FEI Pony Classes at Dressage at Devon Prove
Big Things Come in Small Packages
classes will take place at the 29th annual Dressage at Devon,
23 through September 29
PA (May 28, 2003)Dressage at Devon 2003 will be one
of the first large dressage competitions in the United States to
offer FEI, or international-level, competition classes for ponies.
The classes are open to junior riders between the ages of 12 and
16. Dressage classes for ponies have a strong tradition of popularity
at European competitions and have only recently begun to attract
attention in North America. The first FEI Pony Division Class in
North America was held at the FEI Dressage Championship of the Americas,
at Blainville, Quebec, in August 2002.
Europe, says Lendon Gray, who is well known for riding 14.3
hand Connemara/thoroughbred Seldom Seen to several national championships,
the ponies are humongous. The classes are so important,
she explains, because they may encourage children to get into dressage,
have fun with it and become better riders, at a younger age. She
points out that the quality and numbers of riders has increased
tremendously since juniors have been encouraged to participate in
dressage. Pony classes will, she hopes, help younger riders find
their niche and give them an opportunity to compete against their
at Devon will offer the Team Championship Test-Ponies and the Individual
Championship Test-Ponies. According to Gray, these classes are similar
to the old third level I, with collected and extended gaits, and
half passes, but no flying changes. As with all FEI youth
classes, she says, they are very intricate, really throwing
you at it with lots of transitions in rapid succession. Its
a real challenge.
Dressage at Devon is the highest rated international dressage competition
and most complete breed show outside of Europe. Olympic medallist
Robert Dover calls Dressage at Devon the standard by which
all American horse shows should be judged. 2003 Dressage at
Devon is a United States Equestrian Team Qualifying Competition
for the 2004 USET Grand Prix Championship/Olympic Selection Trials,
and the 2004 Intermediaire I Championship. Dressage at Devon takes
place at the Devon Horse Show Grounds, Route 30, in Devon, Pennsylvania.
For information, call 610-358-5785 or go to www.dressageatdevon.org.