By Jan Westmark-Allan
Have you ever wanted to be a photographer or a reporter? Sidelines Magazine is looking for an “on the scene” reporter to go to Dressage at Devon on Friday night, September 28th. You don’t have to go alone – you can take three of your friends. As a “Sidelines for the night” reporter you will need to take photos so we can post them on Facebook (an iPhone will work) and do a short write-up about the excitement, the lights, the stars, who was wearing what (wait that was the Emmy’s last night) – but you get the picture.
On Friday night you can enjoy the FEI Grand Prix Open (8 to 10:30 pm) and watch dressage stars such as Canadian Olympic stars Jacqueline Brooks and David Marcus and Untied States riders Yvonne Barteau, Susanne Hassler, Melissa Taylor, James Koford, Pierre St Jaques…and the list goes on. If you think you qualify for the Dressage at Devon assignment – send an email to Jan at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me why I should choose you!
In the September issue of Sidelines our writer Lauren R. Giannini did a story on Dressage at Devon – learn a little more about the show “WHERE CHAMPIONS MEET!”
Where Champions Meet
By Lauren R. Giannini
This “high school” competition known as Dressage at Devon (DAD) owes its inception to a group of enthusiasts who, in 1965, formed the Delaware Valley Combined Training Association (DVCTA). In 1975, those early club members organized an annual dressage show that moved to the historic Devon show grounds where DAD has grown into a prestigious and unique show with its three-day spotlight on breeding with classes for more than 30 breeds and four days of performance under saddle from Thursday to Sunday.
Olympic medalist Robert Dover calls Dressage at Devon, “The standard by which all American horse shows should be judged.” This year the forecast calls for more than 700 horses and 35,000 spectators.
It’s boggling how much there is to enjoy at Dressage at Devon. The Festival Shops offer everything from antiques, art, jewelry and fine apparel to rack and riding kits. Plus, DAD has a reputation for some of the best food to be savored anywhere in the show world. In the rings the action is world class as future champions are chosen for their conformation and movement from babies up to mature equines. Riders and horses perform tests on every level and the ever popular freestyles illustrate dressage’s dancing on horseback, which fires up the passions of participants and spectators.
Dressage With The Experts is a great feature: for a reasonable fee you can rent a headset and listen to commentary by some of the world’s foremost experts during the tests. Matching comments to movements is like auditing a clinic, but much better because of the competitive angle.
Special events include Guy McLean, the popular Australian horse trainer now based in Texas, who demonstrates on performance days. However, on Sunday after the conclusion of competition classes in the Dixon Oval, this trainer and his horses cut loose and strut their stuff in the big arena. Anne Moss, president of DVCTA and DAD volunteer, encourages everyone to stop by Sunday afternoon and enjoy this wildly entertaining show.
On Wednesday, September 26, 7-9 pm, Jo Anne Kricker, Maryland Park Services Ranger and member of the Fair Hill Mounted Patrol in Elkton, will present “You Are Responsible For Your Horse’s Safety.” Jo Anne, who is certified in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue (TLAER), emphasizes that “Most accidents involving large animal rescue can be prevented by educating owners of the hazards and how to prevent them.” Her informative forum includes the checklist for stocking an emergency kit that should be kept up to date in every trailer.
Back by popular demand: DVCTA’s Quadrille team will perform their new musical ride from Friday through Sunday. Choreographed by Anne Miller, riders must be able to ride all Third Level movements. Tryouts are held and you don’t need to own a horse to participate (in case you’re in that area and want to get involved). Last year, several riders used horses provided by various DVCTA members when the Quadrille paid tribute to the Heroes of 9/11.
“This is my passion, I freelance, creating custom freestyles for dressage riders,” stated Anne Miller, a mother of three and enthusiastic member of DVCTA who has shown to Fourth Level. “Last year Anne Moss approached me about doing it and we had all adult women who had more fun than the kids! We’re very excited about performing again this year at Dressage at Devon. The theme is “Think Pink” – to raise breast cancer awareness – and the music, choreography and costumes are all new and all exciting!”
Remember: that sign over the gate to the Dixon Oval says it all, “Where Champions Meet”! For more information visit www.dressageatdevon.org.