The DAD performance division was in full swing this week, with the more than 40 entries in the Prix St Georges, 4, 5, and 6 year old tests, Pony Team Test, FEI Young Riders Team. This year a diverse group of horses climbed to the FEI levels including an Akhal-Teke (a horse breed from Central Asia), a Thoroughbred, a Connemara and a Welsh/Gypsy.
Ladies Show Off their Hats
A group of women gathered in the Dixon Oval on Friday afternoon to exhibit their distinctive hats. Lauren Poppel, adorned with black lace wings and a hat that was home to a pink unicorn, flew away with the Judges’ Choice award. The Most Equestrian Inspired award went to the All Design Equine Dream Team, which included Lorri Shave, Nicole Spitler,
Karen Castelli and Marla Thompson. Each wore a black shirt featuring a hand painted horse doing a shoulder in, feathered hats and dressage whips aflutter with red gauze. The Dixon Divas and Dixon Chicks were co-winners of the Most Creative award. The Dixon Divas, whose apparel was inspired by My Little Pony, included Mary McKee and Laine Barney. Each coordinated their hats’ colors with those of the ponies who sat atop. Donna Whitcomb, Karen Sitter and Christine Smith of the Dixon Chicks donned hats decorated with feather boas. The final prize, Best in Show, went to Kathleen Kennelly who was sporting a red headpiece bedecked with red roses that hailed from Ireland.
Honoring Para Olympians
Four inspirational riders who represented the United States at the 2016 Paralympics Equestrian Games dressage — Angela Peavy, Rebecca Hart, Sydney Collier and Margaret McIntosh — were honored Friday evening. Each had overcome obstacles and found their own path to both dressage and Rio. As therapy for cerebral palsy, Angela had started riding when she was four. Rebecca, born with Familial Spastic Paraplegia, began riding when she was ten, enjoying how it helped her balance. When Sydney had a stroke at the age of eleven which paralyzed her left side, she moved on from eventing, which she started at seven, to dressage. Margaret McIntosh, who has incomplete quadriplegia as a result of an eventing accident in 1999, raved about their experience at the Paralympics and being surrounded by other athletes who were like them in “delighting in what we can do.”
Today, the Tempel Lipizzans entered the Dixon Oval for their first exhibition of the week. During the quadrille, they fluidly painted patterns with their elegant steps as they joined, separated and rejoined each other in perfect synchrony. Their muscular elegance and obedience is made possible by four centuries of selective breeding and a strict adherence to classical dressage training. The horses, descendants of the 20 Lipizzans imported from Austria by Tempel and Esther Smith in 1958, will be back for encore performances on Saturday and Sunday.
Riders who have horses capable of doing two-tempi changes are invited to participate in regional and national competitions to raise funds for The Dressage Foundation (TDF). Each rider works with an individual, GMO, stable, or any group of dressage friends that is willing to make a pledge to TDF for each two-tempi change. All donations are used to support TDF’s programs, grants, and scholarships. This is the first year that Dressage at Devon has hosted this competition.
Two teams competed. Allison Kavey rode Andrea Woodner’s Lusitano stallion, QueBa HM, the winner of the reserve champion for region 8 in the Grand Prix Freestyle at the New England Dressage Association’s Fall Festival. “We’re doing this to support the incredible grants and programs sponsored by the Dressage Foundation and because we love Dressage at Devon. We presented at Devon last year in the medium tour and are happy to be back this year for the Two Tempi Challenge.”
Eleanor “Ellie” Rawle and Wakanda WF comprised the second team. Currently based at Watermark Farm in Oxford, PA, Rawle has an active training, coaching and competition business. And what is her favorite training exercise? Flying lead changes of course! Ellie and Wakanda are currently competing at Grand Prix with an eye towards CDIs in 2017.
Each rider has three opportunities to see how many two-tempis they can do. Each took advantage of all three attempts. Allison and QueBa HM completed an impressive 45 consecutive two-tempis and Ellie and Wakanda WF reached 16. Both make significant contributions to the Dressage Foundation via their pledges.
And (some of) the Winners Are:
Riders from Ontario, Canada claimed the top spots in the Prix St. Georges. Tina Irwin and her nine-year old dark bay Oldenburg, Laurencio, won the blue ribbon with a score of 71.009. Closely on their tail was Esther Mortimer who teamed with Adajio, a Hanoverian gelding, for 69.211 points. In third place was another member of the Irwin family, Tina’s husband Jaimey, and his mount Donegal V, a Dutch Warmblood. Together they attained a score of 68.816.
The evening started out under the lights with the FEI Grand Prix Special (qualifier), won by Jill Irving from Canada, on Degas 12 (De NIro x Rosana M), with a score of 69.600. Degas 12 is a 14 year old Hanovarian bay gelding. The pair just came from winning the World Cup Freestyle the previous Saturday in Saugerties.
Just off a Grand Prix win at Central Park, the final class of the evening, the FEI Grand Prix (for GPF), was won by Judy Reynolds on Vancouver K (Jazz x Phantastia), a bay KWPN bred by G.M. Korver, Harmelen (NED), with a score of 75.660.
For complete results, visit www.dressageatdevon.com
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