Devon, PA – September 29, 2023 – The final class of the day in the Dixon Oval was the CDI-W Grand Prix Qualifier sponsored by BioStar. Yvonne Losos de Muñiz of the Dominican Republic and the 2005 KWPN mare, Aquamarijn claimed the blue ribbon in the first under the lights class of Dressage at Devon presented by Kingsview Partners. The Sylvia Ines Muñiz Losos entry by United × I.P.S. Gribaldi topped the class with a score of 71.283% on their way to qualifying for tomorrow’s highlight class here at Dressage at Devon, the CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle. Losos de Muñiz and Aquamarine are here at Dressage at Devon in preparation for the Pan American Games in a few weeks, “I have been out of the ring with her for a year, she got hurt at the World Championships, it took her a while to come back and she has only been in work for a couple of months so we are just taking it slow building up for the Pan American Games and the run for the Olympics, which all depends on if she keeps going like this. She is 18, she doesn’t look it or act it, but the time off did her good.” Speaking into what it is like to compete at Dressage at Devon, “It is amazing to compete here in Devon. I was here many years ago, and I have to say, it’s definitely gonna be back on my agenda from now on, when I’m still in the country. Because it’s absolutely, it’s just the atmosphere is like what we wanna see in a show,” Losos de Muñiz said.
Benjamin Ebeling aboard captured second with a score of 69.783% aboard Vantage Equestrian Group II, LLC’s Indeed a 2008 DWB Mare by Hofrat × De Niro 6, bred by Eva Ebbe & Steffen Hovedskov.
Rounding out the podium in third with a 69.717% were Hope Cooper and the Jane Karol entry Flynn PCH, a 2006 Hanoverian stallion by Falsterbo 11 × Walt Disney 9, bred by Gerhard Finck.
Earlier in the evening, the win in the CDI3* FEI Grand Prix Qualifier sponsored by Quarry View Building Group went to Canadian Evi Strasser aboard her own Déjà Vu Tyme, a 2007 Hanoverian Gelding by Dauphin 21 x Werbllin, bred by Walter Lilje. The pair scored a 66.217% to capture the victory and qualify for tomorrow night’s CDI3* FEI Grand Prix Special. Tonight’s CDI3* FEI Grand Prix Qualifier was generously sponsored by Quarry View Building Group, which also donated the beautiful judges boxes. Looking to build your dream barn? Quarry View works hard to turn your hopes and dreams into reality, striving to create beautiful and specially crafted buildings for their amazing customers. Planning each project with extreme care and close attention to detail, Quarry View takes pride in ensuring their customers are left completely satisfied and with a structure like no other.
Coming in second with a 65.652% it was Excalibur RS, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood Gelding (Glock’s Johnson TN × Lancer II) owned by Karen Meyer, bred by J.T.M. Raaijmakers, and ridden by Christian Garweg.
Emily Wyman took third with a 64.630% aboard the 2007 Dutch Warmblood Gelding Chigali, by Kigali × Chronos, owned by Gretchen Stearns.
DRESSAGE AT DEVON DANCE OFF – The inaugural 2023 Dressage at Devon Dance Off featured four crowd favorites going head-to-head to the music of the Elegance String Quartet, who hail from nearby Philadelphia and are known for their signature style which captures the unique combination of the beauty of a string quartet and the energy of the modern mashup. In addition to amazing live music, the DaD Dance Off also featured a panel of esteemed judges including: Judge 1: IVAN – One of the most unforgettable B-Boy icons of the 1990’s, IVAN has hosted events around the globs as a B-Boy entertainer, known for his work as a judge, instructor ad B-Boying with Linkin Park, The Black Eyed Peas, Red Man, MC Supernatural, and Busta Rhymes. Judge 2: CHRISTOPH KOSCHEL of Hagen, Germany, representing the world of horse dancing as a highly decorated dressage rider – Koschel has won team medals at both the Europeans and the World Equestrian Games. Judge 3: NEMESIS – In the world of human breakdancing, Nemesis is an icon in the world of human break dancing as one of New York City’s most skilled and well respected dancers, choreographers, judges, and instructors. Each rider got two minutes to interpret an unknown piece of music – the winners of each of the first two rounds then proceeded to the final round to contend for the championship. The Dance Off was judged in accordance with break dancing Trivium, which emphasized BODY (rhythm, energy, and elasticity), MIND (degree of technical difficulty, inventiveness, use of the arena), and SOUL (harmony, and seamless interpretation of the music).
Round 1: Trot, was the first round of the DaD Dance Off invited the following two highly successful dressage riders to face off at the trot: Rider 1: Lauren Chumley aboard her own 7YO KWPN mare, Leeloo Dallas (Gaspard de Nujit x Negro – bred by Rachael McKinney) versus Rider 2: Jim Koford with Christina Morin Graham’s Laurencio, a 16YO Oldenburg gelding by Laurentino our of a Donnerhall mare. Dressed to the nines is sparkles, glitter, and extra shimmery tail extensions, the crowd went wild as Chumley, Koford and their well decorated mounts entered the Dixon Oval. In addition to copious amounts of sparkle, Leeloo Dallas sported lightning strikes on her hind end, while Laurencio flashed dollar signs on his, and added another level of bling with extra silver sparkles in his tail and blue shimmers in his mane. Shining like the stars they are, the dual began. The energy of the crowd, the quartet, and the Dixon Oval combined to create an atmosphere that was quite literally electric, the kind of energy that sends the best kind of chills right up your spine. Chumley, Koford and both horses gave it their all, showing off all their best moves in complex sequence and combination over the course of the two minutes of stage time allocated to each rider.
The judges had their work cut out for them. First to comment was IVAN, saying: “The last rider (Koford) – your horse reminded me of Michael Jackson! I was like ohhh, he’s moon walking, he’s outta there!” Nemesis added, “Both contestants were really great, I truly enjoyed this” And to switch things up from the human break dancing, from the land of horse dancing, Koschel’s vantage point was, “To see this from the view of a dressage rider, I think we need more of this in the future, I love it!” The crowd erupted in applause, agreeing with Koschel, who concluded saying, “Their charisma and their connection was spectacular – they are going out there and basically becoming one with the music.” The Judges named Koford the victor of Round 1, allowing him to progress to the final round against the winner of Round 2: The Canter Round.
Round 2: Canter, saw a dual between two top dressage riders who have each had tremendous success on the world stage: Rider 1: Catherine Haddad Staller & Quantum Surprise, an 11YO mare by Quarterback owned by Kate Mancosh, and Rider 2: Lauren Sammis and her own Daisy Van Wittenstein, a 2008 mare by Johnson x Florencio. Haddad Staller entered the arena dressed as a fairy – cape, sparkles, a crown, and even a hooded guide, she left no costume stone unturned aboard Quantum Surprise. Sammis brought the heat, the glitter, and the gold, quite literally, as she strutted into the Dixon Oval after Haddad Staller aboard Daisy Van Wittenstein, who was equally covered in various shades and significant quantities of gold sparkles. Haddad Staller was first to take the stage in Round 2: Canter, raising the bar, the roof, and the crowd along with it as she laid down an impressive combination of highly technical and flawlessly executed tempi changes, pirouettes, and one-handed riding. Sammis met the challenge, effortlessly demonstrating pirouette’s with one hand, and then most impressively, one-tempi’s with no hands, yes, no handed one-tempi’s.
The judges take on Round 2: Canter: Nemesis: “Catherine came out guns blazing, saying ‘I’m not playin, look at these guns,’ and the second rider (Sammis), I totally appreciate the bling bling, that bling – wow – I mean can I have the chain after?!” (Crowd roars with laughter and applause) “Your bling was so creative – you made your own adidas stripes on your pants and then you started riding with no hands allll I saw was those hips moving and I was like oh my goodness.” (More applause and laughter) Koschel added “This was amazing, we have such a great crowd, these outfits, the one-tempi’s, two-tempi’s, pirouettes – this choreography, this degree of difficulty, from both riders – just amazing! Catherine, starting off with a one handed double pirouette, I mean wow. And Lauren – one tempi’s without the reins – I have never see that before!” IVAN concluded, “What he said (points at Koschel), I concur.” After debating amongst themselves, the judges named Sammis the winner of Round 2.
Koford and Sammis then went head to head in the Final Round to determine who would be crowned Champion of the 2023 Dressage at Devon Dance Off. “It’s a social dance, it’s a conversation, and it’s the unison between the rider and the horse,” IVAN said. Koschel added, “Both riders started with a high degree of technicality, Lauren started with a high quality piaffe pirouette, and then there were the one-tempi’s with no reins. Jim, also a very well ridden free style with a high degree of technicality.” Nemesis, on the Final Round: “I enjoyed both of these riders, I enjoyed the Michael Jackson moonwalk over here (points to Koford), and the other horse (points to Sammis) busted some really cool pirouettes that looked like what we call whip wheels.” There were countless spectacular movements seen from each combination in the final round, but after another round of no handed one-tempi’s it was Sammis who would take home the honors of Champion of the 2023 Dressage at Devon Dance Off making history as the spectacular event’s first crowned winner. Dressage at Devon would like to thank Neighborly Tack for their generous sponsorship and the amazing contributions to the outfits of both horse and rider seen in the inaugural 2023 Dressage at Devon Dance Off.
POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT FOR DRESSAGE HORSES WITH SHAWNA KARRASCH
Earlier today in the Hope Scott Memorial Room, Shawna Karrasch gave an insightful and educational talk on positive reinforcement and the benefits it can have for recreational and professional horses alike. Karrasch’s Positive Reinforcement Training techniques are rooted in science and experience, Karrasch’s vast understanding of the inner workings of the horse’s mind were on full display as she share a wealth of knowledge with the full room of guests in attendance here at Dressage at Devon. Karrasch is sponsored by Triple Crown, whose representative Karen Engle, was also in attendance for this afternoon’s educational talk. For the full story on how positive reinforcement changes the game, check back after the show for a full write up of Karrasch’s amazing talk this afternoon.