Watch Saturday nights Grand Prix Freestyle LIVE on the USEF Network starting at 7:30! Friday was the first full day of performance classes plus wonderful exhibitions by Aussie horseman Guy McLean and the Delaware Valley Combined Training Association Quadrille. “Remember Hope; this is your dream to do dressage at Devon,” said Guy McLean to his horse, Hope, explaining to the audience that following his performance last year they had a conversation that ended with a commitment by both horse and rider to perform dressage in the Dixon. Later on the Delaware Valley Combined Training Association (DVCTA) Quadrille team – the Quad Squad – performed “Think Pink,” sponsored by the Unionville Equine Associates of Oxford, PA. Their performance was comprised of a 13-horse team, which performed an inspirational, moving and upbeat medly of musical favorites.
Fashion at the Forefront
Spectators at Dressage at Devon expect to see stunning horses groomed to impress. Sometimes, however, people also deck themselves out to capture attention. The first event centered on human fashions took place on Thursday night when SmartPak showed off the Kingsland dressage line. Models donned jackets, shadbellies and breeches with cuts designed to flatter the fit physiques of equestrian athletes. These stylish fashions are likely to turn heads with details like Swarovski crystal buttons, gold rivets and embroidery.
Friday afternoon brought the annual Ladies’ Hat Contest. After entrants displayed their haberdashery in the Dixon Oval, John DeBella, from WMGK 102.9, announced the winners. ‘Prettiest Hat’ went to Tiffany Arey, wearing a black hat named ‘Anastasia’ that was adorned with a deep-red rose. ‘The Best Representative of Devon’ award was captured by Laura Silverberg whose hat was decorated with a menagerie including all the dressage letters.
Adrienne Brason, an interior designer and event planner, won ‘Most Creative’ after using her artistic talents to create an intricate ‘Mardi Gras’ hat. It was artfully decorated with feathers, beads and sequins and hard not to notice as it towered two feet above her. Finally, a team of three ‘Dressage Queens’ won ‘Funniest Hats.’ Lorraine Wacaster paraded in ‘Purple Passion’, Laine Barney glowed in ‘Golden Sunshine’ and Mary McKee sought the limelight as ‘Lime Salsa.’
In the Dressage Today tent was a display of the winning designs for their 2012 Centerline Contest—fashions for the horse and rider inspired by the 2012 London Olympics. Winners included a cooler that looks like a variation on the U.S. flag—red up front, a midriff of red and white stripes, and a blue posterior covered with stars.
Of course, it’s really all about the tremendous dressage performances. Witness Hilltop (Hamlet x Francis), ridden by Christopher Hickey and owned by Hilltop Farm, won first place in the FEI Prix St. Georges Open with a score of 69.825. Don Kontes (Don Schufro x Kontessa), ridden by David Marcus and owned by owned by Deborah Kinzinger won first in the FEI Grand Prix O. The FEI Young Rider Team Test was won by Alexandra Reid on V.I.P. (Rousseau x Nastrade), owned by Deborah Miculinic, with a score of 70.482
The highlight of the evening was the FEI Grand Prix Open (OGS) CDIW USEF HP GAIG/USDF Qualify, won by David Marcus atop Chrevi’s Capital (Chrevi’s Lavallo x Indira Ghandi), owned by Deborah Kinzinger, with a score of 71.213.
Saturday includes the FEI Intermediaire I, FEI Young Rider, FEI Fourth Level Tests, FEI Pony Team Test and the FEI Junior Individual Test. And, of course, Saturday night’s highlight, the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, won last year by Adrienne Lyle on Wizard.