What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Archive for May, 2010

Special Rider Account: IEA National Finals

May 25, 2010 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

The Interscholastic Equestrian Association National Finals were held April 23-25 in Conyers, Georgia. In keeping with our June focus on education and horses, we asked two IEA riders who competed at the Finals to write about their experiences.

Lauren Corey (left) and Emma Beriker

Today we bring you the words of 15-year-old Emma Beriker, and tomorrow check this space for 15-year-old Lauren Corey’s account of her experience at Nationals. Both girls are 15 years old and live in Woodside, California.

IEA NATIONALS 2010 | by Emma Beriker

For equestrians, participating on a school sports team is not very common. But the Interscholastic Equestrian Association provides the opportunity for middle and high school students to take part in an equestrian team.  Having an interscholastic team is great because it allows riders to compete not only as an individual, but for a team of their peers. As a sophomore at Woodside Priory School in Portola Valley, California, this is my second year on the equestrian team. In the two years that I have participated as part of the team, I have seen rapid growth not only on our own team, but also in our zone.  It is increasingly more difficult to place in the competitions and to qualify for zones and nationals.

This past season recently topped off with the IEA National Finals held in Atlanta, Georgia. I had the privilege to qualify and compete with the other top 20 Varsity Intermediate riders across the US in both flat and jumping divisions. As my second year at Nationals, the opportunity to represent my school and ride at this event was amazing. This year it was held at the 1996 Olympics site of the Georgia International Horse Park.

The indoor ring was the center of all IEA action.

The facility was impressive to say the least. The long tree lined drive led up to an outdoor field with football stadium lights and arena seating, not a typical sight on the California circuit. Arenas and barns sprinkled the sprawling green fields, making it a picturesque scene.

One of the most challenging aspects of IEA riding was the random drawing of unfamiliar horses. Without knowing how the horse rides, a two fence warm up is all that is allowed before riding straight into the show arena. Compared to horse shows in which you know your partner’s every strength and weakness, IEA has this added extreme. I’m sure that every rider in the IEA has experienced a round in which they did not except their horse to refuse, pick up the wrong lead, or ignore the leg.

It is a true test of equitation for a rider to adapt their riding skills from horse to horse while making it look like its easy, which, as we all know, is not the case.

Emma in the warm up ring, jumping one of two warm up jumps allowed.

Emma in the warmup ring, jumping one of just two warmup jumps allowed.

Straight into the arena with no warm up, the flat phase kicked off the first of the four days of National competition. The pool of horses came from all across the country providing nice rides. Flat was run more like entertainment for spectators; the serious and tense competition in the flat classes were balanced out with uplifting background music. The next day of competition came with the excitement and the precision of the jumping phase. Allowing the classic use of long approaches to show off a nice pace, with a mix of handy equitation bending lines and turns that tested the riders, my division was fun to ride.  With a collection of the top-pointing riders all over the US, the highest placing senior in each class received scholarship money. This was a unique characteristic of the competition, keeping one of the main focuses of the association inclusive of riding and education.

IEA volunteers and staff did a tactful job of keeping the entire competition running smoothly and on time (a rare case for horse shows). The competition lived up to the “southern hospitality” reputation and was very spectator friendly. Just having the opportunity to compete at nationals for the second time in a row was an incredible experience for me.

Devon 2010!

May 10, 2010 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

DEVON, Pa—Philip Richter returns to the Devon Horse Show to defend his championship on Glasgow in Amateur Owner Jumpers on Friday and Saturday, June 4 and 5.

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, May 27 to June 6, benefits the Bryn Mawr Hospital, to which it has donated almost $14 million.

New footing in the Dixon Oval at Devon has been installed by Equestrian Services International, which has provided the footing for the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong, and jumper riders are thrilled with it.

A Devon favorite is Laura Chapot, who has ridden the Open Jumper Champion for three of the past five years and has also been Leading Open Jumper Rider three of the past five years.

Chapot is bringing a new grand prix horse to Devon this year, Tsarin, a mare she got only recently in Europe.

Chapot is bringing three additional horses, Bradbury, Valentia and Chili Pepper as well as a couple of young horses for the Five-Year Old, Six-Year-Old and Seven/Eight-Year-Old sections which will compete Tuesday and Wednesday, June 1 and 2.

Open Jumpers compete Tuesday May 31 through Saturday, June 5.

Chapot is also bringing two students, Joy Slater and Madeline Cox, to compete in Amateur Owners and Barbara Rochford, who will ride in the Adult Jumper section on Memorial Day.

Richter qualified two horses to show in the Amateur Owner section, the returning champion Glasgow and Ray Ray.

Glasgow is a former grand prix jumper who was campaigned very successfully by Norman Dello Joio that Richter has been riding for three years.

“Riding Glasgow in High Amateurs is like taking a machine gun to a quail hunt,” said Richter. “He knows he’s so talented. He’s a real athlete and a real competitor, but he’s always a gentleman. He always tries to win.”

Richter, an equity owner in Hollow Brook, LLC, an investment management firm in New York City, shows very lightly due to his business obligations.

“I show at Old Salem and Devon, and I don’t show again until Lake Placid (two weeks at the end of June and beginning of July),” said Richter. “Then I don’t show again until the Hampton Classic (Labor Day weekend), and after that I’m done until Florida.”

“Mom (Judy Richter) and Norman have the horses set up, and I can just get on and go,” said Richter.

The Devon Horse Show has been honored with the United States Equestrian Federation’s designation as a USEF Heritage Competition.

An historic Pennsylvania equestrian event that has become a part of the fabric of the American horse show scene, Devon is only the fourth show to receive this honor.

Devon opens Thursday, May 27 with a full day of equitation in the Dixon Oval and pony breeding in the Gold Ring. Children 12 and under will be admitted free on opening day, courtesy of Hartstrings, a locally headquartered children’s clothing company.

Junior hunters and jumpers and ponies compete Friday and Saturday, and the Carriage Pleasure Drive opens a week of adult competition on Sunday, arriving at the Dixon Oval at 2 p.m, followed by Pony Jumpers Sunday evening.

Hunters compete Monday through Wednesday, with Side Saddle featured Wednesday afternoon, and Saddlebreds, harness ponies, fine harness, Friesians, roadsters and coaching begin Wednesday.

Breeding classes take over Thursday, followed by “Devon at Sunset” at 4:30, featuring the piece de resistance of the Devon Horse Show, the $100,000 Grand Prix at 8 p.m.

The Open Jumper’s Gambler’s Choice is Friday evening at 7:30 p.m., and the $50,000 Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake, followed by the awarding of the Championship and the Leading Rider title are the last classes Saturday evening, June 5.

The $25,000 Hunter Derby, competed for in a two round format, begins at 10 a.m., Sunday, June 6.

There will be a reining exhibition by Stacy Westfall on May 28-30, and the beloved Budweiser Clydesdales will perform in exhibition the last four evenings, Wednesday through Saturday, June 2-5.

The Country Fair has redesigned and rebuilt some of its most public spaces, including the Garden Café Pavilion, the Souvenir and the Candy booths, expanded the picnic grove and renovated the interior of the Art Gallery.

The Country Fair offers boutique shopping for sports wear, often appliquéd with a horse, dog or fox design, gorgeous hats, boots, beautiful gold and silver jewelry, again often with an equestrian design, paintings and prints, leather goods, collectibles and souvenirs.

Food to tempt any and all palates ranges from gourmet dining in the Garden Cafe to hot dogs and hamburgers and the famous Devon tea sandwiches, Devon fudge and lemon sticks.

Rides and games line the west end of the Fair and include the Ferris wheel, merry-go-round and all kinds of fun games with prizes.

For ticket information, call 610-688-2554. The ticket office is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon. General admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under and seniors 65 and over.

Devon is also selling tickets through TicketLeap, but ticket packages and seats for the Grand Prix Thursday evening will not be sold over the internet in 2010.

For additional information visit www.devonhorseshow.org.