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Jessica Mendoza and Play top $50,000 Jet Run Devon Welcome Stake CSI4*

Wednesday, 01 June 2022
CSI4* Devon Horse Show 2022

Photo © Phelps Sports/Emma Miller. Jessica Mendoza and Play won the $50,000 Jet Run Devon Welcome Stake CSI4*. Photo © Phelps Sports/Emma Miller.


Press release from Devon Horse Show



International show jumping competition kicked off at the 2022 Devon Horse Show Tuesday, May 31, welcoming a field of talented athletes and their mounts to the iconic Dixon Oval for the $50,000 Jet Run Devon Welcome Stake CSI4*. Out of the 22 starters representing six different nations, just nine navigated clear efforts to advance to the jump off. At the conclusion of the class, it was Great Britain’s Jessica Mendoza and her very own mount Play who emerged victorious to take home the Devon blue.

Olaf Peterson, Jr. set forth a challenging 15-fence first round track fit for the talent of the competitors. A triple bar, a few challenging combinations and a tight time-allowed required the pairs to ride smart around the Dixon Oval if they were to add their names to the jump off order. At the conclusion of the first round, nine horses and riders were clear and ready to vie for the blue, including Mimi Gochman (USA), Mendoza, Ali Wolff (USA), Paul O’Shea (IRL), Amanda Derbyshire (GBR), McLain Ward (USA), Catherine Tyree (USA), Zayna Rizvi (USA) and Grace Debney (GBR).

Photo © Phelps Sports/Emma Miller. Paul O’Shea and Imerald Van’t Voorhof finished second. Photo © Phelps Sports/Emma Miller.

Returning for the shortened 8-fence jump-off track, which asked new questions of the athletes including a winding track featuring numerous opportunities to take rollback turns and shave time off the clock, it was 17-year-old Gochman who set the pace for the remaining competitors. Putting the heat on the rest of the pack, Gochman and Celina BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, cleared the track with ease, crossing the beams in 38.66 seconds. The crowd immediately saw a new leader as Mendoza finished three seconds faster than Gochman, stopping the clocks quick and clear in 35.79 seconds. 

Wolff and Blacklick Bend Farm’s Casall suffered an unfortunate refusal on course, leading them to finish on 4 faults in a time of 35.64 seconds. Though clear through the track, O’Shea and Imerald Van’t Voorhof fell just short of the leading spot, moving into the second position on a time of 37 seconds. Derbyshire and Cornwall BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, had one knock down on course, settling for 4 faults and a time of 39.12 seconds. Ward and Beechwood Stables LLC’s Contagious were left out of contention for the top spot after an unfortunate elimination. Tyree piloted Catherine Tyree LLC’s BEC Lorenzo to a fault-free effort in 37.65 seconds, good enough to slip into the third place position. Rizvi and Exquise du Pachis, owned by Optimus Agro NV, also managed to leave all of the rails intact, falling short of a top finish for their time of 38.24 seconds. As the final rider on course, Debney stopped the clock clear in 38.73 seconds with Zarenia de Vidau, but not quite fast enough to unseat Mendoza. 

Photo © Phelps Sports/Emma Miller. Third place went to Catherine Tyree and BEC Lorenzo. Photo © Phelps Sports/Emma Miller.

In the end, no one could catch Mendoza’s swift effort, showcasing her at the forefront of the victory gallop at the conclusion of the class. O’Shea held his second place position, with Tyree rounding out the top three. Tuesday evening marked the first FEI win for Jess and Play since their partnership began one year ago, and she spoke highly of his talent and scope. She looks forward to taking the 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding to Europe next week to aim for Nations Cup competitions and represent Great Britain throughout the summer. 

International jumping competition will continue Wednesday, June 1, spotlighting the $37,000 Devon International Speed Stake CSI4* set to begin at 7:00 p.m.

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE: Jessica Mendoza – $50,000 Jet Run Devon Welcome Stake Winner

Photo © Phelps Sports/Emma Miller. Jessica Mendoza and Play. Photo © Phelps Sports/Emma Miller.

On Play:

“We’ve been together about a year now. He is my best horse, my grand prix horse. I plan to take him to Europe in a week to do Nations Cup classes there. I didn’t really expect him to quite as fast as he was today, I think I turned super tight and he was great. He is going to do the [Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4*] and then maybe the [Devon Speed Derby] Saturday as well. We will see how the grand prix goes. Since the day I got him, we jumped a big class straight away. He has been amazing and the bravest horse I’ve ever had. He’s so scopey. It’s nice to go and know no matter what height comes toward me he is going to get to the other side and it’s a nice feeling.”

On the jump-off:

“I think I had an advantage of going early. I had the good ground and if I had watched everyone I may have tried to go even faster. I wasn’t aware of how quick I was until I watched everyone else. I think that helped me somehow. I think it was the tight turns that won it for me.”

On the Devon Horse Show:

“The courses were great. I thought it was a really perfect course and got the right amount of clear rounds. The time was good. It was my first time here so it was amazing to compete. I’ve never been and the atmosphere is already great on day one.” 

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