quinta.

Six combinations advanced to the jump-off, with Cloe Hymowitz setting the pace on her first mount Baritchou DBT. They turned in a clear effort in 32.901 seconds. Their lead did not hold for long, as Ailish Cunniffe turned in a faster time of 41.151 seconds with all the rails intact aboard Betty Boop III. They would eventually settle for fourth and fifth, respectively.

Alex Matz and Quinta

Next in the Dixon Oval was Matz with Quinta. With smooth turns and a fast gallop, they broke the 40-second mark when they stopped the clock at 37.937 seconds. Hymowitz tried to catch him with her second mount Fidalgo Van Het Leliehof, but would pick up third place with a clear round in 38.375 seconds. Reid Patton and Twisther slipped into second place with a faultless effort in 38.360 seconds. The fastest round belonged to Anna Cardelfe and Dollar Van'T Eigenlo DH, but their time of 36.783 seconds came at the expense of a rail for sixth place, sealing Matz victory.

"My plan originally was to be neat around the turns and not go crazy fast. I ended up adding a stride in one of the lines, but Quinta was excellent," smiled Matz. "This is our fifth year with her. She's been great. She's been loyal, that's all you could ask for in a horse." 

Matz and Quinta not only led the lap of victory for Saturday afternoon's event, but they also returned to the center of the Dixon Oval to accept the Amateur Owner Jumper Championship and Amateur Owner Jumper Leading Rider Award. 

Alex Matz and Quinta

"This is a special place because it's so close to home," noted Matz, a sophomore at Vanderbilt University. "It means so much. I love this place and it was a goal. Young Riders is a big goal, but this is very special."

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair will conclude on Sunday with the Best Young Horse and Leading Handler Awards still to come. It 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. 

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RESULTS: $50,000 Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake 
1    94    TINA LA BOHEME     MCLAIN WARD     0    0    0    76.649    0    0    0    33.906    
2    11    QUOINTREAU UN PRINCE     LAURA CHAPOT     0    0    0    74.188    0    0    0    36.660    
3    10    THORNHILL KATE     LAURA CHAPOT     0    0    0    74.910    0    0    0    37.082    
4    38    Callas III     DANIELLE TORANO     0    0    0    79.557    0    0    0    38.798    
5    1555    ZERLY     MCLAIN WARD     0    0    0    77.763    4    0    4    35.704    
6    80    GUNNER     MELISSA RUDERSHAUSEN     0    0    0    77.383    8    0    8    40.860    
7    46    CASALL     ALI WOLFF     0    1    1    80.140                       
8    48    CAYA     ALI WOLFF     4    0    4    76.697                       
9    52    Quite Dark 2     Haley Gassel     4    0    4    76.912                       
10    44    FAROUKH     SARAH WAYDA     4    0    4    78.294                       
11    66    S & L SAGE     DAVID RAPOSA     4    0    4    78.367                       
12    1554    LAKVELS     SYDNEY SHULMAN     4    0    4    78.908

$20,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur Owner Jumper Classic
1    296    QUINTA     ALEX MATZ     0    0    0    71.434    0    0    0    37.937    
2    879    TWISTHER     REID PATTON     0    0    0    75.661    0    0    0    38.360    
3    946    FIDALGO VAN HET LELIEHOF     CLOE HYMOWITZ     0    0    0    75.931    0    0    0    38.375    
4    172    BETTY BOOP III     AILISH CUNNIFFE     0    0    0    75.931    0    0    0    41.151    
5    944    BARITCHOU DBT     CLOE HYMOWITZ     0    0    0    76.893    0    0    0    42.901    
6    697    Dollar Van T Eigenlo DH     ANNA CARDELFE     0    0    0    74.488    4    0    4    36.783    
7    1052    CASTELINO VAN DE HELLE     DAVID OBERKIRCHER     0    1    1    79.677                       
8    691    ARWEN     CHRISTINA FIRESTONE     4    0    4    70.207                       
9    408    Werner 61     Haley Gassel     4    0    4    71.589                       
10    171    PERFECT DE COQUERIE     AILISH CUNNIFFE     4    0    4    72.981                       
11    1227    Attention Et Z     CALLIE SMITH     4    0    4    73.264                       
12    297    MALOU     LAUREN WARD     4    0    4    73.442

Becky Gochman Defends Grand Amateur Owner 3'6" Hunter Championship Title at Devon Horse Show  
As the Amateur Owner Hunter divisions wrapped up at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, Becky Gochman and Empire moved up the rankings to take home the division championship in the Amateur-Owner 3'6" Over 35 Hunter division for the second time. 

Gochman and Empire took home two blue ribbons and two reds to earn enough points for the division championship and the Grand Amateur Owner 3'6" Hunter championship, with Gochman also picking up the Devon Leading Amateur Owner 3'6" Hunter Rider award. Gochman thanks her daughters for giving her the confidence to go out and win.

"I get fearful with the long, bending lines, and I watched my kids do it this week, and they do it so naturally and so easily," Gochman explained. "I said, 'I'm just going to go a little forward and just count', and so that really did help a lot to watch them do it so effortlessly."
Becky Gochman and Empire

Gochman also credits her partnership with Empire for her success, and said she has owned 14-year-old gelding for six years. 

"Thank God he's been a very sound horse all the way through," Gochman said. "I think since he's been such a good horse to us for so long, we're making a promise to show him just at special shows now. That way his mind stays clearer and crisper. He really enjoys coming out for the big ones, and he is not a spooky horse, so it's really OK to do that plan."

Interestingly, Empire's equally eye-catching baby, Evermore, also impressed the judges and took home the Devon Grand Junior Hunter Championship with rider Emma Kurtz during Junior Week. 
Beck Gochman and Empire

"I think Empire didn't really want to be outdone by his son, so he said, 'Uou know, I'll step up too,'" Gochman said. "They're not exactly the same, but he definitely put his stamp on Evermore. I'm so proud. I don't know if father-son Grand Champions has ever been done at Devon."

Gochman also presented the Sambalino Award to Krista Weisman and Reality. 

"I was so proud to give the Sambalino Award to Krista," Gochman said. "She is such a pretty, gentle rider. I really respect the judges' decision to pick a horse like Reality that has an amazing, flowing, beautiful style. That made me really happy."

Earlier in the day, the Amateur Owner 3'6" 18-35 Hunter division came to a close, with Laura Sexton claiming the championship aboard Set To Music. The division's reserve championship was awarded to Samantha Schaefer and Classified.
Laura Sexton and Set To Music

"Set To Music is special, and I am very, very lucky," Sexton said. "After having my horse Zoom, who has been just such a spectacular horse for all of these years, I wasn't quite sure that anybody would be able to get up to that rank, but let me tell you, this horse has done it faster than I ever could have imagined. He's an absolute joy."

In the Amateur-Owner 3'3" 18-35 Hunter Division, Stephanie Danhakl and Enough Said took home both the division championship and the Grand Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunter Championship for the second year in a row. The reserve championship in the division was awarded to Vivian Yowan and Anytime. 

"Devon is definitely one of the shows that I care the most about doing well because of the tradition," Danhakl explained. "I think it's the hardest horse show to qualify for in the country, so it always brings out the best competition. To be able to win here means you did a pretty good job."

Danhakl said Enough Said is a dream to ride, and she's had the 10-year-old gelding for three years.
Stephanie Danhakl and Enough Said

"We really clicked right away from the beginning," Danhakl explained. "We've had a lot of success together. It was really exciting to be able to show here again. I was a little nervous about having to defend the championship, but he couldn't have been better. I think he really loves his job and makes it really easy on me."

The Amateur-Owner 3'3" Over 35 Hunter Division, Glen Senk and Loyalty brought home the championship, while Missy Luczak-Smith and Executive claimed the reserve honors.

The Local Hunter division rounded out the day, and it was Blue Monday and Suzanne Smith and Close At Hand and Cathy Sacher who took home the championships. The reserve championships were awarded to Tristan, ridden by Caroline Ratigan and Daybreak, ridden by Leah Swope.

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.