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News

Devon Horse Show & Country Will Host Top Professional and Amateur Hunter Riders For Improved 2014 Schedule

RELEASE: May 7, 2014
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Trainer Susie Schoellkopf and professional rider Jennifer Alfano have joined the winner’s circle many times at the Devon Horse Show. (The Book LLC)
Trainer Susie Schoellkopf and professional rider Jennifer Alfano have joined the winner’s circle many times at the Devon Horse Show. (The Book LLC)
Devon, Pa.
-  Competition is sure to be fierce at the 2014 Devon Horse Show & Country Fair, with many of the country’s top professional and amateur hunter riders currently qualified to compete. Professional divisions will begin on Monday, May 26, culminating with the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, now hosted on Thursday, May 29. Amateur-owner hunter divisions will compete on Friday, May 30, and Saturday, May 31.

Thursday, May 22, will be the first day of competition for Devon, which continues through Sunday, June 1. The Devon Horse Show hosts 11 days of top-tier competition across multiple breeds and disciplines, showcasing the best riders and horses in the country. With the exception of equitation and local hunter classes, all other hunter and jumper competitors must qualify for a coveted entry to Devon, which is awarded based on points accumulated at other top horse shows in the country.

Spectators will be treated to world-class show jumping, equitation, show hunter, driving, American Saddlebred and Hackney divisions, with the featured $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and the $100,000 Grand Prix of Devon, the first leg of the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) Triple Crown Challenge, taking place on Thursday, May 29. New for 2014, the USEF Network will live-stream every round from every class. Video will also be made available on-demand following its broadcast.

The $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby’s move to Thursday was a decision made by Devon show management to better accommodate professional riders along with their horses and owners. The schedule change has resulted in the doubling of entries for the class.

The change is a welcome one for all parties involved. Renowned hunter owner and trainer Susie Schoellkopf described the move as “brilliant,” and praised show management for being so receptive to exhibitors' needs. The responsiveness of Devon’s management was something Schoellkopf admitted could be difficult to find at many of today’s shows, but Devon’s history of excellence has continued to uphold the highest standards of exhibitor experience.

“Devon is tradition,” Schoellkopf explained. “Devon should be what everybody aspires to. We did as kids, and we still do now. Devon is not the same [as other shows]. It’s very different and very special.”

The aura of excellence that surrounds Devon is what puts it on every rider's calendar year after year. Kelley Farmer, the first hunter rider to reach $1 million in earnings and the 2013 Leading Hunter Rider of Devon, will return to Devon in 2014 with another string of highly competitive mounts, including 2014 Grand Hunter Champion Back Story, owned by Tia Schurecht. Joining Farmer will be fellow hunter stars Jennifer Alfano, Louise Serio, Havens Schatt, Scott Stewart, and Hunt Tosh.

The roster of amateur riders qualified for Devon is equally impressive. Reigning 2013 Leading Amateur-Owner Rider Dawn Fogel will be back in 2014 with her Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion mount, Royal Oak. The rest of the list of qualified amateurs is just as impressive as the roster of professional riders, with top amateurs Stephanie Danhakl, Montana Coady, and Becky Gochman all making the cut.

Dr. Betsee Parker of Middleburg, VA, has owned a countless number of champion horses that have triumphed in the Dixon Oval at Devon, where many of her proudest moments have taken place.

“It makes me swell with pride [to watch my horses in the ring at Devon]. Even qualifying for Devon is one of the biggest in the cap that any horseman can ever wear in a lifetime, let alone to get a ribbon there,” Dr. Parker expressed. “I’ve been going to Devon since the late 1960s, and I really think it’s one of the very finest shows we have in the United States.”

As one of the country’s oldest horse shows, Devon possesses a uniquely rich history that Dr. Parker hopes that today’s generation of riders will continue to treasure.

“It is very special to come back to and see so many things you’ve loved since your childhood,” Dr. Parker smiled. “I hope that the younger generation will think about the memories and the shows of their childhood and how wonderful it is to come back. [I hope] one day they’ll come back and be supportive of it, whether it’s having horses of their own one day, or having their children there, or maybe they’ll be sponsors like I am.”

Get your tickets today to see the best hunters in the nation compete at the Devon Horse Show, or plan to watch the USEF Network live stream at www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2014devon.

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