Dressage at Devon 2007 Has Officially Begun

Beth Samson got the first look at her new colt during breed competition at the 33rd Annual Dressage at Devon and she sure thought he looked good. The last time the Massachusetts resident saw her 12-week-old colt was when she made the decision to buy him.

“This is my first time seeing him since I bought him and then he was only five weeks old,” Samson said of her new youngster, Signature. “He looks like a totally different horse. He’s absolutely spectacular. When I first saw him he was doing his foal misbehavior and didn’t look so good in terms of coat, etc. But now he’s beautiful and I’m so excited about this.”

Samson’s little Signature was just one of hundreds of horses filing into the historic show grounds to compete in this year’s Dressage at Devon, originally founded by the Delaware Valley Combined Training Association and now an annual rite of fall for dressage enthusiasts. The 2007 show, which benefits Thorncroft Therapeutic Horseback Riding, Inc., officially kicked of on Tuesday with the start of the breed competition, which will run through Thursday. The performance competition is set to begin on Thursday and will run through Sunday.

Devon is one of America’s most prestigious dressage shows and it draws many of the best riders and breeders from throughout the U.S., Canada and abroad. The CDI-W/Y/J serves as a qualifying competition for several upcoming events, including the 2008 Olympic Selection Trials and the National Dressage Championships. Although it’s the performance competition that generally draws the largest crowd of spectators, those who arrived for the start got the chance to watch some of America’s best quality horses parade through the famous Dixon Oval ring during breed competition.