American Jessica Jo Tate and Canadian Evi Strasser were the winners of the big tour classes at Dressage at Devon CDI-W on Friday 28 September 2018.
Friday night at Dressage at Devon features qualifying classes for the Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix for Freestyle. The crowds in the stands were enthusiastic about the qualifiers, and getting a glimpse into what they would see Saturday night.
Jessica Jo Tate booked her first international Grand Prix victory on Elizabeth Guarisco's 15-year old Westfalian bred Faberge (by Florestan x Brentano II). In the Grand Prix for Kur, which featured nine combinations, Tate topped the board with 67.130%. Kimberly Herslow and Marilyn Sherwin's 16-year old Hanoverian mare Soraya II (by Sandro Hit x Donnerhall) were the runners-up with 66.500%. Soraya II was the former ride of Finnish Stella Hagelstam who campaigned the mare at the 2013 European Championships in Herning before selling her to the U.S.A.
"CDI Grand Prix winner at Devon. So proud of this horse," Tate raved on Facebook. "Ten year together and just WOW!! Thank you Elizabeth Guarisco for trusting me with your wonderful boy!! And one last sugar for the road!!"
One of the crowd favourites in the Grand Prix for Kur was Jim Koford’s on the three-quarter Friesian, one-quarter Dutch Warmblood, red and white, 11- year old mare Adiah HP (by Nico/Marije Ant),. She is a powerhouse and a horse Jim loves to ride. Jim saw video of Adiah as a 4-year old and, according to Jim, quickly had a crush on her. When she was 7 years old, she was entered in a clinic Jim was giving, he loved her then and got the ride on her soon thereafter. Jim had ridden her sire, Nico, at Dressage at Devon, and now has brought the daughter to dance under the lights. “Adiah HP was purposely bred for dressage and she is the queen; it is her show and she is in control,” said Jim. “It is the Adiah show, not the Jim show."
Canadian Olympian Evi Strasser moved herself into the winner's circle in the Grand Prix for Special, which had just three pairs competing in the division. Strasser and her own 10-year old Oldenburg gelding Disney Tyme (by Diamond Hit x Weltmeyer) topped the board with 63.783%. Fellow Canadian Diane Creech was right on her heels aboard Louise Leatherdale's 14-year old Hanoverian gelding Hallmark (by His Highness x Laucier) with 63.217%.
More than 25 riders competed in the Prix St Georges CDI 3*. The class was won by Canadian Tom Dvorak on the American bred Cyrus (by Contucci out Corthena). Cyrus is a 9-year-old, dark bay Oldenburg gelding, owned by Carla Bahr. Tom, from Hillsburgh, ON, Canada, has been riding Cyrus since he was a 4-year-old.
“This was his first full season and he has done very well. He has won many CDIs and is coming into his own. He is a keen worker and very smart and confident. I was happy with my ride,” said Tom. “He was a little distracted but stayed with me.” Tom is a true fan of Dressage at Devon. “I love this event. It is the highlight of the season for me. I love the atmosphere and the tradition of the show.” Tom has ben coming to Devon for the past 25 years. “If I have a horse that can show here, I’m here!”
Photos © Hoof Print Images