July 2015 Issue - page 1

Vol. 22 No. 7
Our 22nd Year
July 2015
LANC., PA 17604
Just days out of high school, riding in only her second Grand Prix, Kelli Cruciotti was stunned to win
the $100,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon, besting a field of veteran and Olympic entries. Eighteen
year old Michael Hughes took second place. The Grand Prix was the highlight of the 119th show,
which organizers called the most successful ever.
Photo credit: © Rebecca Walton/PhelpsSports.com
In Her Second Grand Prix, Kelli Cruciotti, 17, Wins at Devon
Kelli Cruciotti, age 17,
competed in just her second
grand prix at Devon, and she and
Chamonix H were the winners of
the prestigious $100,000 Sap-
phire Grand Prix of Devon.
“I can’t believe it,” ex-
pressed Cruciotti at the end of the
night. “She’s unbelievable. She’s
the best horse I could learn to do
this on. It hasn’t sunk in at all.”
In front of a packed house,
Cruciotti navigated a seven-horse
jump-off to claim the first major
win of her budding career, becom-
ing the youngest rider to ever win
the historic event. Course designer
Michel Vaillancourt narrowed
down a field of 28 entries, which
included Olympians McLain Ward,
Peter Leone and Beat Mandli, to
just seven riders for the tiebreaker.
The first rider to return for
the short course was Callan
Solem of Chester Springs, PA,
with Horseshoe Trail Farm’s
VDL Wizard. The pair set the
pace to beat with a clear round in
41.534 seconds. Aaron Vale soon
one-upped them with Equi-Sport
LLC’s E.S. Finou 4 with a fault-
less round in 40.606 seconds.
Devin Ryan and the 8-year-
old Dutch Warmblood gelding
Cooper took over the top spot
when they made it around the
course in 40.058 seconds. With
tight turns to each obstacle, Cru-
ciotti and Chamonix H became
the ones to beat with a blazing
time of 38.678 seconds.
“Going in to the jump off Pe-
ter [Wylde] said go medium and
nice,” noted Cruciotti. “Luckily,
everything just kind of showed
up off the turn. I turned back
really tight to the double, and
she really came through for me. I
came out and Peter was like, ‘that
was a nice medium!’”
Kaitlin Campbell tried to
catch the time on Rocky W but
had a rail in the combination
for four faults in 39. 892 sec-
onds. Michael Hughes, age 18,
with Christina Fried’s MacAr-
thur raced through the timers in
39.498 seconds to take over sec-
ond place. Alison Robitaille with
Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Firestone’s
Cassinja, had a rail to take home
the Richard E. McDevitt Style
Award and the sixth place ribbon.
When Cruciotti returned to the
center of the Dixon Oval to accept
the Celeste McNeal Harper Perpet-
ual Trophy, it was with a mixture
of joy and shock. The young rider,
who graduated high school the
week before, earned multiple top
placings in the hunters and equita-
tion, but she only competed in her
first grand prix two weeks earlier
during the Kentucky Spring Classic,
and she had no expectations of lead-
ing Thursday night’s victory gallop.
“I think my goal was just
to have a nice round, just a nice
maybe four fault round,” smiled
Cruciotti. “I didn’t really have
any expectations. When I made
the jump-off, I didn’t have much
to lose. It’s amazing to win at a
show like this. It’s just unbeliev-
able. I’m lucky to be here.”
Open Jumpers
Kaitlin Campbell and Rocky
W, now 17, won the $50,000 Idle
Dice Open Jumper Stake. The
Royal Dutch Warmblood in past
years carried Campbell to both
a Junior Jumper Championship
and an Amateur-Owner Jump-
er Championship at the Devon
Horse Show, and this year the
impressive duo rode away with
the Open Jumper Championship.
Of the 25 combinations
Olympian McLain Ward and
Sagamore Farms' Rothchild had
the first clear round, setting the
pace to beat at 40.236 seconds.
Then 2013 Idle Dice Stake
winners Campbell and Rocky W
overtook Ward's time by a full
second when they broke the beam
at 39.007 seconds.
"Going after Rothchild you
pretty much have to go for broke
and hope that you get lucky,"
admitted Campbell.
Callan Solem, of Chester
Springs, PA, took home the third
place award with B Amelusina for
Horseshow Trail Partners, choos-
ing to keep a conservative pace
with her young mount.
Campbell, formerly of Bucks
County, PA, and Rocky W re-
turned to the center of the Dixon
Oval to accept the Open Jumper
Championship, tying with Kelli
Cruciotti and Chamonix H. The
Leading Lady Rider Challenge
Trophy also went to Campbell.
Mclain Ward, in addition to plac-
ing second and sixth in the Idle
Dice, won three events earlier in
the week to capture the Leading
Open Jumper Rider award for the
third time in four years.
Kelley Farmer earned the
Devon Grand Hunter Champion-
ship in 2013 with Back Story; in
2014 with Scripted, and this year
aboard Kensel LLC’s Mindful.
The pair earned the High
Performance Hunter champion-
ship at last year’s Devon Horse
Show, early in their partnership,
and again this year.
By Wednesday afternoon,
the hunt for the grand champi-
onship award had come down to
a tight race between Farmer and
Mindful and the 2015 Leading
Hunter Rider, Scott Stewart and
his Green Conformation Hunter
mount, First Light.
First Light and Mindful had
each earned three wins and a
second place over fences, so it all
came down to the High Perfor-
mance Hunter Under Saddle, in
(Continued on page 6)
US Representative Pitts’ bills would radically
reform racing … pg. 4
Arena Obstacle and Competitive Trail
Challenges come to PA … pg. 8
Lore Homer competes at Devon for the 50th
time—and wins … pg. 10
Emaciated mammoth donkey enjoys life
thanks to New Bolton …. pg. 16
... and much more!
Our annual Trailers & Transport
feature … pgs. 20 - 26
1 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,...32
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