(Devon, PA) – The sun shone down on record crowds today at Dressage at Devon as spectators and dressage enthusiasts enjoyed whimsical hats, fabulous fare, exciting exhibition riding and fierce competitive rides. Winning Hats Feature Feathers and Flowers: Friday afternoon brought the annual Ladies’ Hat Contest sponsored by Dark Horse Chocolates and The Engraver. After entrants displayed their haberdashery in the Dixon Oval, Jennifer Reed, a radio personality from 92.5 WXTU/Philadelphia, announced the three winners. Tiffany Arey, of Collegeville, Pennsylvania has dominated the ‘Prettiest Hat’ category for the last three years.
After working on her hat for the last month, she once again walked away with the award. Her hat was double brimmed with ivory sinamay straw and trimmed in black and white. She decorated it with homemade black and ivory flowers and butterflies made of feathers, and finished it with a black veil. Tiffany had ordered a dress especially for the occasion that complemented the hat. When it did not arrive in time, she had to scramble to put together a new outfit-- a white suit, black bag, and black shoes and stockings. With the help of a Dressage at Devon vendor, she named the hat and overall look ‘split decision.’
Stephanie Dahne of West Chester, Pennsylvania, in her second year of competition, took home the ‘Most Creative’ award. Her silk-wrapped, wide-brimmed Victorian-style hat was decorated with blue, fuchsia, and yellow flowers and feathers. Stephanie’s skirt inspired the colors for her hat and she mirrored them throughout her outfit and accessories. Accents ranged from gold jewelry and floral-decorated shoes to her dog, Dutch, who wore a matching hat and a leash interwoven with ribbons in the three colors.
Sarah Ford of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania captured the ‘Most Unusual’ hat award. She competed side by side with her friend, Beth Beverly, who had created the hat made of a Guinea hen’s wing. Beth, a taxidermist, likes to celebrate an animal’s splendor by incorporating it into a thing of beauty rather than simply hanging it on a wall as a trophy. It’s her final tribute to animals that have lost their lives. She loves bringing her creations to Dressage at Devon where animal lovers are receptive and curious to learn about the species used in her creations.
Holzer Sweeps Grand Prix Special and Freestyle
Ashley Holzer, from Canada, and her Swedish Warmblood, Jewel’s Adelante, garnered first place in the FEI Grand Prix Open (Grand Prix Special). The four-time Olympian first entered the Grand Prix ring in the early1980s and competed in individual dressage at the 2012 Games. Jewel’s Adelante has competed at Grand Prix level since 2012.
Ashley was also winner of the FEI Grand Prix Open (Grand Prix Freestyle) with a score of 72.83 on Breaking Dawn. “Devon is really it when it comes to the old traditional show,” she said. “To come into this ring is really special. It is an incredible ride for me.”
From Tragedy to Triumph
Silva Martin and her husband, Boyd, have made an impressive comeback from devastation two years ago when they lost six horses in a fire. In the same year both their fathers died. This year Silva is riding eight different horses, three of which are homebred, in more than 16 classes. Boyd, an eventer, had always wanted to try dressage. On Wednesday, September 25, he took a stab at the 5-Year Old Dressage Suitability class and came in an impressive second on Dhouble Scoop. Silva, who has been competing at Dressage at Devon for six years, says she loves it. It is, at least partially, because she can go home at night to sleep in her own bed in nearby Cochranville, Pennsylvania, but also she enjoys the combination of tradition, competition, spectating, shopping, and eating all in one place.
Other Show Highlights
- Nancy Lewis-Stanton and her mount, Bellatesse HTF (Bugatti Hilltop x EM Comtesse), a chestnut Hanoverian, took the blue ribbon in the USEF Young Horse Test for 4 Year Olds. The horse is owned by Chris Schuler of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania.
- Nadine Buberl rode Dr. Cesar Parra’s gelding, Fashion Designer Old (Faustinus x Hauptstutbuch Forst Design), to a win in the FEI Young Horse Test for 5 Year Olds with an impressive score of 89.4.
- In the FEI Young Horse Test for 6 Year Olds, Wanja Gerlach rode Ribery 20 (Sinclair x Sacro Santa), a bay Oldenburg stallion, to the top of the class.
- Barbara (Bebe) Davis paired with Rotano, a Hanoverian dark bay gelding owned by Michael and Sarah Davis, for a win in the FEI Junior Team Test.
The forecast for Saturday, September28 at Dressage at Devon is sunny skies and full grandstands. Highlights will include Tommie Turvey performances and exciting FEI competition topped off by the always thrilling FEI Grand Prix Freestyle.
About Dressage at Devon
Dressage at Devon, the highest-rated international dressage competition held outside of Europe, 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. Visit www.dresageatdevon.org.