Devon, PA - June 29, 2012 -The blistering heat did not slow down the Amateur riders as they took over the Dixon Oval at the Devon Show Grounds during the Brandywine Valley Summer Series presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS). Bridget Hallman and Do Tell dominated the Amateur-Owner 36 & Over Hunters to eventually claim the Amateur-Owner Hunter Grand Championship. Stephanie Riggio and Breitling followed them later in the day to take home the Amateur-Owner 3'3" Grand Championship.
Hallman, of Oyster Bay, NY, piloted Do Tell to victory in the three of the over fences classes for the Amateur-Owner 36 & Over Hunter division. Their effort was good enough to take home the championship prize, while Ashley Kennedy Whitner of Middleburg, VA, and Larkspur followed with the reserve championship honors. At the conclusion of the Amateur-Owner divisions, Hallman and Do Tell were honored for their performance with the Amateur-Owner Hunter Grand Championship for the second year in a row.
"Do Tell was great, he loves it here and he is just so much fun to ride," smiled Hallman. "He has so much scope and range, and he has such a great canter. He's adjustable and can go forward, but he just melts back if you want him to and then fires over the jumps."
Hallman continued, "I think Brandywine is going great and I think it's a wonderful opportunity to show in the Dixon Oval. Even though it's not Devon, it still has that charm and atmosphere, and it feels really important."
The Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunters were first to compete in the Dixon Oval this morning. Stephanie Riggio and Moshi were the day's big winners after taking top honors in one of the over fences class yesterday. Today, the talented duo placed first and second over fences, good enough for the division's championship award. Lindsay Mutschler of Chadds Ford, PA, and Fielding were the winners of today's handy round and earned the reserve championship prize.
"I'm so happy with Moshi," expressed Riggio. "I've only shown him in the Amateurs about six times, so we're just getting a little more consistent every week. He's such a good boy; I'm thrilled with him. He requires a lot of leg, but he loves to jump. Once he starts jumping he knows he's on, so he lights up and just loves it."
Riggio continued her winning ways later in the day with her second mount Breitling. The pair won both of today's over fences classes as well as the under saddle to earn the Amateur-Owner 3'3" 18-35 Hunter Championship. Christiane Schuman and Campbell of Newtown, PA, followed with reserve championship aboard More Than A Lot. At the end of the day, Riggio and Breitling returned to the Dixon Oval for a second awards presentation, taking home the Amateur-Owner 3'3" Grand Championship.
"Breitling is so sweet, I've had him for six years so he's been a really steady-eddie for me and he's just an absolute love," commented Riggio. "He and I know each other really well after all these years, so we're kind of like old friends."
Riggio and the 15-year-old Thoroughbred have been very successful over the years; and she is excited to have the opportunity to show him in the Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunters. "He's pretty point and shoot, he knows his job at this point," she explained. "Since he's a Thoroughbred he's got a little bit of a motor and he's very comfortable. Breitling is only about 15.2 hands, so I just feel really comfortable with him at this 3'3 height. It's nice to have that option to do both."
The final division to wrap up the Amateur-Owner divisions featured the 3'3" 36 and Over riders. Kelly Champion of Washington, NJ and All In were at the top of the standings to claim the championship prize. They placed first and second during yesterday's over fences classes, and also won today's under saddle class. The winner of today's first over fences class was Lee Kellogg Sadrian of New York, NY, and Wink, which helped them earn the reserve championship.
"All In is a good boy, he's very quiet, and he's a really good jumper," commented Champion. "Going into the handy, my plan was to focus and pay attention because of all the rollbacks. I hope to show him at Indoors and Capital Challenge later this year."
Champion's trainer Robert Beck added, "Brandywine is so nice because the clients can come to Devon, and enjoy this show here without the nerves, the pressure, and the hustle of Devon. I think it's a great experience, so if they ever do come to Devon it might help them relax their nerves."
The Brandywine Valley Summer Series will continue later this evening with the High and Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classics. Tomorrow, the junior riders will take center ring for their hunter and equitation events. The first week will conclude with the $10,000 Johnson Horse Transportation USHJA International Hunter Derby beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information about the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, please visit http://brandywinevalleysummerseries.com.
Photo Credit: Bridget Hallman and Do Tell won the Amateur-Owner Hunter Grand Championship at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG