Wednesday, Sep. 27, 2023

Concerto Sets The Tone At Devon



Devon, Pa.—June 3

At last year’s Devon Horse Show, Caroline Ingalls felt in awe to be competing at the horse show she’d watched from afar for her entire life. But if she felt butterflies, it didn’t show in her performance as she picked up a reserve championship in the amateur-owner hunter, 18-35, division with Concerto. This year she did one better, earning the division championship over Augusta Iwasaki and Small Love as well as the grand amateur-owner hunter honors after earning three blue ribbons and a pair of third-place ribbons.

Caroline Ingalls and Concerto. Mollie Bailey Photo

“Wow, it was incredible,” said Ingalls, Rancho Santa Fe, California. “Last year was my first time here, and I think I was very nervous to start. This year we came back and I was just really determined and excited to be back here, and you just get in the ring and everything just kind of goes black, and I just let myself do what I know how to do, and it’s just incredible.

“When we finished our stake round, getting that 92, I almost felt like I was going to cry,” she said. “The finishing circle and you pass by that VIP area, and it’s incredible. After however many years this horse show has been going on, to be able to have that opportunity and that success in the same ring all those people have won, it just doesn’t even feel real.”

Augusta Iwasaki and Small Love. Mollie Bailey Photo

Ingalls, who rides with Hap Hansen, has had “Bolo,” a 12-year-old Westphalian (Cathanos—Chevelle La Feme) since he was 5.

“He’s just a sports car. He is so adjustable and so responsive to what I’m doing,” she said. “I feel like what I’m thinking in my brain goes directly to him. In that last round I felt like we were completely at one. He has such a huge stride; he can eat up the lines easy and collect, and he’s super brave. He doesn’t spook at anything except for maybe a little noise here or there, but he’s just so trusty and just the best guy. He’s my best friend.”

Private Practice Adds To His Celebrity

Heading into the second day of the 3’3” amateur-owner hunters, 18-35, Martha Ingram wanted to make sure she focused on the details in the rounds with Private Practice, rather than get wound up over earning blue ribbons.

“He tried to be excellent yesterday, but his rider didn’t do the best job yesterday,” she said. “But we got lucky and won the hack. Today I was much more in the groove. He’s always ready to win, so finally his rider was able to help him out a bit.”


Martha Ingram and Private Practice. Kimberly Loushin Photo

She and the 13-year-old Holsteiner by Lordanos added two more wins over fences to their victory under saddle to take the division championship over Stephanie Danhakl and Quest and the grand 3’3″ amateur-owner hunter title.

“Obviously he is a winner, and he doesn’t let you down, so there’s pressure to do him justice,” she said. “But luckily I’ve had him for a long time and love him to death.”

Stephanie Danhakl and Quest. Kimberly Loushin Photo

Ingram, who lives in Nashville, has been riding “Peter” since late 2020.

“He is like a celebrity in his own right,” she said. “He has so much presence, and he knows when it’s a big horse show. You can feel him, and he’s right there. He’s just amazing. You know if you just do your part, he’s going to take care of the rest and jump amazing, so definitely adds confidence for sure.”

Guess Who Adds An Exclamation Point On His Devon Performance

Two years ago while at a horse show, Irene Neuwirth was looking for a reason not to go home. So she found herself near a warm-up ring for a young hunter class and found herself drawn to a stunning bay gelding. With four white socks and a striking blaze in the shape of a question mark, he was hard to miss. And then with the way he jumped with his knees to his chin, she couldn’t keep her eyes off him.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, look at how this horse jumps. This is incredible,’ ” she recalled.

At the same time, Neuwirth’s trainer, John Bragg, had gotten a call from Guillermo Obligado, who owned the gelding aptly named Guess Who, saying he had a nice hunter. When Bragg came to tell Neuwirth he’d learned of a horse they should look at, she couldn’t contain her excitement.

“I was like, ‘That’s the one! Let’s go try him!’ ” she said. “I literally just sat there and was like no one else is trying this horse. He’s magnificent.”

Irene Neuwirth and Guess Who. Kimberly Loushin Photo

“Hugo,” an 8-year-old Holsteiner (Balousbellini—Bavaria II) showed just how magnificent he could be today by winning the amateur-owner hunter, 36 and over, championship over reserve pair Lee Kellogg Sadrian and Augustine. The pair won two classes and were sixth in two more on the way to the championship. Neuwirth was also reserve in the 3’3” amateur-owner hunter, 36 and over, division with Coconut Grove.

“You know what, last year when I came in, I was sort of like I want to get a ribbon, and then it was such a great surprise [to be champion with Juan Carlos], and this year was a little bit more stressful because we’d done so well last year and had such an outstanding year that I was nervous about not riding well,” said the rider from Culver City, California.


Lee Kellogg Sadrian and Augustine. Kimberly Loushin Photo

Neuwirth, who has her own jewelry business and recently opened a store in New York, feels having a hobby like horses to occupy her brain has benefited her in her professional life.

“I think it’s making me more relaxed and a better employer,” she said. “Everyone says that in my office. They’re like you’re so much more chill. It’s actually been a really nice thing for me. It’s been sort of a meditation. Although I woke up yesterday morning and was like why do we do this? This is not fun. It’s only stressful.

“It’s just so hard to be good, so it feels very exciting when you are,” she added. “It feels like a real feat.”

Trail Rides Lead To Blue Ribbons For Catch Me

Catch Me is one of the most recognizable names in the hunters, having won championships in the open hunters, amateur-owners and junior hunters. With a horse as seasoned as him, he doesn’t need practice, so the 16-year-old Holsteiner (Casiro I—Wonne I) spends much of his time out on the trails.

“We trail ride our horses as much as anybody could, and they really appreciate that,” said rider Becky Gochman. “I think that’s part of their longevity, why they are able to last so long, is all the good trail rides and all the good care from our team, and with ‘Snoopy,’ he’s obviously a horse of many lifetimes. He’s a great guy.”

Becky Gochman and Catch Me. Kimberly Loushin Photo

Snoopy added another accolade to his already jam-packed resume by earning the 3’3″ amateur-owner hunter, 36 and over, championship. They earned all of their points on Friday, winning the under saddle and the first over fences class.

“We had an amazing day yesterday winning both classes,” said Gochman, Wellington, Florida. “Today was a lot more challenging with his rider. … I went off course. But what are you going to do? And he was a little deflated from that, so the second class was OK, and he did his job, but we really rode off our laurels yesterday. I’m really grateful for every single moment that we have in the ring together. It truly is icing on the cake from here on out, and he’s definitely a great friend, a great partner, and I couldn’t ask for anything more from him.”

Irene Neuwith and Coconut Grove. Kimberly Loushin Photo

Full Results

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Don’t forget to pick up copies of The Chronicle of the Horse magazine. Junior Weekend coverage will be found in the June 12 & 19 issue, and coverage of Senior Week will be in the June 26 issue.




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