Amanda Derbyshire rounded off a great week at the 4* Devon Horse Show in The USA, sharing victory in the Open Jumper championship honours with McLain Ward to conclude the show.
Amanda started the week with seventh place on the Luidam 11-year-old Luibanta BH in the $250,000 Sapphire grand prix of Devon, four faults dropping the pair from a possible third down the line. McLain took the win in the nine-horse jump-off on HH Azur.
And Amanda went on to claim victory in the $72,000 Idle Dice stakes with Roulette BH. Eight of the 34 starters came forward to the jump-off with Amanda and the Moschino 10-year-old – produced in Britain by Phillip Miller and Ben Walker – edging ahead to win by 0.22 sec.
The victory was pivotal to Amanda sharing the Open Jumper championship. Riders had been competing for valuable points throughout the week for this title sponsored by Hermes and drew to a thrilling conclusion in the 4* Idle Dice stakes, Amanda’s winning points putting her on the equal footing of 15 points with McLain’s HH Azur.
“It’s unbelievable. The atmosphere and crowd is better than anywhere I’ve ever ridden. Everyone gets together and it feels very special. To win the class [and championship] on the last night, it means a lot. I only jumped [Roulette BH] in one other class as a warm-up on Thursday [in the $36,000 Main Line Challenge CSI4*] and he was seventh and clear. The big aim for him for the week was tonight so I was glad that we saved him for it. He performed well tonight,” said Amanda, who has worked hard with Roulette.
“I’ve actually had him for exactly a year today. Last year at Devon was our debut show together. We just did a couple of smaller classes. He’s been such a great horse. He’s very, very careful. We’ve always taken it slow with him and tried to work on his rideability because I’m little and he’s very strong, but that’s all come together in the last six months and now we are able to go fast in the jump-off with control.
“David Oberkircher had the winning ride before I went in and he actually did seven up the first line and seven down the last line. I kind of stuck to my original plan of eight. [Roulette BH] is a little bit of a quicker horse and just fractionally we beat him. I thought the course in the first round was little tricky, definitely trickier than it walked. It was nice though, it was perfect. Thank you to Becky Gochman for always supporting me and owning such a great horse. I’m lucky to have him,” she added.
Amanda guided Oasis Spirit into third in the $36,000 Devon speed Derby 2.73 sec off the pace and the pair also finished fourth in the $36,000 Mainline two-phase challenge. And these results helped her earn the Malvern Bank leading open jumper title and leading lady rider award. What a week!
Europe now figures in Amanda’s summer plans.
Hopefully we’ll do a couple of Nations Cups this summer. We’re all going to Europe for a little summer tour with the Gochman family and River’s Edge so I’m excited about that. We’ll get to do some nice shows and get some more experience.”
Text © Jumping Around & photos courtesy Phelps Sports