Devon, PA - July 6, 2012 - It was a beautiful evening as the jumper riders took center stage this evening at the prestigious Devon Show Grounds during the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS). The $5,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic was tonight's highlight event, and following the two-horse jump-off it was Molly Wolfe and ZZ Top leading the victory gallop.
Earlier, Leslie Schillat and Lady Liberty produced the lone clear effort to win the Marshall and Sterling Children's Adult/Jumper Classic. Tonight's events benefited the Abby Miller Foundation, which hopes to enhance teen-driving education programs.
Tonight's technical track in the $5,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic yielded only two clear efforts. The first came from Stacey Davis of Princeton, NJ, aboard Red Oak Beau, but multiple errors over the short course proved costly and they claimed the second place honors. Molly Wolfe of Owings Mills, MD, and ZZ Top were the next to advance and they were very quick, but as they made a tight rollback they added four faults to their score. As the leaders of the short course they took home today's top prize. Davis and her second mount, Khyron were the fastest of the four faulters, claiming the third place award.
"During the first round I just wanted to get around clean and stay within the time allowed," noted Wolfe. "Then the first half of my jump-off was fine, but I slowed down a little too much to one jump so we had one rail. He's been showing in 90-degree heat the last three days though, so I can't blame him. He was awesome."
"ZZ Top had a pretty big stride, so I just have to keep him clean," added Wolfe. "I usually don't have to worry about the time too much, but it's nice be neat and made good turns. After this we leave for Vermont for two weeks, so this was a great way to prepare."
Wolfe claimed multiple awards tonight in addition to her individual win. She was named the High Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Champion, the High Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Circuit Champion, and the Supreme Jumper Circuit Champion, as well as earning the style award. The Show Jumping Hall of Fame Classic Series is designed to give amateur-owner and junior riders an opportunity to compete at higher levels and serves as a proving ground for many riders who aspire to someday represent the United States in international competition. The Series culminates in the Year-End Championships at the Alltech National Horse Show in November.
The Marshall and Sterling Children's Adult/Jumper Classic was the first event this evening. Three riders were able to master the first track, which included two double combinations. Autumn Janesky and Peper Gold, owned by Angelstone Farms of Rockwood, Ontario, were the first to advance to the short course with a clear first round. As they sliced the turn to the last bending line they lowered the height of a single vertical. The duo's four fault score in 30.146 seconds was good enough for the third place honors. Leslie Schillat of Wayne, PA, and Lady Liberty were next. In an attempt to leave the vertical up they took a longer track to the fence, but it proved effective at they crossed the finish line in a slower 33.821 seconds with all the rails in tact. Angelena Daprato of Annandale, NJ, and Red Bull were the last to challenge, and they made a good effort, but as they galloped through the turns they took down the back rail of the oxer in the combination for four faults. They did clock in with the fastest time, breaking the beam at 28.496 seconds for the second place award, while Schillat led the victory gallop.
"It was a more technical course than it looked with the distances between the jumps," explained Schillat. "My horse is very honest though, and if I ride correctly she does everything I could ask her to. In the jump-off, I knew I would need to be fast and clear with the other riders in the class, there was no room for error. I just wanted to be aggressive and tell her where to go and she was great.
Schillat added, "Lady Liberty likes you to be confident and sit back and use legs, but she jumps great so you just have to hold on. This our second year at Brandywine and we did both weeks. It's very exhibitor friendly and they make you feel really special."
Later this evening, Madeleine Jefferson and the talented pony 2oodles, owned by Leigh Berman of Bayertown, PA, returned to center ring for the Children's/Adult Jumpers championship presentation. The duo also captured the Circuit Championship, as well as the award for the Leading Thoroughbred Jumper. Tonight's third place finishers, Janesky and Peper Gold, followed with the reserve championship for their efforts this week.
Tonight concluded the jumper events at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, but the hunters will return tomorrow for the Amateur-Owner, Junior, and Pony divisions, vying for championship and reserve championship awards. The highlight event will be Saturday's night's $5,000 Get Real Get RAW USHJA National Hunter Derby in the Dixon Oval.
For more information about the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, please visit http://brandywinevalleysummerseries.com.
Photo Credit: Molly Wolfe and ZZ Top won the $5,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. Photo By: AnLi Kelly-Durham/PMG.