Friday evening at Dressage at Devon welcomed a packed roster of international riders, with the CDI3* Grand Prix to qualify for the Grand Prix Special, and the CDI-W Grand Prix to qualify for the Grand Prix Freestyle, both presented by Equiline, taking center stage in the Dixon Oval. While the Kingsview Partners Roaring 20’s Party took place overlooking the action, Micaela Mabragana and Alice Tarjan secured victories in the USEF Heritage Competition’s highlight classes for the day.
Prior to the start of the CDI Grand Prix classes, Dressage at Devon welcomed several exciting exhibitions to the arena. First in was the Delaware Valley Combined Training Association (DVCTA) Quadrille Team, who frequently attends the event. Dressage at Devon was started by DVCTA members officially in 1975, and many DVCTA members still volunteer at the show. Several DVCTA members have served and are on the current Board of Directors. DVCTA is a beneficiary of Dressage at Devon, who is proud to help support the tradition that the show was founded on. The team put on a stellar coordinated performance, dancing to Roaring 20’s themed music under the lights.
Guy McLean, an Australian horseman well-known for his horsemanship exhibitions and clinics around the world, was also welcomed into the Dixon Oval with his four-horse team. McLean demonstrated impressive feats with the horses, only one of which he rode while the others followed his instructions without tack of any kind. McLean is always a crowd-favorite at Dressage at Devon — he will return for more exhibitions on Saturday, and on Sunday will host a clinic titled “The Method Behind the Magic,” where he will detail how he trains his teams of horses.
The CDI3* Grand Prix Special qualifier was first of the two evening classes to begin, offering up The Valerie Kahn Memorial Trophy and entry into Saturday evening’s CDI3* Grand Prix Special.
Micaela Mabragana of Argentina and Diamond Rosso, a 12-year-old Hannoverian gelding owned by Marjaleena Berger, clinched the victory with a score of 64.435%. The pair was rewarded for their trot extensions, canter extensions, one-tempis and passage, frequently scoring 7.5’s in the movements. Canada’s Ashley Rand and Heimdals Champ, her own 13-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion, finished in second place with 56.935%.
In the CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle qualifier that followed, Canada’s Vanessa Creech Terauds was the first in the Dixon Oval with Diane Creech and Louise Leatherdale’s 13-year-old Hanoverian mare Fleur De Lis L. The longtime partnership earned a score of 64.826% to set the bar for the class. Last year’s CDI-W Grand Prix winner, Michael Bragdell and Qredit Hilltop, a 14-year-old Oldenburg stallion owned by Hilltop Farm Inc., went in to perform shortly after, taking over the top spot on the leaderboard with a score of 66.391%.
It was not until Alice Tarjan and Serenade MF, her 9-year-old Oldenburg mare, rode down centerline that Bragdell and Qredit Hilltop were challenged. The combination, who were named the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Champions just last month in the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, laid down a consistent and expressive test to score 71.804%.
Shannon Stevens and Ferrari, her own 12-year-old KWPN gelding, were next in the ring, sliding into the third place position with a score of 65.609%. Canada’s Megan Lane and Zodiac MW, an 18-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Lane and Deer Ridge Equestrian, were last to ride, setting their sights on besting Tarjan’s score. They put forth a strong effort to earn a score of 67%, and settled for second place. At the wrap of the class, it was Tarjan who was presented with The Phyllis Corl Memorial Perpetual Trophy and a prize from Equiline in the awards ceremony. Lane went home with second place, while Bragdell finished in third with Qredit Hilltop.
Competition at Dressage at Devon will resume Saturday, Oct. 1, at 8 a.m. The CDI3* Grand Prix Special, presented by BioStar, will kick off at 5:50 p.m., and the CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle, presented by Kingsview Partners, will begin at 8:00 p.m.
From The Winners Circle
Micaela Mabragana – CDI3* Grand Prix for the Special Winner
On why she chose special vs. freestyle:
“This is the first year we are doing the grand prix, it’s new and I didn’t really have a freestyle made at this point. I did want to get my feet wet in a CDI, so that’s why we picked the special.”
On the atmosphere of Dressage at Devon:
“I love it here — I was so looking forward to coming back to Devon. It’s such a special show. Even though the class is a little bit smaller, the place has so much history. You go into the Dixon Oval and feel like, ‘wow.’ I’m really proud, lucky and honored to be here. It’s great to do these kinds of shows. The atmosphere, the lights, the parade going on…everything just has a different vibe. So I think we have to keep this show very much alive.”
On getting her start in the United States:
“I came here when I was seventeen to become a working student for Lendon Gray. I was working with her for five years, and then I started my own business. That was the beginning of my career, with Lendon. It was through her and her opportunities that she gave me that I was able to do it. The last time I was in this room I was a young rider – I had the right horse, another chestnut with four white socks. It was a chestnut affaire.”
On Diamond Rosso’s future:
“I don’t want to jinx anything, but I would like to be able to do the Florida circuit with him and be able to represent Argentina at the Pan American games. I’m training with Antonio Diaz Porras — he is from Spain, and is my partner. I actually met him in the Pan Am games of 2015 because he was the coach for the Argentinian team. He was in Spain, but just came here in March. So we are running things together. He does more of the sales horses, I do more of the clients. We are a good team.”
Alice Tarjan – CDI-W Grand Prix for the Freestyle Winner
On her ride with Serenade MF:
“It wasn’t what we had in the warm up, but it’s always a work in progress. Hopefully tomorrow will be better and we have a better horse tomorrow. It’s an ongoing process to try and get the quality I can get in the warmup in the ring, but she doesn’t let you down, she really tries her heart out.”
On riding in Thursday’s Masterclass with Sabine Schut-Kery:
“I think it was a great idea. They had a fantastic turnout, it was really exciting to see so many people in the stands. She was great to work with and was a lot of fun. It was great exposure for that horse. It’s hard to duplicate this kind of atmosphere, so I think the more the horse’s see it the better.”
On Dressage at Devon:
“I think it’s a fantastic show — that’s why I came, to show support. It would be great to see it go forward in the future. You have a crowd and they’re closer to the arena, definitely more spectators here than other U.S. shows, so that’s exciting. I would have never thought I’d come back and win. The first time I came here I had cancer. I thought, ‘this is so cool…if I can live long enough, I just want to come back and ride here. It’s been a journey.”
CDI3* Grand Prix Special Qualifier, presented by Equiline
Rider / Country / Horse / Owner / Score
1. Micaela Mabragana / ARG / Diamond Rosso / Marjaleena Berger / 64.345
2. Ashley Rand / CAN / Heimdals Champ / Ashley Rand / 56.935
CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle Qualifier, presented by Equiline
Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
1. Alice Tarjan / USA / Serenade MF / Alice Tarjan / 71.804
2. Megan Lane / CAN / Zodiac MW / Megan Lane and Deer Ridge Equestrian / 67
3. Michael Bragdell / USA / Qredit Hilltop / Hilltop Farm Inc. / 66.391
4. Shannon Stevens / USA / Ferrari / Shannon Stevens / 65.609
5. Abraham Pugh / USA / Elfenperfekt / Alice Drayer / 64.913
6. Vanessa Creech-Terauds / CAN / Fleur De Lis L / Diane Creech and Louise Leatherdale / 64.826
7. Kymberley Pullen / USA / Hot Date / Hot Date Syndicate / 64.022
8. Silva Martin / USA / Belrano Gold / Pferdes LLC / 61.783
9. Stephanie Lowery / USA / Devan / Stephanie Lowery / 49.652