The first event of the Junior Jumper championship saw 24 young riders and their mounts vie for top honors in the $3,750 Junior Jumper Speed Stake to wrap-up competition in the Dixon Oval on the opening day of the 2018 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. Seventeen-year-old Daisy Farish and her own Great White emerged victorious on Thursday, as the pair sped around the one-round course, designed by Guilherme Jorge, to a faultless finish in 60.825 seconds.
Jorge set a challenging, 14-effort first day track, which saw seven finish clear with no faults.
Isabella Bleu Baxter and her own Jahil set the standard with the first clear round of the class in 62.474 seconds.
However, McKayla Langmeier and Durosa W, owned by Linda Langmeier, took over the lead immediately following Baxter, crossing the finish line in 61.396 seconds.
“I thought the course was very inviting and I think it played to each rider’s [strengths]. It continued to build in height as it went on and there were some tighter turns you could take for riders who wanted to go faster. I thought the course was excellent,” shared Langmeier.
Five rounds later, Farish and the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding outpaced Langmeier by one second, which would hold as the fastest time for the remainder of the class. They were awarded the Flight Cup Perpetual Trophy for their win, while Langmeier finished in second place and Baxter rounded out the top three.
“I’ve been jumping a lot of bigger classes on him lately,” shared Farish. “He jumped a 3* grand prix last week at Old Salem [Farm] and we weren’t sure if we were going to bring him here, but he felt great. My trainer told me, ‘You’ve been jumping bigger fences so give it a go.’ This was our first speed class we’ve ever won together.”
Having this first speed win together is just a little more special for Farish since it happened on the Devon show grounds. “Devon is my favorite horse show of the year. I am always looking forward to it. I just love the traditional feel. I have been coming here since I was little showing the ponies. I love how they make every class feel so important without it feeling showy. It feels like you are part of something special.”
The Junior Jumpers will compete again on Friday, and the champion will be crowned after Saturday night’s Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Jumper Classic as junior riders continue to take center stage throughout the weekend.