DressageDaily On the Scene - Dressage at Devon 2008
Photo Credit: Sophie Ghedin
(Devon, PA)—Despite threatening skies, spectators and competitors alike welcomed the opening of the performance division on day three of the 34th Annual Dressage at Devon. As a bridge between the Breed Show, with its focus on producing a dressage horse, and the Performance Show, which consists almost entirely of international level classes, Thursday featured the USEF Four Year Old Test, the FEI Dressage Test for Five Year Olds and the FEI Dressage Test for Six Year Olds. Anticipation was the greatest for the six-year-old group, with Christopher Hickey, fresh from winning the 2008 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships in Kentucky. He didn’t disappoint, capturing the blue with an impressive 83.6%
Of his ride, the judges said, “His walk was clear, regular and reaching,” and “his trot shows nice cadence and freedom.” The only place he lost that was in the extensions. “As for submission, he was very willing. Overall, we think he is a very promising horse.” The Hanovian gelding by Contucci out of Briania was purchased by Hilltop Farm as a youngster to represent his sire Contucci. He was Reserve Grand Champion at Dressage at Devon in 2005. In 2007 he was the winner of the FEI Dressage Test for Five Year Old Horses. Hickey says, “Cabana Boy is bold and quite confident in himself. Because of that, he commands everyone’s attention. It is a quality that’s required at the top to be a winner.” Cabana Boy is schooling Prix St. Georges and Hickey hopes to be competing him at that level next season. Second place in the class went to Froelich, an Oldenburg gelding ridden by Teresa Butta.
Offspring of Sandro Hit were well represented in the Young Horse classes with two in the four-year-old class, one in the five-year-old class and one in the six-year-old class. It was one of those offspring, Selten HW, out of SPS High Princess, who won the USEF Four-Year-Old test with a score of 81%. Michael Bragdell was in the saddle. Steinway, another offspring by Rosalea, ridden by Ulla Petersen, placed second.
The FEI Dressage Test for Five Year Olds was won by Pikko Del Cerro, a US-bred Hanoverian by Pik L, ridden by Mikala M. Gundersen of Denmark, and owned by Horses Unlimited. They scored a stunning 85.6%. FS Tiger Lily, a Rheinland mare by Furst Piccolo out of St. Pr. St. Hauptstutbuch, placed second with German rider Silva Martin.
Throughout the day in the Dixon Oval, the main arena at the Devon Horse Show grounds, a total of 31 individual breed classes were held. While a number of warmblood registries showed a strong presence, less traditional breeds were also in the arena in large numbers. New this year were the Nokota horses, a native American breed derived from are descended from the last surviving wild horses in the Little Missouri badlands of North Dakota, and their ancestors include early Native American as well as frontier ranch horses.
With the Nokota Horse Conservancy celebrating its tenth anniversary, a growing presence in Pennsylvania and Nokota horses showing their talents in the dressage arena, the Nokota Horse has sparked interest. Kathryn Jones and her two-year-old Nokota filly Little Miss Ouri bested the other four entries in the class. The ponies -- Oldenburg Sport Ponies, American Sport Ponies, and Weser-Ems, a German pony used mainly for dressage and showing for the first time at Dressage at Devon— stood up against the big guys. Fox Cry Nicodemus, a feisty four-year-old gray Welsh stallion owned by Shawn Bigley, was a winner, and a crowd favorite.
Eleven of the Individual Breed Class winners braved the wet and windy weather to circle the ring, bedecked in red, white and blue sashes, for the Parade of Breeds.
Breed Show Chair Melanie Sloyer said this year’s show distinguished itself because of the great number of outstanding horses. She was thrilled with the number of entries and the variety of breeds competing at the show. “We had more breeds and more entries than ever this year. That fact demonstrates the breadth of influence that dressage is having on so many non-traditional breeds.”
PhelpsPhoto: Show Managers Melanie Sloyer and Jim Hall
The Performance Show continues through Sunday highlighted by four Grand Prix classes and a full roster of classes at fourth level and the FEI levels.
Dressage at Devon takes place on the Devon Horse Show Grounds in Devon, PA., September 23rd through 28th and benefits Thorncroft Therapeutic Horseback Riding Inc. Complete results and more information can be found at www.dressageatdevon.org.