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Devon – It Just Couldn’t Have Been Any Better!



by Leeann Mione

DEVON, Pa. – Wow! There was a time when it looked like the Saddlebreds, Friesians, roadsters and Hackneys had all but given up on the Devon Horse Show, but this year was proof positive that that is no longer true. With the largest numbers in years, Devon was back on track and due to the hard work and dedication of a few, showcased the horses we love in front of record setting crowds.

It was almost as if Mother Nature understood just what a big deal it was to see such tremendous support for this grand horse show and she cooperated by keeping the rain away for the most part and showering the week with sunshine instead.

Devon
has long been one of the horse show communities most prestigious and tradition-laden events and offers our industry one of the best vehicles to showcase our horses in front of huge crowds.

The schedule was changed this year and Thursday night’s Grand Prix of Devon was moved to the last class of the night, so the coaching, Saddlebred, Hackney and roadster classes had the benefit of kicking off the night which was billed as “Devon At Sunset.” Even Louisville during the week doesn’t boast thousands and thousands of enthusiastic, knowledgeable, supportive spectators sitting in an absolutely packed house cheering their favorite horses and ponies.

Prior to the start of the Devon Grand Prix, former Olympic-show-jumper-turned-race-horse-trainer Michael Matz was on hand to be part of the festivities. The trainer of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro received a huge ovation from the crowd in support and recognition of his efforts in both the show jumping and racing industries and the tremendous heart of his grand campaigner.

From the beginning, a small group of die-hard Devon supporters known as the “Friends of Devon” showered each barn that made the trip to Devon with welcome gifts. Welcome baskets with apples, carrots and mints were put together by Pamela Augustin. One of those members and perhaps one of Devon’s most vocal and ardent supporters Minna Hankin Mintz had this to say about the show: “I think this show is so important to the breed. We need the exposure and have so few places to show that give us the opportunity to perform in front of so many people.”

Last year, a couple of generous supporters put up $20,000 “Devon Dollars” to use as incentives and rewards to the Saddlebred and Hackney barns that came to Devon. This year, that $20,000 was given by the Devon Horse Show. The money was given to trainers who brought the most horses and ponies, used as scholarships for junior exhibitors and as door prizes at Friday night’s spectacular exhibitors’ party.

Trainer Nealia McCracken, of North Wind Stables, earned $5,000 for bringing the most horses. Renny and Charlotte Carter, of Renn-Brook Stables earned $2,500 for bringing the most ponies. The remainder of the $10,000 earmarked for trainers was given to those bringing the second largest group of horses and ponies.

Rachel Shoemaker was one of the junior exhibitors who earned $1,000 as the winner of the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited class with Callaway’s Lloyd Stark and she chose to graciously give that money to Saddlebred Rescue.

Emma Jefferies, who won with Rosewood’s Potpourri in the junior exhibitor three-gaited class under the direction of Windy Hill Farm also earned $1,000, as did juvenile show pleasure winner Jordon Mattingly from Infinity and juvenile country pleasure winner Jessica Moctezuma of North Wind.

Where else can you walk away with a fistful of cash just for showing up? That’s how much this horse show means to those that have worked tirelessly to keep the Saddlebreds, Hackneys, Friesians and roadsters involved in Devon’s weeks long extravaganza.

The reward for those that wanted increased participation this year was exactly that – increased participation. Barns from all over the country and Canada traveled to Devon and provided not only great numbers in most divisions but deep competition as well. Numbers, especially in the pleasure divisions and pleasure driving divisions were awesome. Just earning a ribbon, let alone winning one of those classes was a feat in itself.

The hunter country pleasure division was added to the schedule this year for the first time in Devon’s 111-year history and it was well supported. The five-gaited stake Friday night featured six really nice entries and provided a great end to the night and a tricolor to The Echo Of Thunder with Jan Lukens up.

The trainers of the open stake winners, Jan Lukens, Mike Richardson and Gary Guz, were given gift certificates for stay at a resort as a reward for bringing their open contenders.

Jimmy and Helen Robertson brought their group to once again support the show and had numerous wins by the end of the week and a great time as well. “This was one of the most enjoyable horse shows that Jimmy and I have been to in a very long time,” said Helen Robertson.

Darlene Trento Wright returned to Devon after a 17-year absence and she also enjoyed the show and her group earned top ribbons all week long. Wright showed Cameo Appearance to a top three finish in the gaited stake and open class for Jody Goff. “[Jody Goff] asked last year if we could come to Devon, but we couldn’t work it into the schedule. The first time I came to this show, it rained all week long, but this year the weather has been great. They seem to be friendlier to the Saddlebreds than ever before and I think we’ll bring even more horses next year.”


Darlene Trento Wright returned to
Devon
after a long absence.

 

Carson Kressley has been one of the industry’s most visible and generous ambassadors. Like the other “Friends Of Devon” he has given not only money, but time and hard work to help promote the show horse breeds. The Devon Horse Show is one of those causes that Kressley has worked hard to support and promote and he had this to say about the show,

 

“In this day and age of competing for exposure for our breed, I think there is no better promotion than to show our horses doing what they do best – performing in front of a huge, knowledgeable crowd. We need not look any farther for a greater promotional vehicle [than the Devon Horse Show]. The product we are marketing is a show horse and the best way to market it is to show it in front of an audience. That is why I have been so adamant about not losing Devon or any other multi-breed shows like Harrisburg and Eastern States.

“While showing at single breed horse shows is convenient, they do not offer our breed any exposure whatsoever. If we lose these great old multi-breed showcases, then we risk just showing in front of ourselves and eventually our breed will become an even more esoteric regional curiosity. What we need to do is support these shows and not keep our breed a secret.

“It was so gratifying to see a ring full of Saddlebreds competing in front of an audience of many thousands on Thursday night. People love our breeds and respond so enthusiastically. And who knows? Maybe one of those watching will follow in the footsteps of current exhibitors like Minna Hankin Mintz and Annika Bruggeworth who fell in love with Saddlebreds by first seeing them at Devon.

“As a breed we can continue to explore internet ads, billboards and youth outreach, etc., all of which are great, but we cannot ignore the easy and instant exposure that showing in front of a crowd can provide. We also have to thank all those who gave donations and worked so hard on behalf of Friends Of Devon, in addition to show chairman Wade McDevitt who has been a champion of our breed and has really allowed us the opportunity to save those divisions when in fact they could have been eliminated. Peter Doubleday has also been an ally.”

Exposure is the name of the game in bringing new people to the industry and one of the industry’s best causes benefited greatly from the tremendous exposure at Devon. Thousands of people picked up literature and read about the efforts of Saddlebred Rescue, Inc. to save show horses from slaughter as they walked by the North Wind Stables stalls. McCracken and customer Pat Johnson work tirelessly on behalf of Saddlebred Rescue to find and adopt out show horses that are headed for the slaughterhouse.

Perhaps the greatest example of the efforts of Saddlebred Rescue came from Jem’s Harlem Dancer himself. With Erin McCracken on board, he earned the reserve title in the huge Adult Country Pleasure class at the age of 19. A productive and rewarding life indeed for a show horse that was headed for a sad fate in April of this year before being found and saved by McCracken and Johnson.


Saddlebred Rescue, Inc.’s booth at
North Wind Stables
 drew great interest
from passersby every day.

 

The Saddlebred Rescue, Inc. booth gave those walking by an opportunity to read about and see pictures of horses that have gone on to live meaningful lives as lesson horses, pets or even as show horses. An auction to benefit Saddlebred Rescue was hugely successful and offered a great selection of items including a statue of Pegasus by Linda Owen. Andi Bittker was the high bidder. Annika Bruggeworth bid and won the Hermes Scarf which was another high selling item. Kim Mattingly bought five vintage Devon posters and Skip Shenker bought the Saddlebred Museum’s DVD “Out Of The Shadows” and the book “A Forgotten Horseman: A Son’s Weekend Memoir” by Lee Downing.

Those items and many others graciously donated, in addition to the $1,000 given back by Shoemaker provided a hugely successful week for Saddlebred Rescue, Inc.

The auction to benefit “Friends Of Devon” had many reaching deep into their pockets including Misdee Miller who bought a Hermes throw and Hodge who bought the Lovely Brass Horse donated by Candi Covino.

In addition to the auctions, Friday night’s extravagant party also featured an open bar, catered dinner, band and six door prizes of $1,000 each. The party drew a big crowd and was further proof of how appreciated those that attended Devon were this year.

Championship coolers, donated by Misdee Miller, were presented to every championship winner, and special Pennsylvania-made tins of candy were presented to an exhibitor in every class.

Donations and hard work made coming to Devon a pleasure. Showing amidst deep competition in division after division made winning at Devon a great accomplishment.

Winning three times and retiring the trophy was an even more remarkable accomplishment and Rodney Hicks Stables proved they have it down to a science. Janet Hicks worked tirelessly all winter to get the numbers up for Hackneys at Devon and in fact, a really nice group of horses and ponies made the trip to entertain the crowd. She retired the trophy with Miss Excellence and Nathan Roden retired the trophy with Totally Excellent.

Another tremendous accomplishment was that of Kenneth Wheeler Sr., of Cismont Manor Farm. He once again won the “Best Young Horse Award” Thursday night with Capitol Hill. Wheeler has won the award every year since 2002 and has also celebrated his birthday at Devon each year.

In a year that has already seen the possible permanent demise of several horse shows including Cow Palace, Cleveland Classic and Kentucky Spring Premier, it was a tremendous relief to see such great support for Devon this year.

Entries were up last year and thankfully that trend continued this year. There were so many special touches by the Friends Of Devon and an overwhelming attitude of acceptance and welcome from the horse show, which let’s face it, makes a great deal of their money from the hunter/jumper contingent.

The goal of creating a show where all owners, trainers and exhibitors could have the best experience possible was accomplished. Devon is on the right track and poised to only get even bigger and even better from here on out.

Friends Of Devon

Pamela Augustin
Candi Covino Aversenti
Alan Balch
Sharon Ellingwood
Margot Feldman
Bob Funkhouser
Gary Garone
Gary Guz
Jean Heiney
Janet Crawford Hicks
Carson Kressley
Sarah Coxe Lange
Jan Lukens
Nealia McCracken
Misdee Wrigley Miller
Minna Hankin Mintz
Ashley Saunders Russo
Sheri Clement Wechsler

Five-Gaited

What a treat it was to see so many nice horses and ponies competing in the Dixon Oval. The knowledgeable crowds enthusiastically supported the Saddlebreds, Hackneys, Friesians and roadsters. Friday evening’s finale, the Five-Gaited Stake, capped off another day of great competition and ended the night in championship style.

Darlene Trento Wright riding Jody Goff’s Cameo Appearance was joined by Jimmy Robertson and Desert’s Gates Of Fire for Burbank and Collins, Callaway’s W.J. Bryan with owner Candi Aversenti, It’s Ballistic and Gary Garone for owner Jessica Warren and The Echo Of Thunder with Jan Lukens riding for Kingswood Stable. Red Handed and Karin Smith completed the group.

The Echo Of Thunder and Jan Lukens were pressed hard by the group and were working to defend their open class win to make it two for two. Garone and It’s Ballistic had finished in the reserve spot in the open class and were looking to take the tricolor back home to New Hampshire. In the end, results for these two hardworking teams were the same as in the qualifier. Cameo Appearance, Callaway’s W.J. Bryan, Red Handed and Desert’s Gates Of Fire completed the ribbon count in that order.

Macaroon and Lori Boyd Van Gorden have been consistently at the top of the ribbon count in their career together and they topped a strong group to win the ladies class under the direction of Infinity Stables. Harlem For President and Jean Heiney were the reserve champions.

Misdee Wrigley Miller had an extremely busy week at Devon showing both her Saddlebred entries and her Hackney Horses. Her Hillcroft Farm ended up with a bounty of blue and tricolor ribbons by the end of the week.

The Amateur Five-Gaited Stake, with nine competitive entries, was the division’s largest and such a nice way to close out the Saddlebred competition Saturday night. Miller and her powerful bay Lakeview’s Rare-A-Phi followed up their win in the amateur qualifier with a tricolor victory to add another win to her total. Enchanting Memories and Carson Kressley continued the great season they’ve got going with a strong team effort for the reserve streamers under the direction of Skip Shenker after their reserve in the qualifier. Macaroon exited the ring with the yellow ribbon for Ann Boyd.


Lakeview’s Rare-A-Phi and Misdee Wrigley Miller

 

Helen Robertson piloted Reedann’s Swashbuckler to the blue ribbon in the Junior/Novice Horse Five-Gaited class for owner Andi Bittker in their only appearance and topped a pair of talented competitors in the process.

Rachel Shoemaker rode Callaway’s Lloyd Stark to the blue ribbon in the junior exhibitor class for owner Sarah Coxe Lange.

Callaway’s Mystical Moment and Misdee Miller took the victory pass in the Five-Gaited Pro-Am class for Hillcroft and were followed in the ribbons by The Power Play and Allison Ehl, directed by Wentz Stables.

Three-Gaited

 

Mike Richardson directed Kaitlyn Grom to a very successful week at Devon. She went to the winner’s circle more than once with her various mounts including the Three-Gaited Stake. Heir Popper took the tricolor for Robert and Kim Grom, of Revelation Farms, after having won the open class. Our Embraceable Lady, winner of the ladies class with Lori Boyd Van Gorden, was the Three-Gaited Reserve Grand Champion from Infinity Stables.


Kaitlyn Grom and Heir Popper

 

The Ballroom Blitz and Karin Folkers were reserve in the open qualifier for Carole Jefferies amidst a group of four. Jefferies had another winner in the three-gaited division as well. Emma Jefferies rode Rosewood’s Potpourri to the win in the junior exhibitor class then returned in the amateur stake to take the title back to Windy Hill Farm.

Diana Kressley Billig rode Page Six to the reserve streamers in the amateur stake for Carson Kressley. Kressley had already claimed the red ribbon with Page Six in the amateur qualifier showing under the direction of Skip Shenker.

Nealia McCracken directed Taylor Bisanzio and The Talk Of Savannah to a second place finish in the junior exhibitor class and a reserve in the junior/novice class behind Roseridge’s Take It Slow. Michael Richardson rode the junior/novice champion for Revelation Farms.

Park

 

A trio of contenders came through the gate for the Park Stake, but when Judge Miller’s card was turned in, it was open champion I’m Simply Divine named to take the win with owner Kelly Vernon up.

Callaway’s Prime Rate and Carson Kressley were right there to take the reserve grand championship ribbon and continue a great week for Little Lexington Farm. Exceptional Charm and owner Phyllis Zuber put together the reserve effort in the open class.

Kaitlyn Grom kept the wins coming for Revelation and took two more victory passes when Jimmy Miller named Perfect Vengeance the Amateur Three-Gaited Park Grand Champion and amateur champion. Lydian and Hillary Senecal, representing William Woods University, were the reserve grand champions. The Big Dance and Rick Daigle turned in the red ribbon effort in the amateur qualifier under the direction of Fairfield South.

Fine Harness

 

Titleist Patrick headed to the winner’s circle in front of a big crowd to be named the Fine Harness Grand Champion with Gary Guz driving for Mika Ryan. Their tricolor followed up the reserve in the open class behind Seaforth’s Bonnie Lass. Margot Harwood, showing under the direction of John Champagne, drove for John T. Jones.

Castledream was in top order to take the blue in the Amateur Fine Harness class with Misdee Miller driving but he was even more fired up in front of the appreciative crowd and made it two for two with the amateur grand championship for Hillcroft Farm.

Last year’s defending grand champion Kiri took the reserve tricolor with Sheri Weschler in the viceroy. They also finished with the red ribbon in the amateur qualifier under the direction of John Champagne.

Roadsters

 

Dixon Oval, with its new and improved footing and enormous size is perhaps one of the greatest places to show a road horse and the Devon crowd was glad to see them and cheer them on.

No one was happier for Jennifer Robertson than her dad, Jimmy, when she took command of the ring with her Rum’s Last Shot to win the Roadster To Bike Grand Championship. Last year’s winner The Intimidator was reserve in the qualifier and when Jimmy Robertson drove Ann Boyd’s contender out of the ring in the championship, Robertson was smiling ear to ear as he headed back to Infinity Stables to congratulate daughter Jennifer.

Winner of the open class, Arragorn, was the reserve grand champion for Elizabeth Caldwell with Sam Brannon driving. Phil Austin drove Reiley to the red ribbon in the amateur class for Helen and Moree Thomas.

Ponies

 

Diana Kressley Billig drove Regal’s Rebel LF to the Roadster Pony Championship after having also taken the victory pass in the open class for Carson Kressley. Michigan’s Habanero and Nathan Roden exited with the reserve tricolor from Rodney Hicks Stables and also took the red ribbon in the open class.

Kayce Bell had so much fun taking the victory pass with her Heartland City Boy after winning the Amateur Roadster Pony Stake she looked poised to go around again in front of the big crowd. Their win made it a sweep of the amateur division for Bell.

Whims And Wishes was right there in the amateur stake to take the reserve ribbon with Chelsea Simon driving for Robert and Kim Grom. Mastercraft’s Gambler LF represented Wentz Stables with the reserve in the amateur qualifier. Alex Ververelli drove for owner Kathleen Ververelli.

Misty Hills had a good week at Devon under the direction of trainer Ryan Fornango. He drove Twin Willow’s Dimitri to the Harness Pony Grand Championship and also headed to the presentation area after winning the open class. Strictly Business and Sharon Francis added the reserve grand champion title to their total. Rodney Hicks drove the reserve champion to the win in the UPHA Harness Classic earlier in the week.


Twin Willow’s Dimitri and Ryan Fornango

 

Brooke Sweigart drove The Dutchman to reserve in the open qualifier to continue a great show for Sweigart Stables. Twin Willow’s Triumphant and Ryan Fornango took the red streamers in the UPHA Harness Pony Classic for Misty Hills.

Truly Naughty By Nature and Kathy Comeau haven’t been a team for even a full season yet, but they handled the big crowd, big ring and big competition with ease to make it a sweep of the amateur division. Comeau drove to the winner’s circle in the Amateur Harness Pony Championship and amateur class. Twin Willow’s Kaitlyn and Stacey Headwell finished next in the ribbon count in the amateur stake and Charles Semones drove Main Impression to reserve in the amateur qualifier for Charlotte Carter.

Rodney Hicks Stables went home with even more loot than expected when both Janet Hicks and Nathan Roden retired their respective trophies with their ponies.

Roden turned in a great drive with Totally Excellent to capture their third Hackney Pony Championship and retire the Hackney Hill Challenge Trophy. Unique’s Starlighter and Brooke Sweigart won the open class just ahead of Totally Excellent and Roden and returned to take the reserve ribbon in the open stake for C.G. Sweigart.

Marjorie Kenney kept Rodney Hicks Stable on a roll as she was called out as the winner with her pony The Marksman in the Amateur Hackney Pony Stake. The win made it two for two for Kenney. Mercedes Ben and Charles Semones drove up to take the reserve grand championship title for Charlotte Carter after the same finish in the qualifier.

Renny Carter drove Rennbrook Millennium to the blue in the UPHA Hackney Pony Classic for Renn-Brook Stables.

Not to be outdone, Janet Crawford Hicks drove Miss Excellence to her third consecutive win in the Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving Championship to also go home with permanent possession of the trophy. Hicks retired the Devon Horse Show Challenge Trophy and also won the pleasure driving qualifier.

Heartland Professor and Terra Ott took the reserve in both pleasure driving classes for owner Jennifer Stacy. Sam Brannon directed the reserve grand champions.

Megan Ryan stepped up to the plate in her first show with Gary Guz’s Time To Dance to win the junior exhibitor class in their only appearance. Atta Boy and Donald Pasquariell followed in the ribbon count for owners Kevin and Jeanne Gibbons.

Hackney Horse

 

The Hackney Horse division featured a nice group of four in both the championship and qualifier and Jimmy Miller named First Impression to the top spot in both classes. Art Alderman made the trip from Wellandport, Ontario, Canada to show his entry in front of the big Devon crowd. Shelburne, owned by Bent Tree Farm, was the reserve grand champion and reserve champion with Jimmy Robertson driving both times for Karen Waldron.


Art Alderman

 

Show Pleasure

 

Rick Daigle continued a great show at Devon when he entered the ring in the Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship with Liquid Thunder. Topping five other talented teams in the stake, Daigle headed to the winner’s circle under the direction of Fairfield South. Awesome Town and Allyson Ehle ended up in the same spot on Miller’s card in both classes. They took the reserve tie both times under the direction of Wentz Stables.


Rick Daigle

 

Jan Lukens rode Prince In The Park to the blue ribbon in the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic for owner Joellen Fisher Blount and was followed in the ribbons by Portree and Bill Shiflet. Shiflet rode for owner Stephanie Gonyaw.

Both the show pleasure and show pleasure driving divisions were huge and competitive. Watching nice horse after nice horse come through the gate in both divisions was such a pleasure and just one more reason why this year’s Devon was a show not to be missed.

The big crowd showed their appreciation for the competitors and enthusiastically supported their favorites. Jimmy Miller supported the junior exhibitor riders by putting them in the top two spots on his card in the championship. Sports Night, with Jordon Mattingly in the irons, was the Three-Gaited Pleasure Grand Champion. They came into the class as winners of the junior exhibitor qualifier under the direction of Jimmy and Helen Robertson.


Sports Night and Jordon Mattingly
with Helen Robertson

 

Star of The Millennium and Marissa Gillespie, the reserve junior exhibitor champions, finished behind Sports Night and Mattingly as the reserve grand champions. They showed under the direction of Darlene Trento Wright of Wright Way Stables.

Tangled Dreams and Michael Behr brought the blue ribbon back to Lukens Stables when they went to the head of the class in the big adult qualifier after a strong effort. Sultan’s Lovely Boy, only a five-year-old, handled the crowd both outside and inside the ring like a pro and finished with a top three in the championship and the reserve in the adult class with Stephanie Gonyaw up for Deborah and Sandra Brake. Bill Shiflet directed the reserve champions. Elaine Earlywine rode In The Game for Carolyn Banks to the third in the adult class.

Unclaimed was untouchable in the huge show pleasure driving championship and qualifier classes with Devon Garone handling the drives for owner Marie Brannon. The driving horses had their work cut out for them as the water was deep both times.

CH Lover’s Heir and Cassi Wentz were reserve in the driving championship for Wentz Stables after their top three finish in the qualifier. Starsnip Enterprise and owner Tamara Mitchell exited with the yellow ribbon in the championship. Midtown Magic and Claudia Fletcher turned in the reserve championship drive in the qualifier from Lukens Stables.

Country Pleasure

 

The country pleasure division was also very large and very competitive, and Devon Garone kept the Fairfield South ribbons coming when Miller named CH Heir Tight as the winner of the championship for Marsha and Gary Garone. Uwharries’s Patriot Sage and Kaitlyn Grom teamed up for the reserve streamers after winning the qualifier for Revelation Farms.

To think that just a short time ago Jem’s Harlem Dancer (Harlem Globetrotter x CH Candle Dance) was facing a precarious, if not deadly future, before being found by Saddlebred Rescue, was hard to believe as he came through the gate like the show horse that he is and faced the big country pleasure classes like a pro.

Nealia McCracken brought the aged gelding to Devon to showcase the cause and the efforts of Saddlebred Rescue, which was established by Christy Parker. McCracken and customer Pat Johnson spend virtually every week searching for horses that need to be saved. They have enthusiastically joined Parker in working to save show horses that might otherwise suffer a terrible fate. Devon offered a perhaps unequalled opportunity to reach thousands of people on what is being done and should continue to be done to save abandoned horses.

To say that the day Jem’s Harlem Dancer was found by Saddlebred Rescue, Inc., was his lucky day, is a tremendous understatement. He was every inch a star as he joined his fellow show horses to do what they do best… enthrall a crowd by putting on a tremendous show of heart, athleticism and willingness to please and succeed.

Erin McCracken rode Harlem Dancer to the Adult Country Pleasure Reserve Championship then returned in the stake for a top three finish. He accepted the accolades from those that came to see him afterwards as if he’s been doing it all his life, and perhaps for most of it he has.

Jessica Moctezuma picked up the blue ribbon in the junior exhibitor class with CH Callaway’s Royal Request. Moctezuma topped a strong group for the win. Kerry Jefferies, like her sister, Emma, had a big week at Devon and she earned top ribbons in more than one division under the direction of Karin Smith of Windy Hill Farm. CH Hurricane The Dance and Kerry Jefferies were the junior exhibitor reserve champions for South Ridge Farm.

Midnight Eclipse and The Sultan Look claimed the win and reserve respectively, in both the Country Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier. Nicholas Villa directed Midnight Eclipse and Elizabeth McCracken to both victories. Owner Sherrill Ducharme drove The Sultan Look to both reserves.

Pat Johnson and CH A Magic Surprise faced a talented group in the Western Country Pleasure qualifier and were named the champions. They then returned in the stake to make it two for two and claimed the tricolor. Alexandria Simpson rode Ultimate Fire to both reserve titles for Nancy Trent.

 

For the first time in Devon history, the hunter country pleasure division was added to the schedule and was very well supported with a versatile and proven group. When Donali Livinghouse’s number 467 was called out as the Hunter Country Pleasure Grand Champion, she was overwhelmed. Not only did Livinghouse become the first Devon grand champion, it was also her first time to show in the hunter division. Centerfold’s Ring Of Fire took the tricolor victory pass for Hannah Salvatore.

Aurora Blue and Julie Andrew teamed up to claim the reserve tricolor for Bryn Dewines Farm. Silver Sparkle and Jean Custer won the big qualifier and were followed in the ribbons by Chasing A Daydream. Owner Alix Kocher rode for the reserve.

Equitation

 

Four young ladies showcased their equestrian skills in the 17 and under class and again in the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship. Kerry Jefferies and Jessica Moctezuma kept the wins coming and they traded places between the two classes. Moctezuma took the title in the championship, with Jefferies winning the qualifier. They each finished second to the other in the stake and qualifier.

Miscellaneous

 

The Friesians were a big hit at Devon and had the crowd cheering them on in their Friesian Under Saddle Championship and both qualifiers. Annika Bruggeworth rode her Gooitzen Fan Teakesyl to the blue in the amateur class and came back to take the tricolor as well in the championship. Traci Massaro rode Klass Fan Synaeda to the reserve grand championship after a reserve in the open class for Bruggeworth. Bruggeworth was in the irons on Daimler B to win the open class and Carson Kressley rode Daimler to the reserve in the amateur class.

Coaching is one of Devon’s longstanding traditions and many members of the Saddlebred, Hackney and Friesian divisions have supported the various coaching classes at Dixon that never fail to excite the crowd and bring about generous applause. Misdee Wrigley Miller again this year, made her busy week even busier and showed her four in hand of Hackney Horses to top ribbons in the division.

Wrigley took the reserve in the Four-In-Hand Appointments class driving her Park Drag and claimed the yellow ribbon in the obstacles class. She switched gears and demonstrated how pleasurable it is to drive her matched four-in-hand by earning the suitable for pleasure four-in-hand reserve championship title for Hillcroft Farm.

Devon is one of the industry’s most prestigious and historic horse shows. Many, many champions have passed under the Devon arch into Dixon Oval to show in front of crowds that want to see them and appreciate their being there.

Fortunately, each year, an unbelievably dedicated and hardworking few is able to influence and convince some that this horse show is worth every moment, every penny spent and every ribbon earned for the sake of preserving Devon’s place in horse history. Not just Saddlebred history, but horses in general - for there are precious few opportunities such as Devon to showcase the talent, heart, courage of show horses to the kind of crowds that Devon brings every day.

Fortunately, the list of those who decide to put Devon on their show calendar seems to get bigger each year. This year’s show was a success on virtually every level and all those involved in making sure owners, trainers and exhibitors felt welcomed and appreciated went absolutely over the top to make that happen.

Hats off to Devon 2007 (or rather, in Devon tradition, hats on!) Let’s assume we’re on a roll and it will be even bigger and better next year. And the year after that . . .and the year after that . . . and so on and so forth.

 

This concludes the highlights from the 2007 Devon Horse Show and Fair. Complete results can be seen and searched by clicking here.

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