Devon, PA- Gold Medalist Suzy Stafford had stellar performances in winning the IFSHA National Friesian driving Championship with “Sjaanje” owned by Gail Aumiller of Dreams Come True Farm and Stafford’s fourth consecutive medal for the United States with her other equine partners.
Stafford has come into 2013 with her first trip to The 117th Annual Devon Horse Show as an exhibitor and showed consistency and experience paved the way to bring home the Single Horse Championship. Stafford and “Sjaanje” won the pleasure drive class held Memorial Day weekend in a course of 4.5 miles through the neighborhood surrounding the show grounds ending in the Dixon Oval for a drive off and award ceremony for spectators looking on.
“What an experience this show was for me, there is so much history and tradition that goes into every aspect of this Horse Show, I was delighted to be a part of it as a competitor” I was ecstatic that “Sjaanje’s” owner Gail was able to ride with me in the pleasure drive class as well as the Cones Scurry. This was ones of Gail’s dreams, to compete at Devon, but a rotator cuff surgery temporarily took her out of the box seat. She asked me to drive the mare in her place as she wasn’t going to let her minor setback ruin her dream. I truly appreciate Gail’s dedication to this horse and her dreams!” Stafford says.
Suzy and “Sjaanje” held their own in the turn-out class held on Monday finishing third in the class of abundant talent and beautiful Antique carriages. A true Devon evening filled with regal horses and great competition. The duo’s fast cones scurry round on Tuesday evening secured the Overall Single Horse Championships as well as providing exciting entertainment to the lookers on celebrating the evening of Jumpers and carriage horses.
“I felt privileged be able to compete at such a historic venue with a wonderful, talented mare that I adore. I am grateful to Gail for sharing her beautiful girl “Sjannje” with me as I know how much she means to her. I am looking forward to Gail taking up the reins for the rest of the show season so she may enjoy S.J. as much as I did.” Stafford said.
Stafford, who operates Stafford Carriage Driving out of Chester County, Pennsylvania, was the youngest and first American driver to win an Individual Gold Medal with Cefnoakpark Bouncer at the 2005 World Pony Driving Championships in England. Since then she has continued to drive to success, being named the 2005 Driver of the Year by Chronicle of the Horse, winning the 2008 and 2009 National Single Pony Championship with Courage to Lead, and being awarded the Becky Hart Trophy in 2009.
In 2011, Stafford Miss Josephine put in a brilliant performance at the 2011 FEI World Pony Driving Championships in Slovenia where they were awarded with the Individual Silver Medal, Stafford’s second consecutive Individual medal.
For more information on Stafford, visit her website at www.staffordcarriagedriving.com.