Devon, PA. - Following Thursday night's spectacular performances in the $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4*, which drew approximately 20,000 spectators in attendance, show jumping fans returned to the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair on Friday afternoon to watch the $35,000 Devon Speed Challenge CSI4*, sponsored by Roberts Arena.
A total of 25 international athletes vied for top honors in the one-round, faults-converted speed competition designed by Great Britain's Kelvin Bywater.
Thursday night's big winner, McLain Ward (USA), set the pace to beat as second in the order-of-go with Signe Ostby's Balando in 67.300 seconds.
Yet, Tuesday's $50,000 Devon Welcome Stake CSI4* winner, Andrew Kocher (USA), who is known for his speed, followed Ward three rounds later aboard his own Le Conte and bested his time by five seconds in 62.490 seconds to take over the lead.
Kocher held on to his lead for the majority of the class but Friday's dash for the cash ultimately went to Great Britain's Amanda Derbyshire, who also finished third in Thursday's grand prix. Piloting Lady Maria BH, an 11-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by David Gochman, the pair just caught Kocher's time by three tenths of a second in 62.130 seconds as third to last in the order-of-go to win the first place prize as well as the Salem Perpetual Trophy. Kocher finished in second place, while Ward took home third place honors.
FROM THE WINNER'S CIRCLE
Amanda Derbyshire (GBR)
On Lady Maria BH:
"I've had her for a little less than two years. We got her when she was 9. I know she's a fast horse. Watching Andy go, I didn't think I was going to beat him but I tried. I had to get my whip out at the last fence to leave out that stride but she always tries her best. She's a great horse."
On Friday's speed course:
"There were a lot of rollbacks in the course, which is a little dice-y because, as you saw tonight, there were a lot of run-outs and stops so it can be kind of risky. It was tricky. [Lady Maria BH] has a huge stride so I always know I can do the leave outs, which is always an advantage in the speed classes. Whatever you point her at she's going to always try and jump, she never tries for a way out, which is always reassuring going in."
On the Devon Horse Show:
"Devon is great. It really feels special. I like the small rings; that's a lot of fun. Thanks to Becky and David [Gochman] for always supporting me and our whole team - it's been a great week. My horses were great!"
For more information visit devonhorseshow.net
$35,000 Devon Speed Challenge CSI4*, sponsored by Roberts Arena:
1. Lady Maria BH / Amanda Derbyshire / GBR / David Gochman / 62.130
2. Le Conte / Andrew Kocher / USA / Andrew Kocher / 62.490
3. Balando / McLain Ward / USA / Signe Ostby / 67.300
4. Toscane De L'Isle / Sydney Shulman / USA / Jill Shulman / 67.790
5. MTM Como No / Tracy Fenney / USA / MTM Farm / 67.930
6. Orientales / Sima Morgello / USA / Double S Farm, LLC / 68.450
7. Igor Van De Heibos / Tracy Fenney / USA / MTM Farm / 68.860
8. Analyze This / Adrienne Iverson / CAN / Kimberly Jakubowski / 68.930
9. Quaprice Normande / Victoria Colvin / USA / Neil Jones Equestrian, LLC / 69.690
10. Cassinja / Alison Robitaille / USA / Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Firestone / 70.400
11. Ilan / Martien Van Der Hoeven / USA / Maarten Huygens / 71.440
12. Caiman Des Sequoias / Sharn Wordley / NZL / Sky Group / 72.070