David Raposa & Iliona Race to Top Honors in $35k Devon Speed Derby

Following Thursday night’s spectacular performances in the $250,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4*, show jumping fans returned to the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair on Friday afternoon to watch USA’s David Raposa and his own Iliona capture the $35,000 Devon Speed Derby CSI4*, sponsored by Glycogard.

David Raposa and Iliona. Photo by The Book LLC

A total of 24 international athletes vied for top honors in the one-round, faults-converted speed competition, designed by Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge. Catherine Tyree (USA) and Mary Tyree’s Catungee held an early lead in the class, finishing in a quick 60.250 seconds. A number of athletes had a difficult time matching her pace until Mattias Tromp (USA) entered the ring aboard Beyaert Farm Inc.’s Eyecatcher. Tromp managed to navigate the course in 59.790 seconds, snatching the lead from Tyree.

Tromp held his lead for nine more rounds but Friday’s dash for the cash ultimately went to Raposa. Piloting Iliona, a Belgian Warmblood mare, the pair just narrowly beat Tromp’s time, shaving off 4/10ths of a second to finish in 59.750 seconds, to claim the winning title. Second place went to Tromp and Eyecatcher, while Tyree and Catungee rounded out the top three.

David Raposa and Iliona. Photo by The Book LLC

“It was kind of straightforward,” said Raposa of his plan for the day. “My plan was to do what Beezie [Madden] did. I saw her do eight after the inside turn and it was far away and I was like, ‘I’m not going for that,’ so I did nine strides there. She turned good everywhere and was looking for the jump in front of her. She’s a quick horse and she definitely doesn’t like to knock the fences over.”

Raposa has been competing Iliona, who he’s owned for two years, in internationally ranked competition since August 2017. After collecting multiple grand prix wins in Florida this winter, Friday’s win will mark one more victory to add to their collection thus far in 2018. Following Devon, Raposa plans to compete Iliona at the Lake Placid Horse Show.

“She’s a 10-year-old Belgian mare,” he shared. “She started doing some small grand prix classes last year after Florida. She’s just been stepping up since then. She jumped both weekends at Lake Placid clear last year then she ended the season last year winning the [$100,000 Hudson Valley Jumper Classic CSI5*] in Saugerties. She won three grand prix events this winter in Florida and today she won today. She’s a fast, good, trying horse.”

To conclude Friday’s international show jumping competition, Raposa also received the Salem Perpetual Trophy for his first place finish.

David Raposa and Iliona. Photo by Phelps Media Group

Earlier in the day, the Amatuer-Owner Jumpers competed for their chance to win a Devon blue. Kicking off competition in the Dixon Oval on Friday, it was Jaime Auletto aboard her own Brazzaville who finished with top honors and the Ward Sullivan Memorial Perpetual Trophy. Later, the blue ribbon and the Joseph W. Holman Memorial Challenge Trophy in the second class of the division went to Deborah-Dolan Sweeney riding Sagamore Farms’ La Petite Fleur 6.

On Saturday, the Amateur-Owner Jumper champion and leading rider will be crowned following the $20,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, while the $50,000 Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake CSI4* will highlight international competition in the evening beginning at 7 p.m.