With Her Mom Turned Away at the Border Tanya Strasser-Shostak Goes It Alone On To Devon

Tuesday, October 5, 2021
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Tanya Strasser-Shostak, daughter of Evi Strasser, was surprised to have the challenge and opportunity to ride two horses this weekend. Her mother had planned to compete and Tanya had planned to travel with her to Dressage at Devon from Canada, bringing three horses. Sadly, however, their plans were foiled by a tangle of new Covid-19 regulations.

Turned Away at The Border

Deja Vu Tyme
Déjà Vu Tyme and Tanya Strasser-Shostak

The pair reached the Canadian-U.S. border with Tanya’s mount, DiCaprio Tyme, and two of Evi’s mounts, Disney Tyme and Déjà Vu Tyme. But at the border, officials told them that Evi could not make a land border crossing into the U.S because she had recently traveled to Europe. To further complicate matters,

Tanya was not allowed to turn around and go home, because now a CIVID Test was required, which would take 24-48 hours, leaving her stranded. They assured Evi, Tanya's Mom, that she could travel by air. So Evi left Tanya at the border with a trailer full of horses, and Tanya proceeded on her own towards Devon, PA. took a taxi to the airport and bought a ticket to fly to Newark. Evi was then informed that she needed another piece of documentation to complete her journey. Unfortunately, she was unable to obtain it until a few days too late.

With that turn of events, Tanya was on her way to Devon, alone, with two horses that had no one to ride them. Evi was disappointed that she would not ride Disney Tyme and Déjà Vu Tyme at Devon. However, according to Tanya, she was quick to “turn lemons into lemonade.” Evi encouraged Tanya to pilot the two horses through their paces at Dressage at Devon.

There's a First Time for Everything - May As Well Do it at Devon

So, Tanya was at Devon, with three horses, no groom, no Mom, and about to ride her mother's horse, for the first time, in an FEI Grand Prix test for the first time, and guess what happened? Déjà Vu Tyme, a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding co-owned by Evi and Erika Murphy, danced to second place in FEI CDI3* Grand Prix (Qualifier for the Grand Prix Special) with a score of 65.130%. 

It turns out that Evi was right to have confidence in Tanya’s and her horses’ abilities. "She's always been good under pressure," commented Evi, who did her best to coach her daughter virtually. Also, as is usually the case in the horse community there were a lot of people who stepped in to help.

Tanya was also happy with her ride on the other two horses. She describes Disney Tyme, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding as “super-extravagant and flashy.” She was also pleased with the progress of her usual mount, DiCaprio Tyme, a dark bay eight-year-old Hanoverian, showed in his tests.

Tanya says, “I want to emphasize how grateful I am because I know how much it would have meant for my mother to ride them. My mother said, ‘Do it. You can.’”  

Watermark Trophy
Watermark Trophy

It was her first time riding Déjà Vu Tyme, her first time riding the Grand Prix in an International show, and her first time riding the Grand Prix Special. The pair finished second in the Grand Prix, fourth in the Grand Prix Special in her first international show at Grand Prix. They received the highest-ranked Grand Prix Rider award who formerly competed at NAJYRC.

Tanya attributes her success at Devon to a team effort, including the helpfulness of the Dressage of Devon staff who switched entries as necessary and other riders who supported her. One even lent her a tailcoat. Plus, even from a distance, her mother has been coaching her via FaceTime.

Despite the horses’ success, Tanya says, “I would have loved to have my mother here with me.”

Giving Thanks

Evi who was coaching virtually as best she could make sure to thank and give credit to the long list of the Devon horse community who stepped up to help. "I want o to thank everybody of 'My Horse Familie' in Devon for helping Tanya throughout the whole time she was in Devon. Without all of you, this would have been never been possible."