Ray Francis has dreamed for decades of holding the best young horse at Devon, and on June 2 in the Dixon Oval in Devon, Pa., that dream came true.
Spanish Spear may have been listed under the ownership of Kenny Wheeler's Cismont Manor Farm, the perennial powerhouse in the breeding divisions at Devon, but it was Francis who bred and raised the flashy chestnut yearling. And it was Francis with the reins in his hand when the judges--Leo Conroy and Brian Lenehan--declared Spanish Spear the top pick.
Last year, Anastazia had to play the runner-up in the best young horse judging at the Devon Horse Show in Devon, Pa., taking second as a yearling to Cismont Manor Farm's Celebration, a 3-year-old. But this year she stood at the top of the line at the end of June 3 and took the best young horse title.
Schaefer Raposa is certainly no stranger to horse shows. With her father, David, a grand prix rider, and her mother, Kara Hanly Raposa, a top hunter rider, she's got riding genes to spare. And at her first Devon Horse Show Junior Weekend, May 27-29 in Devon, Pa., Schaefer made it clear that she intends to follow in their winning footsteps.
Mike Shilling's daughter, Angela, showed Clever Caution for six years before she moved on to other interests and the Thoroughbred mare retired from the show ring. When Clever Caution returned to the Shillings' farm in Manhattan, Kan., Mike decided to breed her.
On Sept. 21-22, that decision paid off as Patty Stovel rode Shilling's Count On Me (Viscount--Clever Caution, With Caution) to the 4-year-old grand championship at the International Hunter Futurity Finals, in Lexington, Ky.
Schaefer Raposa, 10, became one of the youngest pony riders to claim Best Child Rider on a Pony honors this weekend at the Devon Horse Show Junior Weekend, May 27-29 in Devon, Pa. Only 10, Raposa also rode Longacre Jack B Nimble to the grand pony and medium pony hunter championships.
Rebecca Johanson-Hofmann kept the crowd on the edge of their seats during the $25,000 Pennsylvania Big Jump at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. She lost both her stirrups on her way around the course but carried on and finished with just two rails down.
“That was one of those totally freaky things that happen. I was jumping around, and the first stirrup leather broke at 3B, which was in the middle of the triple combination,” she recalled. “The hardest turn in the whole course came next, so I didn’t really even have a chance to realize what had happened.