In her first year of competing in the open jumper division at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, Hillary Dobbs of Sussex, N.J., not only rode the open jumper champion, The Dobbs Group Corlett, but she also finished as leading open jumper rider as well.
That's a feat no one has accomplished before.
In the process, one of the riders Dobbs beat was McLain Ward, a member of the gold medal-winning equestrian team at the Athens Olympics. Ward is expected to be a member of this year's Olympic team as well.
"It feels surreal," said Dobbs, 20. "I know what a rare thing this is to win. To win against so many top riders, you have to be competitive in every class.
"Things really went my way," Dobbs added. "My horses jumped super, they were really on their game. I couldn't be happier with them."
Dobbs said her father, CNN anchor Lou Dobbs, and her mother had been at the show for the entire week.
Kent Farrington on Up Chiqui won the final open class, the $50,000 Idle Dice Stake, to give Up Chiqui the open jumper reserve championship.
Whitney Weeks of Southport, Conn., rode Subliem to the only double clear round to win the $15,000 Amateur Owner Jumper Classic, a victory that gave her the championship and made her the leading amateur-owner jumper rider.
"It's really gratifying to be champion," said Weeks. "Two years ago I won the classic, but I'm not usually totally consistent. When I won the first class Friday, I was afraid that was all I would win."
Caroline Clark Morrison of Iron Station, N.C., rode Milan to the amateur owner hunter championship, over 35 years of age. With 251/2 points, Milan was grand amateur owner hunter champion, and Morrison was leading amateur owner hunter rider.
"It was an emotional win," Morrison said. "I've been coming here for 30 years, and it's been 13 years since I was champion here. I don't show a lot. I have a 3-year-old son, so I only go places where he can have fun. With the fair, this is a great place for him. He remembered everything about it from last year."