July 2016 Issue - page 4

Page 4
July 2016
PENNSYLVANIA EQUESTRIAN
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Kevin Babington Repeats Devon Grand Prix Victory with Mark Q
sharp; he's a little fireball,"
explained Ward. "The place
erupted and I think that rattled
him slightly, but that's brilliant.
That's what we need in the sport.
I wouldn't want it any different.
I need to deal with it better; he
needs to deal with it better. That's
what makes this place so special."
Winning an international
event five years later with the
same mount takes a special horse,
and for Babington, Mark Q is his
favorite mount of all time.
"Carling King made me and
is the horse of a lifetime," said
Babington. "Mark Q is my favor-
ite horse that I've ever had. He's
stepped up to the plate so often,
and he's kept me in the sport and
kept me jumping big classes,
even when he shouldn't have.
Now, at 14, he's jumping better
than he has ever jumped."
The following day, the FEI
announced that Ward had shot
from fourth to the top of the
Longines Rankings, the world
Jumping rankings. Ward is on the
US Olympic short list with two
horses, HH Azur and Rothchild.
The Grand Prix was a hiccup
in Ward’s three week winning
streak. He had his eighth in-
ternational victory in a row the
night before the Grand Prix in
the $40,000 Devon International
Speed Stake CSI4*, piloting Tina
La Boheme to the fastest clear
round.
Fourth on course, Amanda
Derbyshire of Great Britain
set the pace to beat at 60.29
seconds with a clear round
aboard Goldbreaker, ultimately
finishing second. Kevin Babing-
ton was one of the select few
to come close to the 60-second
mark, stopping the clock at
60.30 seconds with Mark Q for
third place.
Last on course, Ward and
Tina La Boheme executed a flaw-
less performance as they took the
inside options, finishing in 58.49
seconds for his second victory at
the Devon Horse Show.
On Tuesday, May 31, Ward
won the $50,000 Devon Welcome
Stake CSI4* aboard Tina La
Boheme and also placed second
with Rothchild.
Ward settled for second
place in Friday night’s $25,000
Open Jumper Devon Speed
Challenge behind Haley Gas-
sel and Quite Dark 2, who had
the only clear round in 65.500
seconds. It looked like Ward had
the ride of the night on HH Best
Buy, and while they were faster
than Gassel across the ring,
the faults added to their time
of 67.279 seconds put them in
second place.
This is only Gassel's second
year competing at the Devon
Horse Show and Country Fair,
and it's her first year competing
in the Open Jumpers with Quite
Dark 2, who she has been riding
for three years.
"That is unbelievable," she
said about her victory over the
world's best. "That will never
happen again, that is a bucket list
right there! He was really nice
about it, though. He put in a real-
ly good round and it just wasn't in
his favor tonight."
On Saturday night, June 4,
Ward captured his third victory,
winning the $50,000 Idle Dice
Open Jumper Stake aboard Tina
La Boheme.
First of six in the jump off,
Laura Chapot set the pace to
beat with her first mount Thorn-
hill Kate, clearing the track in
37.082 seconds. Ward and Tina
La Boheme were four seconds
faster and left all the rails intact,
crossing the finish line in 33.906
seconds.
Only Chapot was able to beat
her initial time on Quointreau Un
Prince. The duo had a faultless
time of 36.660 seconds to place
second, while she and Thornhill
Kate took third. The fourth place
prize went to Danielle Torano
(Continued from page 1)
(Continued on page 25)
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