Category Archives: Phelps Media Group

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Historic Coaching Division to Return to Devon Horse Show and Country Fair

Misdee Wrigley Miller won the Four-in-Hand Coaching championship on Friday at the Devon Horse Show.

Devon, Pa. – May 13, 2019 – The competitive sport of coaching, a time-honored Devon Horse Show and Country Fair tradition, allows spectators a unique glimpse into 19th century life. As one of the few venues where competitive coaching can be seen, Devon’s coaching division is open to entries driven to authentic road coach or park drag. Held in honor of Robert A. Weaver and John M. Seabrook, this division reminds us to reflect on the beauty and versatility of our equine athletes.

On Sunday, May 26, spectators can enjoy the grand Carriage Marathon down neighborhood streets, a parade of vintage vehicles on their way from St. David’s Church to the famed Dixon Oval. Terry Pickett from Metamora, Michigan will judge the horse division, while Kali Knickerbocker-Maher from Pittsford, New York will judge the ponies.

“For the community to come out and see the horses go along the route is a lot of fun; there is so much energy in the street,” said Wayne W. Grafton, chairman of the board for the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. “Carriages will make their way down the stretch of road in two sections: the horse division first, followed by the pony, light commercial, and farmers divisions.”

Pinning for the best turnout and presentation of awards will take place in the historic Dixon Oval. Each exhibitor in the Carriage Marathon will receive a bronze plaque and six ribbons will be awarded in each division.

The Coaching Championship will take place on Friday, May 31, in the Dixon Oval and the trophy and champion ribbon will go to the coach having won the greatest number of points throughout their five days for the division.

Pickett will judge the coaching division and competitors will be judged on a variety of factors, including performance, manners, presentation and appointments. In coaching, the road coach is traditionally a more durable vehicle used for public transportation on a scheduled route. This is different than the park drag, which is the lighter and more elegant version of the former and was a private driven vehicle with seats on top.

Coaching competitors will be individually scored on the driver’s skill and turnout, the combination of the coach, horses, appointments, and the harness. In two of the classes, the skills portion will be objective, judged on time and the driver’s ability to navigate the course of cones with the fewest knockdowns. Turnout is subjective and variables include quality of turnout and horses, matching of the harness to the horses, groom’s livery, carriage lights, boots, safety equipment, and more.

For more information, visit www.DevonHorseShow.net.

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
info@phelpsmediagroup.com

Accolades Abound for Historic Devon Horse Show and Country Fair

Photo By: Brenda Carpenter.

Devon, Pa. – April 23, 2019 – The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is known for its history and prestige across the country and each spring, the annual event unites a variety of riders, trainers, owners, and horse enthusiasts from a multitude of disciplines as they vie for a spot in the winner’s circle of the famed Dixon Oval. The team at the Devon Horse Show is honored to have been presented with several awards and titles this year that recognize the tireless dedication that has been put forth each year since its inception in 1896. The 2019 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair will run this year from May 23 – June 2.

The Devon Horse Show is proud to have been named the ‘Horse Show of the Year’ for 2019 by the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame (NSHHF). The NSHHF is dedicated to honoring excellence by providing recognition, education, and appreciation for the achievements of the horseman and horses who have made the sport of show hunters so rich in history.

Boasting a ‘Premier’ Hunter rating by US Equestrian (USEF), the Devon Horse Show welcomes the foremost hunter riders each year as the event offers a range of hunter divisions for professionals, amateurs, juniors, and pony riders. In addition, the popular $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby is an exciting feature class that allows derby riders to showcase their talents in the Dixon Oval. Hunter competition is further highlighted with hunter breeding and pony hunter breeding classes.

The United Professional Horsemen’s Association (UPHA) Chapter 15 also named the Devon Horse Show the ‘Hackney/Saddlebred Horse Show of the Year.’ The UPHA is based in Lexington, Kentucky and is an association composed of professional horsemen and horsewomen who are dedicated to improving the show horse industry and defining their professionalism within the industry.

Peter Doubleday, a notable figure in the equestrian community and renowned horse show announcer for over 40 years, has also been chosen to be inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame. He brings a warm, familiar, and knowledgeable voice to top national and international horse shows as he broadcasts the competition. Induction into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame is “bestowed annually upon select individuals whose contributions to the sport have set them apart and whose influence has had a significant impact on the sport of show jumping and the equestrian community.”

Perhaps most important, Doubleday serves as the dedicated manager of the Devon Horse Show. Doubleday will be honored at the Show Jumping Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremony, which will occur during this year’s Devon Horse Show.

Another award that the Devon Horse Show has earned is the The Davey Award to Zer0 to 5ive for the launch of its all-new website. The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA) reviews submissions from ad agencies, interactive agencies, production firms, in-house creative professionals, graphic designers, design firms, and public relations firms worldwide to select a winner. Entries are judged based on the “standard of excellence,” as defined by the AIVA. While the Devon Horse Show is deeply rooted in history, the team also strives to maintain a cutting-edge website and stay in tune with current technological advancements.

The team at the Devon Horse Show is thrilled to have been chosen for these awards and is thankful for all of the continued support from the equestrian community and local community throughout the years. The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is excited to be approaching its 125th anniversary in 2021. Be sure to mark your calendars for this year’s Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, which will run from May 23 – June 2, 2019!

To purchase tickets to the 2019 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, email tickets@devonhorseshow.org. For more information, visit www.DevonHorseShow.net.

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
info@phelpsmediagroup.com

American Saddlebreds Set to Showcase Beauty and Versatility at 2019 Devon Horse Show

Carson Kressley competes in front of a packed crowd at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. Photo by Brenda Carpenter Photography.

Devon, Pa. – April 9, 2019 – A vision of spirited beauty and power, the American Saddlebred excels in the show ring, demonstrating two unique gaits to the breed: the Slow Gait and the accelerated Rack. Tracing the breed’s ancestry to the early 1700s, the classic American Saddlebred will once again be showcased in a variety of divisions because of their incredible versatility at the historic Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, scheduled this year for May 23 – June 2, 2019. Saddlebred and Hackney competition will take place from Wednesday, May 29 through Saturday, May 1.

Spectators can expect to see all of the five primary disciplines represented at the Devon Horse Show: Three-Gaited, Five-Gaited, Fine Harness, Park, and Pleasure. The $5,000 Three-Gaited Saddlebred Stake is the most anticipated class of the Walter Mooney American Saddlebred Three-Gaited Section. Any entries that participated in another class of the section can take part in the Friday evening stake at the Dixon Oval.

Characterized by a trimmed mane to emphasize their long and elegant neck, three-gaited horses show in trot, canter, and animated walk. Celebrity Saddlebred exhibitor and judge of the Ladies’ Hat Contest at Devon, Carson Kressley, picked up his first tricolor ribbon aboard Famous Kiss in the Open Three-Gaited Park Horse Stake in 2016.

“I’ve shown in a lot of places, but there’s nothing as special as the crowd support at Devon,” said Kressley. “Showing in front of thousands of people in the Dixon Oval is a thrill like no other. I’ve shown this horse a couple times this season and we’ve been second every time. So, to pull it together and win a big class like this here is a huge thrill. Devon is one of the greatest shows in the country. It’s where you come, watch, and dream of competing.”

Another crowd favorite in the Five-Gaited Section is the $3,000 Five-Gaited Saddlebred Stake, which will also take place Friday, May 31st under the lights of the Dixon Oval. Five gaited horses have been taught two specific four beat gaits that are either performed slowly or with rapid, high steps.

Refined yet powerful, the Saddlebreds will be seen parading through the ring with their natural tail and mane flowing and riders dressed in traditional saddle seat habit. The always popular pleasure classes will also return for exhibitors to view in addition to many hunter divisions and open English pleasure division.

The pleasure divisions are always a favorite for exhibitors and spectators alike as riders showcase their mounts in the Dixon Oval. These events will take center stage Wednesday, May 30th through Sunday, June 2nd. Highlights will include the English Pleasure, Country Pleasure, Three Gaited Show Pleasure, Western Country Pleasure Championships, and the ASB Hunter Country Pleasure. The ASB Hunter Country Pleasure division is rising in popularity and is a part of the World Championship horse show for the first time.

Two years ago, the late Janet Sterba earned a championship title in her division once again, sweeping the Five Gaited Pleasure Championship piloting Born For This. “This is our second year working together,” Sterba said about her at the time 12-year-old mare, CH Callaway’s Born For This. “She’s had a grand career. I’m just thrilled to have a good ride, especially on this mare. I’m blessed to get to show her.”

Fine harness, a discipline where horses are shown at the trot and animated walk in a four-wheeled cart, will culminate in the $1,500 Fine Harness Horse Championship at the Devon Horse Show. Drivers are permitted to wear long dress and suits, accenting the elegance of the drive.

Distinctive traits including mental acuteness and willingness to learn have positioned the Saddlebred as a diverse equine athlete. Revered as the “Horse America Made,” Devon Horse Show is proud to feature the talents of this historical breed.

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is the longest running and largest outdoor multi-breed competition in the United States. With the grandeur of Philadelphia’s prestigious Main Line setting the stage, the event features a world-class field that annually ranks among the most prominent internationally. The event also includes the Country Fair that offers world-class shopping, rides and games for kids, multiple dining options, and special entertainment events.

To purchase tickets to the 2019 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, email tickets@devonhorseshow.org. For more information, visit www.DevonHorseShow.net.

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
info@phelpsmediagroup.com

2019 Kentucky Spring Prize List and FEI Approved Schedules Available Online

Lexington, Ky. – March 21, 2019 – Kentucky Spring Horse Shows’ management company, Kentucky Horse Shows LLC, is excited to announce that the unparalleled hunter/jumper competition will be returning to the stunning Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, from May 8-19, 2019. The FEI CSI3* show jumping event will feature both international and national competition for horses and riders of all levels at the magnificent venue which is nestled in the heart of horse country. To access the prize list, entry forms, weekly schedules, and FEI approved schedules for both weeks, please click here.

The first week of competition, the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, will kick off starting on May 8-12 and will feature a FEI CSI3* rating. Highlights include the $36,000 Welcome Speed on Wednesday, followed by the $36,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on Thursday, which will start off the seven-part Hagyard Challenge Series, and then the $134,000 Kentucky Spring Grand Prix on Saturday. All three FEI classes will count for the Longines Ranking List and the Thursday and Saturday classes will also count for the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List. In addition, the featured national classes will be the $35,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix on Sunday, which will also count towards the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List, and the $15,000 Under 25 Grand Prix to be held on Sunday, May 12.

A new addition that will take place during both the Kentucky Spring Horse Show and the Kentucky Spring Classic is the Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour, sponsored by Classic Champions, Inc., which will offer classes for 5, 6, and 7-year-old horses. This exciting eight-part tour will conclude with championship events that will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park during the Kentucky National Horse Show from Sept. 18-22.

The Kentucky Spring Horse Show will also be a World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) member event, where riders can earn points towards year-end awards. Hunters will take center stage on Sunday in the Stonelea Ring with the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, the first of 15 World Equestrian Center/Kentucky Horse Shows USHJA National Hunter Derby Series events.

Competition will continue the next week with the Kentucky Spring Classic, will take place from May 15-19, also with a FEI CSI3* rating. The $36,000 Welcome Speed will be held on Wednesday, followed by the $36,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on Thursday, as riders try to accumulate valuable points for the Hagyard Leading Rider Bonus. On Saturday evening, May 18, riders will battle it out for top honors under the lights of the Rolex Stadium in the $134,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix. Once again, all three FEI classes will count for the Longines Ranking List and the Thursday and Saturday classes will also count for the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List. The featured national classes are the $35,000 Bluegrass Grand Prix on Sunday in the Rolex Stadium, which counts towards the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List and the $15,000 Under 25 Grand Prix to be held on Sunday, May 19.

The Kentucky Spring Classic features the second competition of the 15 event World Equestrian Center/Kentucky Horse Shows USHJA National Hunter Derby Series in the Stonelea Ring. Both weeks of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows will offer WIHS and NAL qualifiers plus $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Classics.

For more information on Kentucky Horse Shows LLC and the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com. To request a prize list, please e-mail prizelist@kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Victoria Colvin Celebrates Winning Week at Deeridge Derby

Victoria Colvin and Snowday.

Wellington, Fla. – Mar. 5, 2019 – Hot off her victory in the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular just two weeks ago, Victoria Colvin added another prestigious title to her long list of accolades. Colvin and El Primero, owned by Meralex Farm, bested some of the nation’s most talented hunter horses and riders at Deeridge Farms on Sunday afternoon for the conclusion of the final class of the Palm Beach Masters Series, the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Colvin captured the top prize for the second year in a row, defending her title as the reigning champion aboard Brad Wolf’s Private Practice in 2018, and also rode multiple other mounts to top results throughout the Deeridge Derby weekend.

“Winning this class two years in a row is a wonderful feeling. El Primero has been an amazing partner this year, and I’m excited to hopefully keep earning champion ribbons with him,” commented Colvin. “He really tried his heart out, and I’m so pleased with the way the weekend went for all of the horses I was lucky enough to be able to ride. They were all superstars!”

Colvin and El Primero led the class from start to finish, having remained in top form Sunday after dominating the classic round on Saturday ahead of 41 other pairs. No stranger to pressure, Colvin was last to ride Sunday in the handy round, and once again proved her talent with a series of savvy inside turns that capitalized on El Primero’s incredible jump. The young professional also ride Gabriel, owned by JT Farm, to an overall tenth place finish in the competitive class.

Earlier in the weekend, Colvin rode Snowday, owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, to an impressive first prize in the $2,500 3’9″ Green Incentive Stake. In the $2,500 USHJA International Welcome Stake, Colvin piloted El Primero to second position overall, and also had another ride in the top results, with Gabriel jumping to sixth in the rankings. Gabriel matched his efforts in the $2,500 3’6″ Green Incentive Stake, navigating the expansive grass field at Deeridge Farms to high marks from the judges that ultimately earned him sixth place.

At only 21 years old, Colvin has certainly solidified herself as one of the best hunter athletes in the country, having championed major classes across the country, many of them multiple times. In the last year alone, Colvin won her second USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, making her only the second rider to have won the event more than once, as well as her fifth $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular and now second $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during the Deeridge Derby. Currently working with a strong team of people and horses in her corner, Colvin shows no signs of slowing down, and hunter fans can expect to continue to see her name in the winner’s circle.

For more information, please visit victoriacolvin.com.

Media Contact: Elaine Wessel
(561) 753-3389 | ew@phelpsmediagroup.com

Victoria Colvin Rides Private Practice to 2018 WCHR Hunter of the Year Award

Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 18, 2019 – This past weekend, Victoria Colvin once again displayed why she is consistently at the top of the leaderboard in hunter competitions across the nation, claiming the $100,000 USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular title at the Winter Equestrian Festival for the fifth time, this year aboard Brad Wolf’s Private Practice. After his shining debut year in the hunter ring, the flashy gelding was deservedly recognized as the best in hunter sport for the 2018 year earlier in the evening, when he was awarded the 2018 WCHR Hunter of the Year Award, after which he proved why he deserved the distinction by championing the highlight class. In a special awards ceremony before the main event, Colvin accompanied Private Practice’s owner Brad Wolf, who was presented with the prestigious Peter Wetherill Cup to celebrate the occasion.

“Winning this class four times as a junior rider was amazing, but winning it as a professional is very special to me. It is so perfect that Private Practice was given the WCHR Hunter of the Year Award earlier today and then we were able to prove why he really does deserve it,” commented Colvin. “We have already achieved so much and come so far in only one year together, and I think we still have a lot of success ahead of us. I can’t wait to see what else we are able to achieve.”

Over the course of the past year, Colvin and Private Practice have become an almost unbeatable team, racking up an impressive list of accolades that is highlighted by their victory in the 2018 $289,730 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship ahead of a talented field of the best in the country. Other top prizes throughout the year include the win in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during the Palm Beach Masters Series’ Deeridge Derby and the first place prize in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Aiken Charity Horse Show, among others. Outside of derbies, the pair has also accumulated countless blue ribbons in 3’9″ and 4′ divisions at horse shows across the country such as at the Devon Horse Show and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.

In Saturday night’s feature event, Colvin and the chestnut gelding bested a field of some of the country’s top hunter horses and riders, each having qualified for a slot in the night class by earning a champion or reserve champion title in weekly divisions at WEF. After finishing the classic round of riding in second position hot on the heels of Amanda Steege and Lafitte De Muze, Colvin and Private Practice made up ground with their signature high-scoring handy trip to surpass the early leaders and capture the overall title, adding yet another win to the duo’s quickly growing list.

Aptly named “Peter” in the barn, the gelding joins the ranks of only seven other horses to have received the distinction of a Peter Wetherill Cup recipient. He is joined by some of the United States’ most decorated hunter horses such as Dr. Betsee Parker’s Private Life, David Gochman’s Catch Me, Kensel LLC’s Mindful and Lynn Rice’s Gramercy Park.

In 2019, Private Practice will continue to make his mark on the hunter world, campaigning with Colvin in the professional divisions as well as derbies and his owner, Wolf, to top results in the Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions. Already shining as one of the top horses in the sport, Private Practice looks to have an even brighter future ahead of him as his experience grows.

For more information, please visit victoriacolvin.com.

Suzie Burgess’s Life-Size Art to Be Featured at Temecula Valley National Horse Show

Temecula, Calif. – Feb. 14, 2019 – With little more than two months until the first week of the flagship circuit, Nilforushan Equisport Events is ecstatic to announce that a series of exquisite life-size equestrian artworks from Suzie Burgess Art will adorn the VIP Tent at the Temecula Valley National Horse Show Series. A California-based painter renowned for her realistic depictions of horses, Burgess has graciously partnered with the Nilforushan management team to allow for a display of her beautiful pieces. Coupled with the thrilling sport and comfortable atmosphere that the Temecula Valley National Horse Shows foster, Burgess’s works will make the perfect addition to add to the appeal of the four-week long series.

“We are so thrilled to display Suzie’s incredible works inside of our VIP Tent at the upcoming horse show series. Much more than simply a way to enhance the venue, her equestrian works are captivating, and we expect them to be highlights and focal points of conversation, as they will surely draw eyes in the VIP space. I can’t wait for exhibitors and spectators to stand beside one of her life-size portraits and fall in love with them just as we have!” said Francie Nilforushan, one of the owners and managers of Nilforushan Equisport Events.

A lifelong horse lover, Burgess has transformed her passion into tangible results to become a growing name in the equestrian art sphere. Her masterpieces from various collections have been spotlighted at multiple showings on the West Coast, and her life-size portraits have most especially earned acclaim. An expert at completing realistic commissioned paintings as well as original work, Burgess is able to capture the intricacies of the equine spirit that can be enjoyed for lifetimes.

“My paintings enable the viewer to truly experience the horse on canvas. I paint these animals life-size, because I love being in their presence. Showing my work at Galway Downs is exciting to me because it’s a celebration of that mysterious connection we have with our horses, and what better place for these paintings to be viewed than around people who live and breathe that reality,” commented Suzie Burgess.

For more info please visit jump-nee.com or suzieburgessart.com.

Percherons Dominated Final Day of Inaugural Chesapeake International Draft Horse Show

Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 10, 2019 – The Chesapeake International Draft Horse Show concluded Sunday, February 10 with an exciting finish to the weekend on a beautiful day in Wellington. The afternoon, which benefited the EQUUS Foundation, exhibited two classes, the Eight-Horse Hitch and the Unicorn Class. Held at Crab Orchard Equestrian Estate, generously donated by Frank and Monica McCourt, crowds drew to see the gentle giants up close and cheer them on.

For each class, spectators watched in amazement as the gentle giants entered the arena. The two judges, Bob Shanahan of Ohio and Alan Freitag of Virginia, lined up in the middle of the ring to watch the team tests. The class consisted of teams completing three laps around the ring at the trot before changing direction across the diagonal. Trotting across the diagonal gives the drivers a chance to showcase their team’s skills individually to the judging panel. All hitches were then asked to demonstrate the natural gait, the walk, and the trot in the opposite direction to show the horses’ ability to work in unison under control. After being asked to line up in the center of the ring, the judges took a final look at the hitches’ presentations, while also asking for a demonstration the reverse gait. The final team scores were based on their ability to work together, head carriage, consistency, and the overall presentation of the hitch and driver.

The first class of the featured was the Eight-Horse Hitch, which showed crowds mass amounts of power paired with the agility of the draft breeds. Drivers kept precise control of each team of horses as they showed off for the judges. Horses were beautifully turned out, their manes braided and tack shining as they trotted around the arena. The Eight-Horse Hitch welcomed the draft breeds of Clydesdale, Percheron, and Belgian to go head-to-head in competition. The judges awarded first place to Express Ranches from Yukon, Oklahoma with their driver Josh Minshull. Second place went to Blue Ribbon Farm, based in Farmington, Missouri. In third was Zubrod Percherons from Guthrie, Oklahoma.

During the break, spectators got a chance to get up close and personal with Teddy, a rescue miniature pony that the EQUUS Foundation helped to rehome. Now owned by Georgina Bloomberg, Teddy is a prime example of the exceptional work that the EQUUS Foundation does. Also joining the EQUUS Foundation representatives were Jessica Springsteen and Clementine Goutal, who are both advocates for the foundation. The girls were treated to a ride in the hitches during the Unicorn class, getting a firsthand glimpse of what it is like to compete in the sport.

The final class of the weekend was the Unicorn class. As special as its name, the Unicorn class sees two horses in the back and one up front. Entering the class were 12 teams, all of them using their best horses as this class can be more challenging. Due to its unique structure, it is important that the horse in the front stays in the middle track and doesn’t sway side to side. This horse has to be well trained and confident to pull the cart forward on its own. Shining above the rest in this class were the Zubrod Percherons from Guthrie, Oklahoma, driven by Chad Zubrod. In second place was Express Ranches from Yukon, Oklahoma and rounding out the top three was Blue Ribbon Farm from Farmington, Missouri.

The Chesapeake International Draft Horse Show was lovingly founded by Victoria McCullough. Praised by crowds, friends, and competitors, the show celebrated its inaugural year with great turnout and tough competition. Benefiting two charities close to McCullough and her work in the equestrian town of Wellington, the Chesapeake International Draft Horse Show is proud to support the EQUUS Foundation and the Young Singers of the Palm Beaches.

For more information about the EQUUS Foundation, click here.

Media Contact: Lenore Phillips
561-753-3389 | lrb@phelpsmediagroup.com

Gentle Giants Bring the Thunder at Chesapeake International Draft Horse Show

Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 9, 2019 – Day two of the Chesapeake International Draft Horse Show at Crab Orchard Equestrian Estate started off with a big bang with the Six-Horse Hitch Classic Saturday. The day’s events included entertainment from the Young Singers of the Palm Beaches, as well as the Four-Horse Hitch and the Ladies’ Team Cart class. A large crowd gathered at the Crab Orchard Equestrian Estate, generously donated by Frank and Monica McCourt, for the beautiful day in Wellington, Florida to cheer on their favorite teams from Friday.

For each class, spectators watched in amazement as the gentle giants entered the arena. The judges lined up in the middle of the ring to watch the team tests which consisted of teams completing three laps around the ring at the trot before changing direction across the diagonal. Trotting across the diagonal gives the drivers a chance to showcase their team’s skills to the judging panel. All hitches were then asked to demonstrate the natural gait, the walk, and the trot in the opposite direction to show the horses ability to work in unison under control. After being asked to line up in the center of the ring, the judges took a final look at the hitches’ presentations, while also asking for a demonstration the reverse gait. The final team scores were based on their ability to work together, head carriage, consistency, and the overall presentation of the hitch and driver.

The Six-Horse Hitch Classic class was comprised of 13 teams that included all the draft breeds-Clydesdale, Percheron, and Belgian. The teams were split into four heats to allow them room in the ring to really show off their skills to the judge. The top five teams were then called back to allow the judge to make his final decision. In the end, it was the Express Ranches team from Yukon, Oklahoma, driven by Josh, who took the top honors. Coming in second was Blue Ribbon Farm from Farmington, Missouri, driven by Dean. Third place in the very competitive class went to the Zubrod Percherons from Guthrie, Oklahoma, driven by Chad.

After the entertainment it was time for the Ladies’ Team Cart, where women of all ages drove their wagons with two horses pulling them forward. All of the ladies had beautifully turned out teams and wagons and were dressed to match the part. In first place was Sugar Ridge RV from Danville, Vermont, driven by Mary Fernhoff. In second place was Blue Ribbon Farm from Farmington, Missouri, driven by Alli Woodbury. Finishing in third place was Express Ranches from Yukon, Oklahoma, driven by Jeanine Regier.

The day was capped off with the Four-Horse Hitch class, with six hitches coming back without their swing team. This was another large and highly competitive class, with the crowd cheering excitedly as the horses thundered by them. The judge awarded first place to Zubrod Percherons from Guthrie, Oklahoma, driven by Chad. Second place went to Blue Ribbon Farm from Farmington, Missouri, driven by Dean. Rounding out the top three was Express Ranches from Yukon, Oklahoma, driven by Josh.

Media Contact: Lenore Phillips
561-753-3389 | lrb@phelpsmediagroup.com

Larger Than Life Performance on First Day of Chesapeake International Draft Horse Show

Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 8, 2019 – The first day of the Chesapeake International Draft Horse Show in the equestrian community of Wellington, Florida took place Friday, February 8. Founded by Victoria McCullough, the Chesapeake International Draft Horse show was held at Crab Orchard Equestrian Estate, generously donated by Frank and Monica McCourt. Beautiful wagons painted in team colors showcased the heritage of the sport and made up the whole package as these teams displayed their skills to the judges. Showcasing the three breeds of draft horse, Belgian, Clydesdale, and Percheron, classes on Friday featured a six-horse hitch for each breed as well as a ladies’ cart.

For each class, spectators watched in amazement as the gentle giants entered the arena. The judges lined up in the middle of the ring to watch the team tests which consisted of teams completing three laps around the ring at the trot before changing direction across the diagonal. Trotting across the diagonal gives the drivers a chance to showcase their team’s skills to the judging panel. All hitches were then asked to demonstrate the natural gait, the walk, and the trot in the opposite direction to show the horses’ ability to work in unison under control. After being asked to line up in the center of the ring, the judges took a final look at the hitches’ presentations, while also asking for a demonstration the reverse gait. The final team scores were based on their ability to work together, head carriage, consistency, and the overall presentation of the hitch and driver.

The first class of the day was the Belgian Six-Horse Hitch, which saw four teams compete for the first blue ribbon of the inaugural Chesapeake International Horse Show. Originating in Belgium, the Belgian breed has the highest annual registration numbers. Starting the competition on an exciting note, the Belgians made a lasting impression on the crowd as they trotted around the ring cheered on by their fans. The first blue ribbon of the day was awarded to the Sugar Ridge RV owned hitch from Danville, Vermont, driven by Kirk. Second place went to the EH Perkins Construction hitch driven by Dusty hailing from Stowe, Massachusetts. The third-place hitch was driven by Sarah and owned by the Brockwood Belgians based out of Dayton, Pennsylvania.

The Clydesdales were then on display as the famed feathered giants took to the arena. Originally from Scotland, the Clydesdale is the most recognizable of all the draft breeds. Five teams hitched up for the class, and their presence was felt as they worked around the arena. The traditional tack of the horses was on display as it shined in the Florida sun. Winning the Clydesdale class was the Highpoint Clydesdales hitch driven by Freeman from Hooper, Utah. Coming in second place was the hometown favorite, Chesapeake Clydesdales, driven by Jim with assistance from the show’s founder, McCullough. Third place was awarded to Hunting Creek Farm, based in Hamptonville, North Carolina, driven by Chip.

Rounding out the six-horse hitch classes were the Percherons. Four teams competed in the class, all made up of beautifully turned out black horses. Originating in France and considered the smaller of the draft breeds, these horses still managed to make the ground shake and kick up the sand under their hooves as they thundered by spectators. Taking top honors was the Zubrod Percherons hitch from Guthrie, Oklahoma, driven by Chad. Coming in second was Express Ranches from Yukon, Oklahoma, driven by Josh. Third place was awarded to Blue Ribbon Farm from Farmington, Missouri, driven by Dean.

After an entertainment break, the ladies’ cart competitors were set to compete. Switching from wagons to two-wheel single carts, the ladies brought in one horse of their choosing to drive. The class showed off each draft breed and included both mares and geldings. Boasting a field of 12 competitive entries, the ladies split up into two groups of six to allow space to properly show off their skills. The ladies performed in the same manner as the six-horse, completing laps of the arena before changing direction, demonstrating walk-trot transitions before lining up and showcasing a reverse and allowing the judge to look over their overall presentation. Taking top honors in the ladies’ cart was the Express Ranch driver, Jeanine, who was beautifully dressed to match her shining wagon and jet black four-year-old Percheron, Joe. Coming in second was Sugar Ridge RV driver Mary and her Belgian mare, with third place going to Blue Ribbon Farm driver Alli, who showed a Percheron in the ladies’ cart.

Media Contact: Lenore Phillips
561-753-3389 | lrb@phelpsmediagroup.com