Saturday, Jun. 1, 2024

David Oberkircher Clinches Amateur Jumper Title At Devon

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Devon, Pa.—June 1

Heading into the jump-off for the $20,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame 1.45-Meter Amateur Jumper Classic at the Devon Horse Show, David Oberkircher knew he’d have to use Vulkato’s massive stride to his advantage if he wanted to win.

Just three pairs made it to the jump-off, and the first pair, Alexander Alston and Oak Grove’s Carlyle, were eliminated, while Baylee McKeever and Formidible turned in a clear round in 34.37 seconds.

“Vulkato has a huge stride, but he’s a bit of a slower mover, so I really have to do the leave outs when I can to try to get people,” he said. “[I] did one less stride in the first line, and I think that’s basically where I made up the time and just tried to stay neat and save as much time as I could.”

David Oberkircher and Vulkato. Kimberly Loushin Photos

Oberkircher stopped the clock at 34.01 seconds to take the win. It also helped cement the high amateur jumper championship for the pair and earned the leading amateur jumper rider award.

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“I won some in the local hunters actually years ago, and I was second with Upper with the stake class that’s jumping tonight a couple years ago, but this is probably the best I’ve done in my 10-15 years coming here,” he said.

Oberkircher is from nearby Collegeville, Pennsylvania, so he has a long history with Devon. He started competing in the local hunters, competed some in the open jumper classes and now does the amateur jumpers.

“I love coming here every year,” he said. “I love having my family around and having support. It’s been great.”

David Oberkircher and Vulkato soar over the final fence in the jump-off.

Oberkircher brought two horses to Devon: Upper and Vulkato. Upper won the opening class on Thursday and Vulkato was seventh. Both horses skipped the second class and came in fresh for the classic. Vulkato had just one fence down in the first round to finish seventh.

“I thought the course rode really nicely today,” he said. “We were in the gold ring the other day which is a bit tight and kind of harder to ride in, but we have some more space in here, and I thought the course was great. I think three clears, for the amount of people in it, was probably an appropriate amount, and I thought the horses jumped nicely today.”

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Baylee McKeever and Formidable were second in the classic.

While he’s been riding Upper for seven years, he’s been paired with Vulkato, a 13-year-old German Sport Horse stallion (Vulkano—Carisma P, Carismo) for two years.

“He’s been a great partnership,” Oberkircher said. “He has stepped up over the past two years and has taken me to jump some big FEI classes, and he’s a wonderful horse with a big stride and a great brain so lucky to have him.”

The 29-year-old works in real estate finance in Washington, D.C., so he commutes back and forth on the weekends to ride.

“I try to get a weekend of practice in before a horse show and then meet everyone at the show,” he said. “I would love to practice more but need to work. You know, doing what I can. My team that keeps the horses up here are fantastic and really lucky to have them.”

Alexander Alston was third in the class with Oak Grove’s Carlyle.
Maddison Binford-Wiggins had 1 time fault with Dr. J to finish fourth in the class.
Emily Dehoff was fifth with Charly Chaplin S.
Emily Dehoff and Manou De Muze were sixth. They also earned the reserve championship for the division thanks to a win in the second class.
David Oberkircher and Upper were seventh.
Eva Fisherman was eighth with Casallvano.
Last year’s winners Augusta Iwasaki and Fresca were ninth today.
Mimi Gochman rounded out the top 10 with Gigi’s Girl BH.

The Chronicle has a pair of reporters at Devon bringing you photo galleries, stories from the competition and more at www.coth.com. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss a thing. You can see a full report from the entire competition in the June 17 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse magazine.

Important Links: Devon Horse Show website / Detailed schedule / Results and orders of go / All the Chronicle’s coverage

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