All Good Thing Must Come to an End
Sunday, June 6, 2010
You know it's been a successful show when people are already talking about next year. Derbydown Farm owner Louise Serio is excited about her granddaughter making her Devon debut in the 2011 Lead Line class, representing the 3rd generation of Serios to show in the Dixon Oval.
Conversations can be heard all over the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair about record breaking attendance, vendor sales significantly ahead of last year, and the influx of "first-timers" enjoying the Devon experience (tailgating long after the evening classes were over). The weather Gods were even smiling on the show this year. Was it hot and humid? Yes. Did it rain? Not yet....... Sure there was that tiny little cloudburst during the 2nd Year Green Working Hunter class which showed just how incredible the new footing really was.
The second to last day of the 114th Devon Horse Show did not disappoint. It was championship day in many of the divisions. In most cases the pressure was on with everything riding on the last class of the division.
Twice as Nice the Second Time Around
The morning session started off with the Amateur Owner Hunter 18-35 Handy. The top four horses were separated by only one point a piece. In the end it was Fun & Games ridden by Lindsey Roberts to a score of 88 in the winner's circle. Tracy Scheriff-Muser and Lavari needed to win the final class of the division in order to retain their 2009 title, and with a score of 89, that's exactly what they did, and then some. The pair was Amateur Owner Hunter 18-35 Champion, Devon Grand Amateur Owner Hunter Champion and Scheriff-Muser was named Devon Leading Amateur Owner Hunter Rider.
Scheriff-Muser who rides with Havens Schatt credits her 14 year old partner Lavari for their success in the Dixon Oval, "I've had Lavari for 5 years, and he's amazing. He's so comfortable, he's always perfect, he always does what you tell him to, and he's always there when you need him. He's just really special. Last year was just amazing, to do it again is like a dream, and then Grand Champion on top of it was awesome.
It was not easy out there. Yesterday I had a mistake in the first class, so I didn't get anything. The second class he was perfect so we won. The Handy isn't my best class, but today he was good and we were second. It all came down to that last class....I was so nervous, but he was there for me."
Winner of First Older Amateur Owner Hunter Class- So You Say & Katie Robinson
The victory is even more impressive as Scheriff-Muser lives in Wellington, Florida full time but Lavari lives in Kentucky with Schatt in the summer. The pair meets up at the shows, with no practice time during the summer months.
The Amateur Owner Hunter 35 and over Handy win went to Katie Robinson and her So You Say, posting the highest scoring round of the day, a jaw dropping 90. The Stake went to one of Jane Gaston's two rides Lumiere, besting the field of 26 with a score of 89 which tied Lumiere with her own beautiful gray gelding Listen. Since Gaston owns both horses she opted not to hack off for the championship and picked Listen to receive the championship honors with Lumiere picking up the reserve.
The View from the Other Side of the Rail
Russell Frey from Fulshear, Texas shared his perspective from the judge's box, "This year the horse show has new footing in the ring which really enhanced a lot of the rounds, so the scores were very high, and it made the classes very competitive. The course designer (Ken Krome of Westminster, Maryland) did a great job, especially early in the week with the equitation classes...the courses were very fair, the really good riders with a lot of experience were able to show off a little bit, and there were no casualties with the less experienced riders, nobody got hurt.
I thought the hunter courses were great, the horses themselves have jumped fabulous on this footing. We had a lot of scores in the 90's for the professional divisions, and that was really a bonus for us. It was a lot of fun to judge. Steve Wall from Waukesha, Wisconsin is the other judge (Hunters, Hunter Seat Equitation and Side Saddle) and we had a lot of fun because it was such a competitive horse show. There were so many good rounds that we could actually judge the horse's style which was refreshing."
Frey agrees that Devon is Mecca for hunters, "Devon is a magical place where dreams come true. Ever since I was a kid I had read about Devon in the Chronicle, but it was a long time before I got the opportunity to show here. There's nothing like walking into the Dixon Oval at Devon. There's a feeling of accomplishment just to get here, but to get to walk in the ring.....there is nothing like it. It's the Disneyland of horse shows. It's a magical place."
Although this is the first time Frey has judged at Devon, he is no stranger to working his way up the ranks here. "The first time I came here 30 years ago, I came as a groom when I managed for Don Stewart. I've shown here, trained people here, and now I finally got to judge here. There are a lot of memories here for me. A couple of years ago I got to show in the Open Jumpers which was a dream I never thought would come true. There's nothing like getting the blue ribbon at the end of the ring. The walk back to the barn is magical."
Photos: Bradberry & Laura Chapot Open Jumper Champion & Leading Open Jumper Rider, Winner Younger Amateur Owner's First Class Fun & Games and Lindsey Roberts, Lavari & Tracy Scheriff-Muser Younger Amateur Owner Hunter Champion, Steve Wall and Russell Frey
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