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, June 3, 2017 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.
“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,” Derbyshire commented.
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.
“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.” Derbyshire added. “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.”
Kocher finished in 2nd place, while Ward took home 3rd place honors.
Top 12: $35,000 Devon Speed Challenge CSI4*, sponsored by Roberts Arena:
- Lady Maria BH / Amanda Derbyshire / GBR / David Gochman / 62.130
- Le Conte / Andrew Kocher / USA / Andrew Kocher / 62.490
- Balando / McLain Ward / USA / Signe Ostby / 67.300
- Toscane De L’Isle / Sydney Shulman / USA / Jill Shulman / 67.790
- MTM Como No / Tracy Fenney / USA / MTM Farm / 67.930
- Orientales / Sima Morgello / USA / Double S Farm, LLC / 68.450
- Igor Van De Heibos / Tracy Fenney / USA / MTM Farm / 68.860
- Analyze This / Adrienne Iverson / CAN / Kimberly Jakubowski / 68.930
- Quaprice Normande / Victoria Colvin / USA / Neil Jones Equestrian, LLC / 69.690
- Cassinja / Alison Robitaille / USA / Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Firestone / 70.400
- Ilan / Martien Van Der Hoeven / USA / Maarten Huygens / 71.440
- Caiman Des Sequoias / Sharn Wordley / NZL / Sky Group / 72.070