For most pony riders at Devon, the real fun starts after all the serious pony hunter competition wraps up.
At a show marked by tradition, the pony hunt team classes may be the most popular institution on the showgrounds. Teams of three small, medium or large pony riders pick a theme, decorate themselves and their ponies head to toe, queue up their favorite music and negotiate a course concurrently, culminating in jumping the final fence in tandem.
The last weekend in May isn’t usually a good one for Maddy Darst. She’s been coming to Devon for years, but she’s always felt a little cursed.
“I always have bad luck here,” said Darst, 13. “I’ll have one good trip, then something will go wrong.”
But Darst, Lebanon, Ohio, put that all in the past this time around. She rode Betsee Parker’s For The Laughter to the grand pony and large pony hunter championships, Pegasus Show Stables’ Swingtown to the medium pony hunter title and Enchanted Forest to the medium pony hunter reserve title.
An outbreak of equine herpes virus myeloencephalopathy, the neurological form of equine herpes virus (EHV-1), has been reported in eight western U.S. states, prompting the cancellation of 19 U.S. Equestrian Federation competitions.
Kelley Farmer couldn’t have had a much better trip to the Lexington Spring Encore. She topped the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on her newest partner, Praise, and rounded out the top three on Madison Free’s Bases Loaded and Nancy Amling’s Taken.
Liza Boyd’s not the type of rider to leave anything at the in-gate when she trots her derby partner Brunello into the ring for the handy round. So when she lay second heading into the final round of the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Aiken Spring Classic Masters, she put in a round that left no doubt who the winner would be.
“We have a saying around here: Leave it to Liza,” said commentator Danny Robertshaw.
Sure enough, Boyd’s bold second round clinched the top spot on her birth-day weekend, April 20-24, aboard Bru-nello, whom she owns with Janet Peterson.
Kelley Farmer couldn’t have had a much better trip to the Lexington Spring Encore. She rode the top three horses in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, claiming first with Larry Glefke and Selma Garber’s Praise, second with Bases Loaded for Madison Free and third with Taken for Nancy Amling.