Dressage at Devonwood, International Competition in the Pacific Northwest

Text by Angeléa Kelly - competition photos by Mary Cornelius

The saying goes, ‘if you build it, they will come’ and this certainly holds fast to the beautifully manicured, evergreen acres nestled in Sherwood, Oregon and home to Devonwood Equestrian Center. Dressage at Devonwood premiered its’ first event hosting competitors throughout the Pacific Northwest with international judges presiding at C in 2000.

Now 7 years removed, the venue boasts over 200 horse and rider combinations and provides true international flair with approximately 20 Canadian competitors. Uncommon with most remote regions, this USDF recognized show was equally weighted across all levels in their class size offering some of the FEI classes in excess of 17 competitors.

Devonwood has long been a family affair with each Rattner working in unison to make the facility a success. Father and owner Justin functions as Sound Support while sons Evan and Noah work respectively as Webmaster and Volunteer Coordinator. In her off time from training and university, Jessica focuses on Competition Services and subsequently volunteers as a scribe. Last, but far from least is all around head honcho, head mom and Owner, Virgina ‘Ginny’ who embodies the feel of Devonwood as the most gracious host one could imagine. With a focus on safety, the Devonwood facility does have a few simple rules; no unattended children, no dogs and it’s a smoke free environment.

This year to further promote a safe environment to all, Devonwood provided a complimentary ‘cooling station’ which essentially housed several industrial fans and tented area where grooms could sponge and cool out hot horses and riders could escape in a breeze-filled shaded area to re-hydrate with chilled water. Willamette Valley Equine was also on hand to offer educational material dispelling common myths regarding do’s and don’t’s of keeping your horse cool as well as veterinary technicians on site for Q&A.

Steinberg Wins the Grand Prix

Friday’s top FEI classes were won by two of USEF’s Developing Riders and likewise Pacific Northwest natives. Jeremy Steinberg and 17-year-old Württemberg by Phillipo, Parocco, won the Grand Prix with a 64.375%. Jennifer Schrader and H.S. Wistar, owned by Charlene Summers of Summervale Farm, brought home the Intermediate II win receiving a combined score 64.146% from Janet Brown Foy at E and Jacqueline Oldham at C.

When asked about her recent return from Gladstone’s Festival of Champions Schrader smiled, “Honestly it’s great to come back to the Pacific Northwest as it's warm and inviting and nice to see some of the same judges as at Gladstone here at Devonwood. It was wonderful to have a chance to showcase [H.S. Wistar’s] talents and let the judges see his improvements since Gladstone.”

Equally pleased with the venue, its panel and organization was Creswell, Oregon native, Debbie Evans. Evans stated, “It’s a great facility to show at because they really do work for the competitors.” Evans came in with a near high point score on Saturday to win the Grand Prix Freestyle with a 69.250% on her 14-year-old, Trakehner gelding, Farrari.

Everman Wins the Intermediaire I

Sunday rolled around quickly and with the hot, yet fun-filled event coming to a close, Kathy Everman of Applegate, Oregon put in a solid ride on Paris, her elegant 9-year-old imported Dutch mare by Contango. Everman went on to win Sunday’s Intermediate I with a 63.125%.

When discussing the extreme heat and humidity faced by all, Everman complemented, “One thing I was really appreciative of was the cool down station as it adverted many potential de-hydration problems.” As wife of veterinarian, Everman certainly knows the value of preventative measures.

Yes the Pacific Northwest is somewhat geographically removed but with quality facilities like Devonwood providing safe, yet welcoming international atmosphere for its competitors, the Pacific Northwest could fast approach the caliber of riding to that of it’s neighboring southern region.

For complete show results, point your browser to: http://devonwood.haltsalute.com

Related Links
Canadian Conquest at Woodside CDI
Current for USET Foundation Dressage Festival of Champions at Gladstone Updated