The men may have scored the majority of the victories in the Dixon Oval on Day 1 of Senior Week, but on Day 2 the ladies came roaring back, winning 5 out of the 8 over fences classes. That wasn't the only thing that changed; the humid 93 degree weather of Memorial Day gave way to cooler temperatures, and a plethora of meteoric conditions, among them a giant cloudburst that lasted for the better part of the Green Conformation Handy Hunter Class, won by Ken Berkley on Premiere with a spectacular score of 91.
The day began with the First Year Green Handy Hunter Class. Much like Day 1, John French on Truman posting an 89, Hunt Tosh on Good Humor one-upped French with a 91, Scott Stewart on Summer Place did Tosh one better with a 92, but it was Kelly Farmer on Taken who went home with the blue, scoring a 93, the best scoring trip of the two days. Taken not only won the First Year Green Handy Hunter Class, but he and Farmer also scored the victory in the Regular Working Hunter over fences class, saving the best for last, and scoring a 91. Farmer expressed her excitement over winning not one but two classes on Taken, "It's a great feeling to win at Devon on such an amazing animal. For him to win a First Year class, and then a four foot class, and to do that at Devon? This is one of the most prestigious horse shows in the world no one can ever take winning here away from me."
When asked about being on center stage versus being spread out all over the show grounds Farmer replies, "I love it! I think that's why I love the WCHR Professional Challenge Class so much too. Any time the hunters get to be center stage, I think it's a great thing. That's why I love this horse show. You have all the people in the grandstands who watch one great trip after the other. Devon has diehard fans; they know they're watching good horses."
Farmer got what she referred to as "medium wet" in the Second Year Green Hunter Class when a second downpour began, but pointed out that the spectators in the stands stayed right where they were. "When you come to watch this horse show, you really appreciate it. Whenever I have 5 seconds to sit and watch, you know the difference and you appreciate seeing one horse after the other going better and better. It's a pleasure to see the horses go the way they do here.
Like Mother, Like Daughter
The second class of the day, the Green Conformation Hunter class once again had French on Truman and Stewart on Declaration knocking at the door, but it was Louise Serio with a score of 90 who was the one leading her horse Quinnus up to the trophy presentation.
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Louise reflects on her time in the Dixon Oval, "I was thinking the other day that I have shown at the Devon Horse Show for at least 40 years. I have pictures of me showing here in the small ponies, back when there were only small and large ponies, and I was 6 or 7 years old at the time, and I'm 56 now."
Christina Serio, Louise's daughter is also showing in the Open Divisions at Devon this year, "It's been really fun having my daughter work with me and getting to show here, and she really was the star of the day yesterday...she did much better than I did. I just messed up in the Handy, and when I came out of the gate, Alex Jayne said 'You know your daughter is riding really well....maybe it's time'. He was kidding, and it's great having her, and it keeps you going. It's a real reason to keep motivated."
Motivated she was, posting a winning score of 90 on a new ride for her, Quinnus." I had a good day, I won on Quinnus who is a new horse to me. He's a 6 year old that we just got in Florida, and we just love him, he's really nice. I bought him for a new client who will be doing him in the Adults. He's just a really solid, scopey, nice, nice horse, really good guy. He was really good in the Handy, but he's not speedy, he's kind of a slow horse, so it's kind of hard to make it handy-ish."
Louise echoes the rest of the professional's sentiments about the Devon Horse Show, agreeing that having the hunters on center stage is fantastic, and adds, "I also love the diversity, I like the carriages, I like all those different breeds, I like seeing different exhibitions, I love the Dixon Oval. I really love the Dixon Oval."
All in the Family
Maggie Jayne also put two notches in the win column today, first on the strikingly beautiful gray mare Bella Blue scoring an 88 in the Second Year Green Working Hunter Class, and then two classes later winning the Regular Conformation Handy Hunter Class with Early Applause.
All in the Family
Jayne was thrilled with both of her horses, "It's so special to win at Devon. It takes a lot to get here, you have to qualify, you don't get to school over the jumps, it's kind of like you have one shot at each class, so you give it your best. All the horses were great.....Early Applause in particular loves a crowd, the bigger the crowd, the more he likes to perform, so he loves all the people being up close here, and showing off for them."
Photos: Premiere and Ken Berkley winners of the Green Conformation Handy Hunter Class, Taken and Kelly Farmer winners of the First Year Green Conformation Handy Hunter, Quinnus and Louise Serio winners of the Green Conformation Hunter Class, Early Applause & Maggie Jayne