Devon, Pa. – June 1, 2018 – Following Thursday night’s spectacular performances in the $250,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4*, show jumping fans returned to the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair on Friday afternoon to watch USA’s David Raposa and his own Iliona capture the $35,000 Devon Speed Derby CSI4*, sponsored by Glycogard.
Beth Bidgood and Uprising Rise to the Occasion in Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’6″ Hunter Division
Beth Bidgood and her own Uprising started off with double blues in both over fences classes on Friday afternoon, the first day of the Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’6″ Hunter division at the historic Devon Horse Show, proving they are in top form after having a successful winter season showing in Florida at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).
Misdee Wrigley Miller Conquers Coaching Championship
With the conclusion of the $35,000 Devon Speed Derby CSI4*, attention in the Dixon Oval shifted to the Four-in-Hand Coaching championship, where Misdee Wrigley Miller took home the tricolor ribbon. Miller competed with her Holland and Holland Park Drag coach that was pulled by her team of four bay Dutch Warmbloods.
Devon, Pa. – May 31, 2018 – Thursday night at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair once again belonged to the “King of Devon” McLain Ward of Brewster, New York, who surpassed 31 contenders to claim the $250,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4* for a record tenth time in his career. Ward rode the 11-year-old Oldenburg mare, Clinta, owned by Sagamore Farms, around the famed Dixon Oval in front of a packed crowd, consisting of diehard show jumping fans to Pennsylvania locals, hoping to witness some of the greatest names in the sport of show jumping go head-to-head for the most coveted trophy in the Devon collection: the Celeste McNeal Harper Perpetual Trophy.
Hunt Tosh and Flamingo K Claim $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
Thursday afternoon at the Devon Horse Show brought top hunter horses and riders together to showcase their best efforts in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, sponsored by the Wheeler family. At the end of the afternoon, it was Hunt Tosh of Alpharetta, Georgia and Ceil Wheeler’s Flamingo K who bested the playing field of 30 other entries.
Amanda Murchison and CH Spread The Word Earn Three-Peat Devon Blue in Adult Three-Gaited English Show Pleasure
The Dixon Oval saw “Devon at Sunset” take place on Thursday, where highlighted events included the Adult Three-Gaited English Show Pleasure class with eight horse-and-rider combinations. For the third year in a row, it was Amanda Murchison and her own CH Spread The Word who took home the Robin Hill Challenge Trophy in the competitive class.
Scott Stewart and Private Life. Photo: The Book LLC.
Devon, Pa. – May 30, 2018 – Few people have had as much success in the hunter ring as Scott Stewart, but being able to come to the prestigious Devon Horse Show and secure this year’s Devon Grand Hunter Championship and Devon Leading Hunter Rider award with Dr. Betsee Parker’s Private Life was as rewarding as ever for the renowned hunter rider and trainer.
Andrew Kocher Clinches Second FEI Win in $35,000 Devon International Speed Stake CSI4*
International show jumpers returned to the Dixon Oval on Wednesday to compete in the $35,000 Devon International Speed Stake CSI4*, sponsored by Herr’s. Pennsylvania native Andrew Kocher (USA) outpaced 28 horses and athletes with MKO Equestrian LLC’s Zantos II to ride away with the win and the George T. Pew Jr. Memorial Perpetual Trophy in the one-round speed competition.
Debra Taylor Fulfills Devon Dream Picking Up Ladies’ Side Saddle Championship
Ladies’ Day at the Devon Horse Show featured the long standing tradition of the Ladies’ Side Saddle championship. Horse-and-rider combinations competed in an undersaddle class, a hunter hack and an over fences class. At the end of an impressive show of skills from all competitors, it was Debra Taylor and Hypnotic (with trainer Susan Sisco riding over fences) who accumulated the most points to take home the championship ribbon.
Devon, Pa. – May 29, 2018 – The Dixon Oval welcomed its first international show jumping competition at the 2018 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair on Tuesday evening with the $50,000 Jet Run Devon Welcome Stake CSI4*, sponsored by 5R Farms LLC – Helen Rich. Thirty-two horses and athletes went head-to-head for the first place prize, but it was USA’s Ali Wolff who risked it all to come away with her first Devon jumper win aboard Blacklick Bend Farm’s Casall.
Hunt Tosh and Bastogne Bring Home Green 3’6″ Hunter Championship
The championship tricolors for the professional hunter divisions were awarded on Tuesday in the Dixon Oval at the iconic Devon Horse Show, and in the Green 3’6″ Hunters, it was Hunt Tosh and Douglas Wheeler’s Bastogne who took home top honors.
P. J. Crowley Takes the Tricolor in Single Horse Driving Championship
To finish out the evening in the Dixon Oval, the Single Horse Driving division took place with nine entries. The Devon blue was stolen by P. J. Crowley after accumulating the most points in the Single Horse Pleasure Driving Turnout and the Single Horse Scurry. Reserve champion was captured by Steve Wilson in his Brewster County Gig carriage.
Devon, Pa. – May 28, 2018 – For the second consecutive year, Lindsey Tomeu of Wellington, Florida rode to championship honors in the Adult Amateur Jumpers at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. After earning the reserve championship in 2016 and championship in 2017 with Bonapart, Tomeu went one step further in 2018 to claim both the championship with Gold Lux, owned by AM Free, Inc., and reserve championship with Bonapart, owned by DBHC, Inc. The 24-year-old athlete rode to a one-two finish in the $7,500 NAL/WIHS Adult Amateur Jumper Classic to secure the division’s top prizes with her two mounts on Monday.
Tori Colvin and Private Practice Start Strong in Green 3’9″ Hunter Division
The famous Devon Horse Show brought the best juniors together for Junior Weekend, but on Monday it was the professional athletes’ chance to have the spotlight in the Dixon Oval as Senior Week got underway. Tori Colvin and Brad Wolf’s Private Practice had back-to-back wins over fences in the Green 3’9″ Hunter division as a packed crowd looked on.
Steve Wilson and Nichole Jansen Take Top Prizes in Horse Pairs and Single/Pair Pony Driving Championship
Spectators gathered around the Dixon Oval on Memorial Day to witness the presentation of the tricolors for the Horse Pairs and the Single/Pair Pony Driving championship. Steve Wilson and his two grey Dutch Warmbloods received top honors in the Horse Pairs championship after accumulating the most points throughout Sunday’s competition. Later, it was Nichole Jansen and Littletree Limited Edition who took home the tricolor in the Single/Pair Pony Driving championship.
Carson Kressley and Famous Kiss. Photo: Devaney Iglesias.
Devon, Pa. – March 23, 2018 – A vision of spirited beauty and power, the American Saddlebred excels in the show ring, demonstrating two unique gaits to the breed: 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 2018 Devon Horse Show, schedule for May 24 – June 3.
Spectators can expect to see all of the five primary disciplines represented at the Devon Horse: 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 shaved manes 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, June 2nd 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. Dainty 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.
Last year, 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.
Devon, Pa. – June 4, 2017 – For the third year in a row, Venture Stable’s Richard Taylor of Montpelier Station, Virginia was the handler of the winning Best Young Horse at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. This time, it was Renoir, owned by Susan Tice-Grossmann, who won the honors in the Dixon Oval on the final day of the historic show.
Sponsored by Renaissance Farm, the class presented the award and the Kenneth Wheeler Perpetual Trophy to Renoir, who is by Rosenthal out of Parabol. Bred by John Barilar, the 2-year-old Oldenburg colt was on his best behavior and impressed the judges throughout the duration of the class.
Originally sitting in second place, the pair moved up to take the top spot from second place finisher, Solaris EMF, owned by Cismont Manor Farm, who was handled by Kenneth Wheeler, Sr. While Taylor did not show Renoir as a yearling at Devon in 2016, due to holding the Wheeler family’s Arbor Hill with whom he won Best Young Horse with for the past two years, this year was Renoir’s time to shine.
To prepare Renoir for Devon, Taylor showed the colt at the Rose Mount Farm Horse Show as well as the Keswick Horse Show and felt he was ready after competing at those venues. Renoir has a simple routine and lives with his owners at their farm in Keswick, Virginia. Susan and Chuck Grossmann supervise and participate in every aspect of Renoir’s program, and Taylor acknowledged that was undoubtedly a contributing factor to his top performances on Sunday.
Looking ahead, Taylor has his sights set on competing with Renoir in the Sallie B. Wheeler/US Hunter Breeding National Championship in August.
Following the Best Young Horse competition, the Leading Handler Award, sponsored by Renaissance Farm, and the Michael E. Grady Memorial Perpetual Trophy was presented to Oliver Brown of Reva, Virginia.
While Sunday marked the conclusion of the 2017 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, the always highly anticipated event looks forward to returning in 2018 on May 24 through June 3.
Devon, Pa. – June 1, 2017 – Thursday night at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair belonged to world number two ranked rider McLain Ward of Brewster, New York, who surpassed 28 contenders to claim the $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4* for the ninth time in his career. Ward rode the 16-year-old chestnut Warmblood, Rothchild, owned by Sagamore Farms, around the famed Dixon Oval in front of a packed crowd, consisting of diehard show jumping fans to Pennsylvania locals, hoping to witness some of the greatest names in the sport of show jumping go head-to-head for the most coveted trophy in the Devon collection: the Celeste McNeal Harper Perpetual Trophy.
Great Britain’s Kelvin Bywater put riders to the test, challenging the international field of athletes with his technical first round track consisting of 12 obstacles each set at 1.60m in height.
Jonathan McCrea (USA) set the tone for the evening as the first to navigate the course fault-free aboard Candy Tribble’s Aristoteles V. Second to turn in a clear ride was Devin Ryan (USA) riding his own Cooper, while Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) gave Luibanta BH a clear ride for Gochman Sport Horse LLC. The remaining riders to join the jump-off were Aaron Vale (USA) riding Finou 4, owned by Thinks Like A Horse, and Ward and Rothchild.
In the end, Rothchild reigned supreme for the second time, after also winning with Ward in 2013, in the five-horse jump-off, thrilling spectators and galloping through the timers in a speedy 41.21 seconds.
McCrea was first to return to take on the shortened course, and set the time to beat at 4 faults in 46.260 seconds, which would earn him fifth place at the end of the evening. Ryan was second to return and was the first to clear the course penalty-free in 42.110 seconds, garnering him second place honors in the final standings. Derbyshire followed with another fault-free round, finishing just behind Ryan in 42.560 seconds, which would be good enough for third place. Vale returned as fourth in the jump-off order-of-go, but added 4 faults to his name in 42.950 seconds to finish in fourth place.
The enthusiastic crowd erupted as Ward and his longtime partner, Rothchild, were the final pair to cross the finish line with all of the rails intact. The ever-expressive gelding threw his infamous buck at the end of his stellar performance, knowing he had secured the title of $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4* champion.
Rothchild and Ward continue to make headlines with their impressive performances throughout the world, including those at the 2015 Pan American Games where the pair won individual gold.
To conclude the night, Beezie Madden (USA) was presented with the Richard E. McDevitt Style Award for displaying the best style of riding throughout the evening aboard Breitling LS.
Maggie Jayne and Standing Ovation Victorious in $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
After cooler weather earlier in the week, blue skies and sun set the stage for the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, sponsored by the Wheeler family, at the iconic Devon Horse Show. Thirty-one horse-and-rider pairs were put to the test and brought many spectators elbow-to-elbow on the fence line of the Dixon Oval to catch a glimpse of the action.
The two panels of judges consisted of Rick Fancher, Chris Wynne, Bob Crandall and Bobbie Reber. The lead score of 178 in the classic round was tied between Tori Colvin aboard John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC’s Cuba and Pony Lane Farm’s Standing Ovation, ridden by Maggie Jayne, for much of the first round. Allen Rheinheimer designed the course, which consisted of 11 obstacles with four high-option fences for those looking to increase their score. Both riders opted to jump all high-option fences in the classic round.
It was not long before Tracy Fenney entered the ring and laid down a trip worthy of the new leading score with MTM Farm’s MTM Outbid, collecting a score of 182.5 after expertly navigating all four high-options.
The top 12 riders in the classic round were called to the winner’s circle to take their ribbons before competing in the handy phase. Taking home top honors in the classic round was Fenney and MTM Outbid, while Standing Ovation earned the second place ribbon and Cuba secured third place.
The leading combinations returned in reverse order in hopes of impressing the judges to move up in the standings and collect valuable points towards the upcoming USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship in August.
In the handy phase, Standing Ovation and Jayne were third to last to go. They separated themselves from the pack to ultimately claim the highest overall score of 375 points, once again nailing every high-option and proving the 10-year-old Warmblood stallion’s rideability to nab a score of 197 from the two judging panels in the handy phase.
The reserve champion tricolor award was given to Colvin and Cuba, who jumped three of the four high-options in the handy to end with a total of 367 points overall. Cuba also walked away bearing the Shapley’s Best Turned Out award.
Redfield Farm’s Baranus rounded out the top three with Cassandra Kahle in the irons after returning from the first round sitting in eighth place with 167 points. Kahle knew she had to step up her game if she wanted a chance to move up in the ribbons so she and Baranus successfully took on all four high-options in the handy round. The duo garnered the third place ribbon after collecting an overall total of 361 points.
In fourth place with a total score of 360.50 was Candid, owned by veteran hunter rider Jennifer Alfano, ridden by Kristy Herrera. Herrera, longtime student and friend of Alfano, was the winner of the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship aboard another Alfano-owned mount, Miss Lucy. The winners of the first round, Fenney and MTM Outbid, finished the class in fifth place overall with 356.5 points.
Amanda Murchison Earns Back-to-Back Devon Blues in Three-Gaited English Show Pleasure
Word after waiting nearly 30 years to compete at the historic showgrounds. It has also always been one of Murchison’s dreams to win a Devon blue in front of the Dixon Oval crowds. Murchison fulfilled that dream not once, but twice as she rode away with the Robin Hill Challenge Trophy for the second year in a row in the Adult Three-Gaited English Show Pleasure class on Thursday.
Murchison of Hookset, New Hampshire and CH Spread The Word have been working together for about three years. In that time, the duo has claimed some of the highest honors within their discipline. Together, they’ve won the United Professional Horsemen’s Association American Saddlebred Adult Amateur Show Pleasure Horse of the Year and the reserve World’s Champion of Champions Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure.
In the Junior Five-Gaited Saddle Horse division, Sallie-Mason Wheeler and Ceil and Kenny Wheeler’s Bodidly rode away with the first place prize. Gabriella Snyder and Callaway’s There’s No Stopping Us earned second place, while Julia Wester and The Paper Girl JJW finished in third place.
Devon Donates $430,000 to Bryn Mawr Hospital
The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair and the Bryn Mawr Hospital have been longtime partners in the community. This past December, following its 120th anniversary, the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair presented a $430,000 donation to Bryn Mawr Hospital.
The donation is the third installment of a five-year, $2 million pledge made by the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair in support of Bryn Mawr Hospital’s modernization project.
Devon Horse Show chair Wayne W. Grafton, Devon Horse Show president Richard O’Donnell and the 2016 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair co-chairs Karin Maynard and Beth Wright presented the donation to Bryn Mawr Hospital president Andi Gilbert.
“Devon has been extremely generous towards Bryn Mawr Hospital for nearly 100 years. Their extraordinary $2 million pledge towards our ‘For Every Generation’ capital campaign is just the latest example of their generosity,” said Gilbert. “These volunteers give up themselves year round so that we can provide an enhanced experience for our patients and families.”
The $253 million modernization project, the most significant investment in Bryn Mawr Hospital’s history, was put into motion so that the 123-year-old hospital can continue to provide and improve upon its exceptional patient care. The project will include a new intensive care unit to be named in honor of the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair.
“It’s an honor to be a longstanding contributor to Bryn Mawr Hospital,” said Grafton. “The ability to present this check each year is directly tied to the success of the show, which is run by thousands of volunteers to whom we are grateful.”
Devon, Pa. – May 31, 2017 – Scott Stewart of Wellington, Florida has been coming to the Devon Horse Show for many years to compete in the professional hunter divisions, but despite winning at the event countless times, the prestige of coming to the historic horse show and earning the Devon Leading Hunter Rider award continues to be a special accomplishment for him.
Dr. Betsee Parker’s Cameo, one of Stewart’s many mounts, took home the Devon Grand Hunter Championship award and the Fourth Sally Deaver Murray Memorial Challenge Trophy on Wednesday after also earning the championship tricolor in the High Performance Working Hunter division.
On Tuesday, the pair received two high scores of 92 to claim both blue ribbons in the over fences rounds. The duo topped the handy round on Wednesday, finishing with an impressive score of 89, took third place in the stake class with a score of 89 and also nabbed the undersaddle. Originally a breeding stallion in Europe, Stewart spotted the now 10-year-old Warmblood gelding in 2013 and knew he had the potential to prosper in the hunter ring. Stewart only brings him out to compete a few times each year at the country’s foremost venues, and Devon is one of them.
Taking the reserve champion ribbon in the High Performance Working Hunter division was Jennifer Hannan aboard Flamingo-K, owned by Equinimity LLC.
In addition to Cameo, Stewart campaigned three other Dr. Parker-owned horses in the Dixon Oval: Private Life, Lucador and A Million Reasons. While Lucador shows in the High Performance Conformation Hunter division, Private Life is known for being a winning combination with Stewart in the Green Conformation Hunters. A Million Reasons achieved not only top ribbons in the High Performance Working Hunter division at the 2017 Devon Horse Show, but was also called into the winner’s circle to take the Leading Mare award and the “Bunty” Sellers Perpetual Trophy for the second year in a row.
To make his victories that much sweeter, Stewart accumulated the most points to secure the highly-coveted Devon Leading Hunter Rider award and the Helen Hope Montgomery Scott Perpetual Trophy for the thirteenth time.
Gillian Beale King and Alta Mira Win Ladies Side Saddle Championship
Ladies Day at the Devon Horse Show and County Fair featured a long-standing tradition: the Ladies Side Saddle championship. The hunter hack and over fences classes were featured in the Dixon Oval during the day on Wednesday, and competitors returned later in the evening to compete under the lights for the final under saddle class before pinning the champion. Ultimately, the True Blue Challenge Trophy was awarded to Gillian Beale King and Natalie Peterson’s Alta Mira.
It has been a dream of King’s to earn a Devon tricolor since she first started coming to the Devon Horse Show when she was a little girl. King and Alta Mira finished off the division with a first, second and third place ribbon. Debra Taylor and Hypnotic earned the reserve champion tricolor to round out the division.
Side saddle has been a part of the Devon Horse Show tradition for as long as anyone can recall. The style of riding was first introduced in Great Britain by Anne of Bohemia in 1382, at the time of her marriage to King Richard II. It introduced a more independent way of travel, since travel was primarily through cart or carriage back then.
Budweiser Clydesdales to Perform at Devon
The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales will be performing at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair on Friday, June 2, and Saturday, June 3, weather permitting. The Clydesdales will parade around the Dixon Oval, pulling the Budweiser wagon with the signature Dalmatian dog riding along.
The hitch that will be performing at Devon this year comes from Merrimack, New Hampshire and there are 10 Clydesdales with the crew. Eight horses go out on the hitch each day, with two resting per day. The New Hampshire hitch is one of three traveling hitches, while the other two are based out of Colorado and Missouri.
This hitch travels 10 months out of the year and they will stay at Devon until the final day of the show. From here, the hitch goes back to New Hampshire to rest before heading back out on the road to perform in York, Pennsylvania and Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
This year, while the “East Coast Hitch,” as they are commonly known, has been at Devon, they have also been attending other events in the area. On Memorial Day, the crew went to the Pottstown Memorial Day Parade. The day before, they attended an event in Media. The hitch has been taking single horses out to Anheuser-Busch distributors as well.
The Budweiser Clydesdales have a storied history. Anheuser-Busch first acquired a hitch of Clydesdales when August Busch Jr. gave them to his father, August Sr., as a gift to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition. The Clydesdales went on a tour of the United States to thank those who had made the repeal possible, and they have been traveling across the nation ever since.
The Clydesdales are known as ‘gentle giants.’ On average, they each weigh 2,000 pounds and are 18 hands tall, which is approximately 6 feet. All of the Budweiser Clydesdales are similarly marked, with a bay coat, black mane, white blazes down the nose and white legs.
In just one day, the Clydesdales eat about 40 pounds of hay and drink between 25 and 30 gallons of water, which is in addition to a portion of grain each day. The hay and bedding for all of Budweiser’s 150 Clydesdales comes from one farm.
The wagon that is a part of this hitch dates back to the 1900s and weighs 9,000 pounds. The Dalmatian who rides on the wagon is another Budweiser trademark and each hitch has at least one. The Dalmatians used to help watch the hitch back when the Clydesdales were used for deliveries. They would run on the side of the wagon and protect the products. The Dalmatians have been traveling to performances with the Clydesdales since the 1950s.
“We are thrilled to have the Budweiser Clydesdales come to Devon – ‘Where Champions Meet.’ Our spectators are thrilled to have them perform and all of us from Devon are proud to have them as our guest. A big thank you goes to Anheuser Busch and Penn Distributors for their help in getting this exhibition to Devon,” said Rich O’Donnell, Devon Horse Show president.
Sarah Kozumplik Murphy and Rubens D’ysieux (Photo: The Book LLC)
Devon, Pa. – May 28, 2017 – Sunday evening at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair highlighted a brand new kind of competition, Devon Arena Eventing, based on two of the three disciplines that make up three-day eventing: cross-country and stadium jumping. The event attracted a new realm of spectators including eventing enthusiasts. A total of 23 international eventing horse-and-rider combinations participated in the new event, where USA’s Sarah Kozumplik Murphy and Rubens D’ysieux came out on top to take home the first winning title.
The Devon Arena Eventing competition, presented by Mid-Atlantic Packaging, was designed to maximize the facilities, showcasing the best of what Devon has to offer.
The course was designed by Captain Mark Phillips, Olympic gold medalist, former coach of the U.S. Olympic eventing team and renowned international course designer. Phillips spent several hours at Devon evaluating the facilities and believes the venue is an excellent host for arena eventing.
Horses and riders entered must have attained a qualifying score in a CCI2* or be competing at 1.40m in show jumping to participate in Sunday’s Devon Arena Eventing class.
The first round took horses and riders through both the Gold Ring and Dixon Oval over 25 obstacles, and faults were given for knockdowns and exceeding the maximum time. Approximately 15 fences were typical obstacles found on a standard cross-country course, while the remaining were show jumping fences. Fences were up to 1.20m in height, brush up to 1.40m and spreads up to 1.60m.
The second round brought back the top 12 to compete in a jump-off over a shortened course in the Dixon Oval. Murphy and the 11-year-old Selle Français gelding, owned by Rubens D’ysieux Syn. LLC, completed both phases with no penalties, finishing the jump-off in 75.03 seconds for the win.
Coming in second place was USA’s Jennie Brannigan and Nina Gardner’s Cambalda. The pair also completed both rounds with no faults and stopped the timers in 79.05 seconds at the end of phase two. Rounding out the top three was USA’s Erika Nesler and Doug and Cindy Howe’s Right Above It. They crossed the finish line in 80.92 seconds to also end on a final score of zero penalties.
There are four other major horse shows that have also developed these special competitions: the Wellington Eventing Showcase, the Stuttgart German Masters, the Royal International Horse Show in England and The Royal Horse Show in Toronto.
The Devon Arena Eventing competition was met with the highest standards and was supported by top riders. From the eventing side, Phillips, David O’Connor, the current U.S. eventing chef d’équipe, and U.S. Rio Olympians Phillip Dutton and Boyd Martin. Kevin Babington was also on board and encouraged competitors from the show jumping world to participate.
Victory for Katharine Dade and National Treasure in Pony Jumper Championship
Sunday of Memorial Day weekend marked the culmination of Junior Weekend at the historic Devon Horse Show, but for Katharine Dade and her own National Treasure it also meant a triumph in the Pony Jumper Championship. All eyes shifted to the junior riders and their speedy ponies on course as they vied to make it through the finish line clear and in the fastest time.
Dade, of Gilmanton Ironworks, New Hampshire, only began campaigning in the jumper ring this year. Previously, she rode in the pony hunters, but she hasn’t looked back since making the switch over to the jumper ring.
On Saturday, Dade and her 16-year-old chestnut Welsh Pony Cross mare snagged the blue ribbon after going clear in the $1,000 Pony Jumper class with the fastest time of 29.179 seconds in a six-horse jump-off. The 15-year-old superstar has been training for the past 10 years with Gretchen Anderson out of Apple Knoll Farm in New Boston, New Hampshire.
After spectators had the privilege of watching top-notch junior hunters, equitation, jumpers and carriage driving throughout the weekend thus far, they witnessed 15 contenders battle it out for top honors and generous prizes on Sunday to round out the Pony Jumper Championship. Dade claimed Sunday morning’s second class of the division in a seven-horse jump-off, while Bridgid McMurtrie’s Wishlea Star Dasher, who won the 2016 Pony Jumper Championship at the Devon Horse Show, and Alice Nolen-Walston rode to victory in the $2,500 Pony Jumper Classic out of a three-horse jump-off.
The crowd stood eagerly alongside the sidelines hoping to catch a glimpse of the pony jumper action in the Dixon Oval. Course designer Kelvin Bywater of Great Britain put riders to the test with his challenging tracks, which quickly narrowed down the playing field to the most talented two- and four-legged athletes.
To make Dade’s championship win that much sweeter, she and National Treasure were honored with the Leonard Tose Memorial Challenge Trophy. The reserve champion ribbon went to Alice Nolen-Walston and Wishlea Star Dasher. Awards presentations wrapped up with the Pony Jumper Style Award being given to Audrey Schulze and Gayfields Talladega Knight.
51st Carriage Pleasure Drive Carries on Tradition at Devon
The Devon Horse Show and County Fair has prided itself on the tradition that is showcased throughout its historical grounds since the very first show held in 1896. The Carriage Pleasure Drive has been a part of the Devon tradition for over 50 years and continues to entertain and excite exhibitors and spectators alike each year on the Sunday before Memorial Day.
Crowds filled the stands to watch in awe as the horses, carriages, whips and passengers gracefully parade around the Dixon Oval. Immediately following the initial inspection, competitors tackled a 4.5-mile drive through the picturesque neighborhoods of Devon, Pennsylvania.
In the 51st running of the Carriage Pleasure Drive, Molly Neville of Collins, New York came away with the coveted Carriage Pleasure Drive championship award. Neville, piloting Helen Lenahan’s pair ponies in the Relhok Serenity Blue carriage, received the championship apron as well as the Robert and Virginia Weaver Challenge Trophy for best turnout overall. Sunday’s championship was made all the more sweet as Neville accepted her awards in memory of Lenahan who just recently passed away.
In the Two-Wheel Single Harness division, Tanya Mackeand was awarded the blue in her Dog Cart. The blue in the Four-Wheel Single Harness division was awarded to Betsy Demarino Vmd, who was driving her 150-year-old vehicle, the Moor and Sons Ralli Car.
Competitors in the Double Harness-Pairs-Tandems division were next to receive their awards, where a familiar name earned the Orleton Farm Challenge Trophy, Richard O’Donnell. O’Donnell, president of the Devon Horse Show, piloted his 1880 original Spider Phaeton carriage to earn top honors. The Carriage Pleasure Drive Amateur Whip Award and Susie S. Buchanan Perpetual Trophy was also awarded to O’Donnell for exemplifying the tradition of carriage driving at the highest level.
Frances and Wayne Baker in the Roof Seat Break carriage earned the Third Susan Addis Challenge Trophy in the Four-in-Hand division. The Martin Auctioneers Inc. Perpetual Trophy was awarded to Mrs. Collin F. McNeil in her Saylor Wagon/Governess Cart for her win in the Two-Wheel Single Harness Pony division.
The winner of the Four-Wheel Single Harness Pony division was Zana White in the Sailor Wagon. Carriage Pleasure Drive champion, Neville, also received the individual blue in the Pony Double Harness-Pairs-Tandems division.
Devon exhibitors always anticipate the arrival of Roberta O’Dell’s eclectic and entertaining carriages to the Dixon Oval. This year she showcased her “Popcorn Wagon” that was pulled by her four white mules in the Light Commercial and Farmer’s division.