For the first in 40 years, Dressage at Devon postponed the Grand Prix Freestyle Qualifier. “The safety of our competitors and their horses is our primary concern,” said President and CEO of Dressage at Devon. The following changes to the schedule and reserved seating have been made.
Due to rescheduling of the Grand Prix Freestyle from Saturday 10/3 to Sunday 10/4, Saturday reserved seat tickets will be honored on Sunday 10/4. Sunday reserved seat ticket holders will also be provided seating on Sunday.
Between the Raindrops
Classes including FEI tests for 4,5 and 6 year-olds, FEI Intermediaire II (16-25), the FEI Junior Team Test, went on schedule despite the rain. Riders participated in the FEI Prix St Georges Open CDIW. The class was won by James Koford on Doctor Wendell MF ((Don Principe x Stellar Hit MF) with a score of 68.904. The FEI Prix St Georges for AA CD13 was won by Laine W. Hills, DVM, aboard Ukarde (Biotop x Milia) with a total score of 65.658.
The FEI Grand Prix (GPS) Qualifier was a muddy class but you couldn’t tell by the rides. Christilot Boylen, from Canada, led the field on Drentano, a 12 year old Chestnut Hanovarien.
Raising a Dressage Horse and Rider
Despite the weather, more than 20 riders participated in the FEI Prix St Georges Open. But, then again, most have spent years preparing. Lauren Annet from Lincoln University, is one of these riders. Lauren started riding when she was 11-years-old. While it may seem a bit older than many – especially coming from a riding family – “I was too allergic to horses and basically everything in a barn to start when I was younger. I went through some immuno therapy treatments that helped a bit.”
She got her first horse at 13, a TB named Careen. “She was three and not really broke so I fell off a lot. But, when we could keep it together, we were very competitive,” she recalled.
While Lauren was born and raised in the East, she lived out west, doing endurance riding, hunters, yearling TB sale prep and riding ranch horses. She even gave western dressage a go.
But after coming home, dressage became her real discipline. Why? “To preserve the mental and physical well being of the horse. Giving a horse the time they need to develop mentally and physically has allowed me to see how great horses can be when we give them a chance. Dressage allows the journey to focus on the individual pair versus stacking up against one another.”
Today Lauren rode Savannahh (Prosit x Bucks Careen) is a 13-year-old Anglo Arabian, mare. “My Mom (owner Fiona Gowers) and I broke her as a four old. She is amazing! My Mom works really hard to keep Vannahh and I fit, make sure we understand what we are supposed to be performing and are capable of staying deeply focused and attentive to each other.”
As for her ride today, Lauren felt good about a clean and confident ride and is looking forward to tomorrow when she and Savannahh will enter the ring again.
Ladies Brave the Rain to Display Their Hats
Despite gray skies and pouring rain, a crowd of hardy ladies ventured into the Dixon Oval on Friday, October 2, to show off an array of hats in the annual Ladies’ Hat Contest. The Devon Divas walked away with ‘The Most Creative’ award. The team, Lorraine Waycaster, Mary McKee and Laine Barney, all hailed from West Virginia, and donned hats adorned with glitter and feathers. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Dressage at Devon, they wore elegant maroon steampunk equestrian dresses that harkened back to an earlier era. Each carried a glittery champagne glass, a bejeweled whip and, most appropriately for the day, an umbrella.
‘The Most Outrageous’ award went to the All Equine Designs group. Nicole Spitler, Marla Thompson and Karen Castelli who each wore unique hats — cowboy, vintage, and floral and feathers — unified the look with their similar hand-painted horse shirts. Last but not least, Amy Holzapfel claimed ‘The Prettiest’ award, sporting her homemade hat with a floral motif.
Looking Forward to Saturday
The Saturday schedule will include the FEI Grand Prix B – the qualifier for the Grand Prix Freestyle. The Tempel Lipizzans will perform three times on Saturday. Please check the website for approximate times and for rescheduled classes.
And, as always, great food and shopping!
Dressage at Devon takes place September 29 – October 4 at the Devon Horse Show Grounds in Devon, PA. Dressage at Devon tickets are $10 for general admission. Children 4-12 are $5 and children under 3 are admitted free. Reserved seating is $25 on Friday, $35 on Saturday and $10 on Sunday and is available online at www.dressageatdevon.org. General admission is available at the door.
About Dressage at Devon
Dressage at Devon, the largest CDI show in the US and the largest open breed show in the world, combines world-class international dressage competition and one of the world’s few complete sport horse breed shows with the family fun of an International Fall Festival, featuring food and shopping for all tastes.