The Devon Horse Show may be 'where champions meet,' but it is also where riders strive to become champions among the best of the best. For junior riders, the R.W. "Ronnie" Mutch Equitation Championship title is one of the most sought after championships presented in the Dixon Oval.
The Ronnie Mutch Challenge Trophy is awarded annually to the rider who earns the most points competing in the four equitation classes held at Devon: the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal, the WIHS Equitation Classic, the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search and ASPCA Maclay.
In 2014, Caitlin Boyle clinched the trophy after winning the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search and her section of the ASPCA Maclay, as well as taking second in the USEF Hunter Seat Medal and the WIHS Equitation Jumper Phase.
The Ronnie Mutch win came in Boyle's final year as a junior, and while that means that she will not return this year you can expect a number of her barnmates from Heritage Farm to be ones to watch. Among them is Tori Colvin, the young phenom who clinched the Ronnie Mutch title in 2013 in a three-way tie with Sydney Shulman and Gabrielle Bausano.
Other top contenders to look for include Beacon Hill riders Lucy Deslauriers and TJ O'Mara, as well as Norfield Stables' Ali Tritschler. All three head into Devon with an extremely successful winter season spent at the Winter Equestrian Festival under their belts.
At 15 years old, Deslauriers is one of the younger riders at the top of the equitation ranks, but that has not stopped her from claiming top finishes like this year's win in the George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship during the Winter Equestrian Festival.
Look for Deslauriers, O'Mara, Colvin, Tritschler and numerous other top young riders in the Dixon Oval as they vie for the Ronnie Mutch title on Thursday, May 21 and Friday, May 22.