Mia Mannis and Hollyday V Steal the Show in the Dixon Oval with their Second Win of the Week in the $25,000 Devon Fall Classic Grand Prix
The brisk, fall night set the scene for the highly anticipated $25,000 Devon Fall Classic Grand Prix. The Dixon Oval was surrounded by local spectators and equestrian enthusiasts alike to enjoy the unique atmosphere that only the historic Devon Horse Show brings. The stadium lights shone over incredible horse-and-athlete combinations as they tackled the track to ride for the lion share of prize money and add their name to the list of champions that have met in the special town of Devon, Pennsylvania. Rising to the challenge and earning top honors for the second time this week was Mia Mannis aboard Hollyday V, besting the field of 29 competitors.
Manuel Espara (MEX) set a 12-obstacle first-round track that was inviting to horse-and-athlete combinations and continued to increase in technicality later in the course. The stadium saw a field of horses varying in age from 8 to 15 years old. Espara’s course challenged each one of them in their athleticism and rideability as they had to maintain a steady gallop to remain within the time allowed of 87 seconds while also being quick and careful off of the ground. Of the 29 competitors, only 9 returned for the jump-off.
Mannis has certainly found her place underneath the arch “Where Champions Meet”. Aboard her very own Hollyday V, Mannis showed the equestrian industry of the promising future that lies ahead. “I am absolutely thrilled with him. I have been targeting this show now for months and I said months ago that this was the class that I really wanted to win. Not only did he win this class, but he won two classes this week,” comments Mannis. The 10-year-old KWPN gelding was nothing short of perfection, answering every difficult question asked of him under the lights. The duo entered for the jump-off eager to knock Gracie Allen out of the top spot with an impressively quick time. Mannis did just that, guiding Hollyday V to a confident and efficient jump-off round, making all of the inside turns and galloping through the timers at 34.236 seconds.
Gracie Allen and Jelster Van Stal Romano were the first pair to have a fault-free jump-off round. Not only were they clean, but incredibly quick, setting the bar high for the rest of the riders to follow. The 8-year-old KWPN gelding galloped into the arena in perfect sync with Allen. The duo demonstrated their trusting partnership as they made the difficult turns and left out strides in unrelated lines. Crossing the finish line at 35.037 seconds, Jelster Van Stal Romano helped secure Allen the second place finish on the podium.