By Meghan Blackburn
Photos by Irene Elise Powlick
Equitation is front and center during Thursday and Friday of junior weekend at the Devon Horse Show. Young riders who qualified from across the nation took their turns competing in the Dixon Oval and the Gold Ring for the WIHS Jumper Phase, the USEF Talent Search, The Pessoa/ USEF Medal and the ASPCA Maclay. Winners of these classes (in multiple sections) will return this afternoon for the Ronnie Mutch Equitation Championship.
TJ O’Mara and Lucy Deslauriers won the blues in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search, which was split into two sections. O’Mara was also awarded the Honey Craven Perpetual Memorial Trophy for delivering the highest-scoring round in the Talent Search, which was a special honor for him since this is his final junior year competing at Devon. To continue his stellar weekend, he also won one of the three sections of the ASPCA Maclay, which took place on Friday morning.
“I’ve been coming here since I was 12,” O’Mara said. “I’ve been here for the equitation for many years. I’ve received every other ribbon except for first, so it feels good! That was my goal for this year, and it feels great. Kaskade is really just amazing; I couldn’t have asked for a better horse.”
O’Mara’s sisters Meg and Abbey came close to winning the Ronnie Mutch High Point Award by one point.
“Meg and Abbey say they would’ve won it if it was a class, and now it is,” TJ commented. “I hope I win, but I know there is going to be a bunch of great riders in there, mostly from my barn. Hopefully it’ll be friendly competition. I’m excited to see what happens.”
The second-place spots in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search sections went to Carly Hoft and McKayla Langmeier, with Madison Goetzmann and Daisy Farish taking home thirds.
Thursday began with the WIHS Jumper Phase, which was split into three sections. It was Deslauriers’ score of 94 started off her equitation classes on the right foot. Maya Nayyar’s and McKayla Langmeier were the other sections’ winners.
“Skyfall was really great for his first class,” Langmeier said. “He went in there, didn’t spook at anything and went right to it. I really liked the course. For the first course, you never know what you’re going to get. You don’t know if it’s going to be hard, and if the time allowed is going to be really short, but it was nice and inviting.”
The second-place finishers in the WIHS were TJ O’Mara, Summer Hill and Katherine Bundy, while the third-place ribbons were awarded to Samantha Cohen, Adele McKenna and Daisy Farish.
Daisy Farish, Madison Goetzmann and Bundy were the three winners in the Pessoa/USEF Medal, and in addition to TJ, Bundy won a blue in her Maclay section. Ellie Ferrigno topped the final section.