The 31st Annual Dressage at Devon Horse Show will host a new dressage class for four-year old horses. It is the first time that such a class has been offered in North America. The class will be held on Friday September 30th. Dressage at Devon opens on Tuesday, September 27th and runs through Sunday, October 2nd at the Devon Horse Show grounds in Devon, Pennsylvania.
The Four-Year old class was created as a new class of the North American Breeder’s Futurity (NABF), which began at Dressage at Devon three years ago. Says Dressage at Devon Co-Chair Melanie Sloyer, “The class is a continuation of the futurity, and an ideal way to bridge the gap between the sport horse breeding and performance horse competition in this country. It is a logical progression to the Five-Year old and Six-Year old classes.” Adds Co-Chair Jim Hall, “There are in-hand and materiale classes for four-year olds, but this is the first time that a four-year old will actually be asked to perform a dressage test.”
American-bred horses will qualify for the competition with two scores of 60% or better from a First Level Test One at any recognized show in the United States from January 1, 2005 to September 5, 2005. Horses with one score of 60% or better and one of at least 58% can enter the warm-up class on Thursday and may achieve the required second 60% which then, based on a wild card rule, may still bring them in to the Finals on Friday. The top six of the twelve entrants into the Finals will have the opportunity to share the prize money of $ 3,000 and may get a portion of the $ 5,600 Futurity Funds if they are nominated for the NABF.
The NABF Championship Finals for Five-Year old and Six-Year old horses was developed by the Dressage at Devon committee and the ISR Oldenburg Registry, and was introduced at Dressage at Devon in 2003. The goal is to put more emphasis on the training of young horses in North America. Says Scott Hassler, Training Manager of Hilltop Farm, Inc., and a promoter of both the NABF for five and six-year olds and the new NABF Four-Year old class, “Having the four, five and six-year old horses competing at the same location and in front of a large public audience as well as top international trainers and judges is an outstanding opportunity. This hopefully will spark more interest and respect for our American-bred horses. I am extremely glad to see Devon take action to promote the young horse competition and development in this country.”
Dressage at Devon has taken a leadership role in the promotion of American-bred horses both with the Futurity and the Born in the USA Awards. The Born in the USA Breeders Awards were developed in 2003 by the Dressage at Devon Committee to recognize and reward the achievements of American breeders of Sport Horses.
Dressage at Devon is the highest rated international dressage competition and most complete breed show outside of Europe. Olympic medallist Robert Dover calls Dressage at Devon “the standard by which all American horse shows should be judged.” Dressage at Devon takes place at the Devon Horse Show Grounds, Route 30, in Devon, Pennsylvania. For information, call 610-358-5785 or go to www.dressageatdevon.org. More information about the NABF can be found at www.isroldenburg.org/?pid=awards_NABF