Monday, May 14, 2012

Former Olympians to Compete at Devon for a Spot on US Show Jumping Team

Beezie Madden
By Halie Greening

Proudly a part of the 2004 gold medal Olympic team in Athens, and taking home both team gold and individual bronze in 2008 from Beijing, Elizabeth (“Beezie”) Madden will no doubt have spectators on the edge of their seats as she completes one of the last legs of her journey that hopefully leads to three-peat at the 2012 Olympics in London. Madden and her Coral Reef Via Volo, a thirteen year-old Belgian Warmblood mare will be making a long awaited return to the Grand Prix of Devon and the Open Jumper Stake, both Observation Events for the U.S. Show Jumping Team.

Coral Reef Via Volo is owned by Coral Reef Ranch. Madden refers to the 15.3 hand mare as “Shrimp” back home at the barn.  She may be small in stature but Via and Madden have been amassing high, noteworthy placings in the U.S. and throughout North America.  Their list of accomplishments begins with their first big win together; the $75,000 Equine Couture/Tuffrider Grand Prix, CSI 2* WEF in March. Via is currently ranked #1 on the Rolex/USEF Show Jumpers Ranking List, horse and rider combination are currently ranked #4 on the USEF Long List for the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team. The pair successfully claimed individual silver and were part of the gold winning team at the Pan Am Games this past fall, putting them in strong contention for the 2012 Olympics.  Madden has also entered and is expected to ride Cortes ‘C’, a 10 year old bay gelding and Simon, a 13 year old bay gelding.

Madden has had a tremendously successful go with Coral Reef Via Volo and expectations are high as she vies for a third trip to the Olympics.

McLain Ward

Fellow 2004 and 2008 teammate, McLain Ward will also be vying for a place on the team and hat trick of Olympic gold on Sapphire, the 16 year old Belgian Warmblood owned by Ward and Blue Chip Blood Stock.  In January, during the first week of WEF, Sapphire showed she was back in form competing at the 1.40M level after sustaining an injury in March of 2011.  Ward, showing on another mount that week, broke his knee.  Ward was given a bye for the Selection Trials and will compete in the Observation Trials at Devon and at Spruce Meadows in mid-June.  Ward began riding again the first week of April and is showing for the first time at Old Salem this weekend.

Ward is a long time Devon favorite, he began showing here as child and has been competing in the Grand Prix of Devon since his late teens, winning six times.  Ward will compete on Sapphire, who’s long list of accomplishments includes not only Olympic gold, but silver in the 2006 World Equestrian Games, second in 2009 World Cup Finals and winning the CN International $1M Grand Prix in 2009 and the HITS Pfeizer $1M Grand Prix in 2010.   Ward will also compete on Antares F, an 11 year old Baden-Wurtemburger gelding owned by Grant Road Partners, LLC.  Antares is a relatively new mount for Ward, who began their partnership in mid-2010.  They have none the less racked up some impressive wins: the Longines Grand Prix in Dublin and the Credit Suisse Grand Prix in Geneva in 2010, and the WEF Challenge Cup in 2011.

The Devon crowd will be pulling for Ward as he comes back from injury in his old stomping ground, the Dixon Oval.

Next Week: Laura Kraut and Margie Engle

Behind the Scenes…
Souvenirs is a Year Round Effort

The Souvenir booth is one of The Devon Horse Show an Country Fair’s busiest booths for a very good reason; the volunteer committee works all year long to make sure that the items they carry offer a balance of merchandise from Devon classics to on-trend clothing and accessories.  No detail is left to chance as the committee begins meeting weekly, almost as soon as the show is over, to discuss offerings and design with remarkable attention to detail.

This year men will be thrilled to see custom offerings from Cutter and Buck and Brand 47 including tech polos, wind vests, jackets and ultra soft quarter zips. Young equestrians and fashionistas will find new designs including vintage appliqued tees and tanks and fully coordinated ensembles for young riders including breeches, saddlepads, boot bags and socks. Ladies looking forward to summer will be tickled to see new custom Devon woven basket handbags featuring enamel emblems and golden Devon Horse Show coins. Brand new sterling silver and custom enamel bracelets, rings and necklaces will be the perfect gift item for girls of all ages who love Devon!

Please remember to visit on line at: Look for the convenient shopping tab to buy classic Devon apparel, exclusive silver jewelry and Vineyard Vines silk vines ties and tote bags.

That’s a Lot of Shavings!

Irv Hollingsworth has been a fixture at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair for 27 years. As the feed and bedding manager, he can offer up some pretty impressive statistics on what it takes to care for 1800 animals over 11 days.  For starters, 6000 pounds of feed and supplements are ingested.  Add to that another 1200 bales of hay.  Shavings…seven tractor trailer loads, that’s 8000 bales.

When asked how he became part of the Devon family, Hollingsworth turns nostalgic. His was introduced to the show by his father’s cousin, “Uncle” Joe Pierce.  Pierce, a blacksmith in the Blacksmith Hall of Fame, had been the farrier at Devon since the early 1950′s. Hollingsworth had worked for a company that sold feed, lumber and building supplies and when the time came in 1985 to hire a new feed and bedding manager, he was a natural fit.  It was at about this time that Uncle Joe retired and in his honor, the trophy for the Pony Pairs Driving Championship is named the Joseph M. Pierce Challenge Trophy.

Irv has continued the family tradition of craftsmanship and has spent the spring finishing the interior of feed and bedding office.  Stop by and say hello, he’s got some great stories to tell!

Read this article here

No comments: