Client Sara K Murphy and her newest superstar, Rubens D’Ysieux, are on a winning streak, topping the field once again in an “Eventing Prix” format, this time at the illustrious Devon Horse Show. You may remember that this pair also triumphed at the Ocala Horse Properties’ Eventing Prix last March at Scott Keach’s Southern Cross Farm in Ocala. Sara and her husband Brian recently moved to Mardanza Farm in Ocala as their winter training base, where Wordley Martin just completed construction of their new arena.
The Devon Horse Show has been in existence for 121 years, hosting hunter, equitation, jumper, driving and saddle seat competition for the top riders in the US. This year they hosted the first eventing exhibition class, which was an invitation only class to qualifying 2* event riders or 1.40m show jumpers. The course utilized both the Dixon Oval and the Gold Ring, with a course designed by Captain Mark Phillips and Eric Bull of ETB Construction. The course was challenging; featuring a combination of solid XC jumps (shipped in from Fair Hill International) and stadium jumps, requiring the competitors to switch gears and navigate tricky turns throughout the 2 rings. 12 riders who went clear in the first round advanced to the jump off, with Sara and Rubens topping the class of top international riders!
The crowd at Devon supporting the first year of this exhibition class was enthusiastic and animated, despite the steady rain that fell throughout the evening. With the growing popularity of these classes offering event riders large prize purses, classes such as the Wellington Eventing Showcase, the Ocala Eventing Prix and now the Devon Arena Eventing are very appealing to spectators as well.
For a full list of results and the backstory on the Devon Arena Eventing, please check out the full report at Eventing Nation!