Tag Archives: gaited

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

Ceil Wheeler Rides Away with Tricolor at Roanoke Shenandoah Valley Horse Show

Ceil Wheeler and Callaway’s Brioni. Photo courtesy of Shiflet Photography.

Lexington, VA – June 28, 2017 – The Roanoke Shenandoah Valley Horse Show returned to the Virginia Horse Center on Wednesday, June 21, for the second year in a row. Exhibitors took to the Coliseum ring to compete for top honors, with championship pinning taking place throughout the weekend.

The Roanoke Shenandoah Valley Horse Show, previously held at the Salem Civic Center, was hosted by the Virginia Horse Center in 2016, and now in 2017 continued as a new event under new manager R. H. Bennett. The show began in 1972, and was been granted United States Equestrian Federation designation as a USEF Heritage Competition. The designation is only given to those competitions that have made substantial contributions toward the development of the sport, promote and practice equestrian ideals of sportsmanship, and have been established for a long period of time.

During this year’s competition, Ceil Wheeler and her own Callaway’s Brioni took home the tricolor in the ASB Ladies Five Gaited Championship. The reserve champion was presented to Phyllis Brookshire aboard Man on the Move for the class. Suzanne Wright and Fort Chiswell’s Wild Kiss earned the ASB Five Gaited Show Pleasure Adult championship, with the reserve championship going to Jennie Garlington riding Kalarama’s New Moon.

In the Hackney Pony Pleasure Adult Championship, it was Toni Nastali aboard Sandra Surber’s Heartland Resplendent that received the tricolor. The reserve champion in the Hackney division went Patty Hylton riding her own, Crystal Creek’s Legacy.

The win in the ASB Fine Harness Jackpot went to Larry Hodge aboard Trust My Imagination, owned by Hillcroft Farm. Hodge also took home the win in the ASB Five Gaited Jackpot, this time aboard Two Sweet to Kiss. The ASB Five Gaited Jackpot was dedicated to Matt Shiflet’s grandfather, Claude Shiflet, a trainer whose family has been coming to the Roanoke Valley Horse Show from the beginning. The Shiflet family was honored before the class.

The horse show welcomed exhibitors and spectators to this year’s event with “A Grand Celebration,” an inaugural evening filled with cocktails and delectable hors d’oeuvres. Guests had the opportunity to mingle with community business leaders and influential government officials on the concourse of the Waldron arena. Held during the second night of the show, guests enjoyed an open bar while watching USEF Saddlebred, Roadster, and Hackney action. They also had the chance to hone their skills in the judge’s box with “Be the Judge,” a special opportunity to rate competitors and present historic trophies to the winners at center ring. The night concluded with great music at the lively after party.

For more information about the Roanoke Shenandoah Valley Horse Show and the Virginia Horse Center, please visit www.horsecenter.org.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

US Saddle Seat World Cup Trial Participants Announced

Lexington, KY – The nation’s top saddle seat riders will compete in the 2012 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team Selection Trials held at William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri on March 31, 2012 in hopes of earning a spot on the 2012 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team. The Saddle Seat World Cup consists of a three-gaited and a five-gaited competition. At these Trials five team members and one alternate will be selected for each team. Athletes selected will represent the United States in December’s International Saddle Seat World Cup competition in South Africa.

The Saddle Seat World Cup is a bi-annual international competition that originated in the early 1980s as an informal exchange of saddle seat riders between the United States and South Africa. Teams from as many as five nations now compete for coveted World Cup titles.

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Merrill Murray and Courageous Lord Earn Third Consecutive Five-Gaited World’s Grand Championship

Merrill Murray and Courageous Lord. Photo: Jen Corcoran/E Motion

Louisville, Kentucky – It’s an annual tradition in Louisville. Champions are crowned, history is made, dreams come true, and sterling silver trophies glisten under the lights of Freedom Hall. American Saddlebred Horses, Roadster Horses and Hackney and Harness Ponies compete to be called a World’s Champion, a World’s Champion of Champion, or the most desired title: a World’s Grand Champion.

On Saturday, it was a three-peat triumph for rider/trainer Merrill Murray, who celebrated his third – and final – $100,000 Five-Gaited World’s Grand Championship victory atop the American Saddlebred gelding Courageous Lord.

The crowd cheered, clapped and whistled on Stake Night – the final night of the weeklong event – for Courageous Lord, clearly the fan favorite. After a crowd rousing victory pass, Murray thanked God, and his wife, blacksmiths, chiropractor, vet, farm owners, and fans of Courageous Lord. And mentioned the ride was no longer his.

The 10-year-old chestnut, trained by Murray, was sold to Peter and Lynn Via of Fox Grape Farms about a month ago. Murray announced after his grand performance, which included a work off, the ride now belongs to Dr. Owen Weaver.

In other stakes, Real Action, ridden by Peter Cowart, won the Three-Gaited Grand Championship, and Gabe Deknatel and The Daily Lottery repeated as champions in the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship.

Continue reading Merrill Murray and Courageous Lord Earn Third Consecutive Five-Gaited World’s Grand Championship