The Final Four for 2011 were Victoria Colvin the Devon Grand Junior Hunter and Overall Small Junior Hunter Champion on Sanzibar as well as the Overall Large Junior Hunter Champion on Touchdown, Hasbrook Donovan on Quality Time Champion in the Large Junior Hunter 16 & 17 division, Hannah Goodson-Cutt the Small Junior Hunter 16 & 17 Champion on Caretano, and Madeline Thatcher and Catch Phrase winners of the Angelo Award.
Victoria Colvin, 13 from Loxahatchee, Florida had the ride on 4 hunters and 2 jumpers at Devon this year, a bit of a departure from years past when she could be seen running back and forth between the Dixon Oval and the Gold Ring riding both ponies and horses with her trainers Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley. Tori has had a clean sweep streak going at Devon for the last 2 years, with Ovation and Way Cool in 2010 and Sanzibar and Touchdown in 2011 as well as winning her section of the A.S.P.C.A. Maclay Horsemanship Class.
Tori says that 6 year old Touchdown is a lot of fun to ride "He spooks sometimes because he's green but he is really fun! I've only shown him 5 weeks, and Scott has done him a couple of weeks, but he hasn't shown that much. I thought the first day maybe he'd spook a little bit but I thought he would be fun. Tori's other superstar 8 year old Sanzibar is a fairly new partner for her. The two have only been together since WEF. "He has an amazing canter. It's like being on a couch" says Tori. When asked if Sanzibar's owner had come to Devon to watch her horse Tori replied "No, she has this superstition that if she watches her horse he won't go well. So now I don't think she'll ever watch him."
Seeing Tori in the Junior Jumpers is also something new this year. Although it seems like a dramatic departure from the slow and controlled hunters, Tori is having a blast doing it. "It's a lot of fun 'cause you can go fast and do whatever you want!"
Hasbrook Donovan, 16 from Gainesville, Florida is trained by Don Stewart. She says that winning on Quality Time (aka Jack) was really important to her because, "I haven't been champion here yet. It's a really fun place to show, and I'm glad I got to ride such a nice horse here. He was really good this whole weekend. This is my second Devonon him. We won the Stake last year, but I don't think we were Champion or Reserve."
Hannah Goodson-Cutt, 17, from Beverly Hills, California has been to Devon before, but has never been Champion until this year when she and Caretano won the Small Junior Hunter 16 & 17 Championship this year. "I've never been Champion at Devon before. I've been third overall a number of times.... This is my last Junior year and my last major east coast show before I go off to college (GeorgetownUniversity) so being Champion with a horse I've done really well on, and the fact that he started the hunters with me means a lot."
Hannah shares that Caretano had been a jumper prior to being cast in his newest role as one of the top hunters in the country. "We bought him from the Dotson family. Paige had done him in the jumpers and felt that with his amazing jump he could be a hunter, and we were Champion the first week I tried him, but it took a good year to transform him into a hunter and to where we are today."
This win was a poignant one for Hannah as she will be leaving riding behind when she heads to Georgetown in the fall. "It's a complete change. This (win) also meant a lot because I'm not going to be riding this Indoors. It's a hard school and I really have to make the commitment. I want to major in operational information, a management ~ business major."
Birthday girl Madeline Thatcher, 15 (today) from Salt Lake City, Utah and her horse Catch Phrase were the winners of The Angelo Perpetual Trophy. "The Angelo Award is to be presented to the Junior Hunter horse that, in the opinion of the judges, best exemplifies the classic hunter horse in movement, jumping style and presence. This award is not based on points won in the show. Donated by the Miller-Dinan Family."
This was a significant achievement for Thatcher and 9-year-old Catch Phrase. "This is Catch Phrase's first Devon, he's only a First Year (Green) horse. I thought he went into the ring, knew his job, and was very well behaved. He spooked a little on the flat, but I don't blame him, there was a band and all sorts of people...I think he won the Angelo Award because he goes so nicely....like a traditional hunter. He feels like that. He has a big stride so you float the reins and he just lopes along."
Photos: Victoria Colvin on Overall Large Junior Hunter Champion Touchdown; Hasbrook Donovan with Large Junior Hunter 16 & 17 Division Champion Quality Time; Madeline Thatcher