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October 6, 2010

Dressage At Devon CDI-W

The atmosphere at Devon suited W just fine. Photo by Sharon Packer.

Summer has turned to autumn, dressage at the WEG is finished, and Winyamaro and I just got home from an exciting weekend at the World Cup qualifier in Devon!

Devon is a fabulous horse show—far and away the best I have seen in the United States since showing at the Kentucky Horse Park in 1997. I love the venue. All of the vendor’s stalls and the entire stadium are painted in a classy, soft blue that dresses this show in a charming jacket.

The new footing in the main competition arena is top quality and is in fact from the same supplier as my footing at home in Vechta. W felt right at home on it! Even though torrential rains caused a bit of concern and some major delays on Thursday, the weather gods blessed us with cool, clear weather for the rest of the weekend. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed showing my horse so much!

Winyamaro came home in great form from our round trip journey to Kentucky. We spent the week near Lexington working on throughness and lightness of aids, and I was really, really pleased to get back into the show ring at Devon last weekend. I had some difficulty with W in the Grand Prix as he was a bit impressed by the atmosphere, but he stepped right up to the plate on Saturday night and won the admiration of the crowd with his snazzy P!nk Freestyle!

We also showed off our “brown” look at Devon with a brown tailcoat, boots and top hat. We dressed to win, and W committed himself to the task. He got way too sexy for his shirt again.

W is cheeky without limits. The atmosphere at Devon is fantastic. Watch him work the crowd!!

We won that test with 74.2 percent—our highest score for the freestyle to date. And even better news, the points we earned at Devon will count toward our ranking in the Western European League, so we now have a better chance to qualify for the World Cup next year! W simply rocks.

Now it is time to think about going home! W, Gizmo and I ship out on Monday from New York. It’s been a fun and successful summer for us. We will all three be sorry to leave our adopted home here on the East Coast of the USA, but the European World Cup tour is waiting for us! Off we go.

I’m Catherine Haddad, and I’m sayin it like it is from Gladstone, New Jersey.

Training Tip of the Day: Do you teach your horse to go into “neutral” when you halt and relax your body? You can use this technique in high stress or unfamiliar situations where distractions are many.

InternationalDressage.com