Tuesday, May. 28, 2024

Violet Rheingold Finds Consistency For Devon Title



Devon, Pa.—May 23

Heading into the first day of the Devon Horse Show, Violet Rheingold was feeling a little nervous. She didn’t have her best performances with SWS High Light at their last show, but the 14-year-old from Boulder, Colorado, put that behind her.

A second-placed ribbon in the stake boosted Violet Rheingold and SWS High Light the 3’3″ small junior hunter and grand 3’3″ junior hunter championships. Mollie Bailey Photo

Rheingold and the 11-year-old warmblood of unrecorded breeding won their handy class, earned second in the stake, fourth in the over fences and fifth in the under saddle to take the 3’3″ small junior hunter championship and the grand 3’3″ junior hunter title. Lulu Wells on Coppertone and Jamison Lile on Nightcap tied for the reserve championship.

“We’ve been working on our canter and keeping him forward, and I thought he was really with me in there, and he was really a good boy this week,” Rheingold said.

Violet Rheingold won the grand 3’3″ junior hunter championship with SWS High Light. Kimberly Loushin Photo

Rheingold has ridden “Eddie” for two years with her trainer Marisa Metzger and started in the children’s hunters. The pair moved up to the 3’3″ juniors last year and have been showing in the 3’6” this season. The pair was qualified for Devon at both heights, but since Eddie and her large 3’3″ junior hunter, Ballantine, had never shown at Devon before, they decided to show at the lower height.

“He just is so striking,” Metzger said of what she saw in Eddie. “He’s a great mover. He’s a great jumper. He has a great expression, and I could just tell he was going to be really good at this. He had just barely started showing in the U.S. at the time, but we knew that Violet was capable. We develop a lot of horses in the sport from Europe, so we knew that would suit our program also, and so we gave it a chance.”

This is the first time Rheingold has shown a horse at Devon, and Wednesday was her first trip around the historic Dixon Oval, but she rode a large pony here previously.


Nightcap and Jamison Lile tied for the reserve championship in the small 3’3″ junior hunter division. Mollie Bailey Photo

“I wasn’t really aiming for champion,” she said. “I was just aiming to have consistent rounds.”

Her favorite part about being at the historic show is enjoying the fair when she’s not riding.

“[The fair is] really fun, and it’s just a cool show to be at as well,” she said. “I like how it’s really historic, and it’s a fun place to go with my friends and make some more memories.”

Coppertone and Lulu Wells tied for the reserve championship in the small 3’3″ junior hunter division. Mollie Bailey Photo

Watch video of Rheingold and SWS High Light:

Alexandra Rowe Quells Her Nerves

Before heading into the show ring, Alexandra Rowe likes to remind herself to take a few deep breaths. That, and reminding herself that she and her horse are very capable of completing the course, helps her de-stress.

“He really helps my nerves; he’s very calm,” she said of Chaperone. “He’s just incredible. Very sweet. He’s one of a kind.”


Chaperone and Alexandra Rowe earned the 3’3″ large junior hunter championship. Mollie Bailey Photo

That faith in herself and her horse served her well as she won the first over fences class of the 3’3″ large junior hunter division at Devon. Coupled with a third in the handy and fifth place in the under saddle, the 17-year-old from Milton, Georgia, earned the division championship over Lily Sonneborn and Spoken.

“It’s my new favorite horse show,” she said. “It’s very calm. It runs on time, which I like. [It’s] a little overwhelming at times, walking into that big ring with the top however-many horses that are here, and I get to compete against all of them.”

Rowe has never competed at Devon before, and while she was hoping to qualify this year, she thought it might take a year before she was ready. She was thrilled to have the opportunity to compete in the Dixon Oval.

“[It was] very nerve-wracking, especially for my first time, but with ‘Karl,’ I felt so calm with him, knowing he was going to take care of me.”

Spoken and Lily Sonneborn earned the reserve 3’3″ large junior hunter championship. Mollie Bailey Photo

Rowe started leasing the 14-year-old warmblood (Chap—Guernica) four months ago, but the pair have already built a strong partnership under the guidance of trainer Michael Britt-Leon.

“What a huge accomplishment,” Britt-Leon said. “First time here, it was incredible. She was so good, and going into today, yesterday was so great. We’re just excited—really, really excited. It’s such a wonderful horse and such a good pair. She rode great and deserves it.”

The Chronicle has a pair of reporters at Devon bringing you photo galleries, stories from the competition and more at www.coth.com. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss a thing. You can see a full report from the entire competition in the June 17 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse magazine.

Important Links: Devon Horse Show website / Detailed schedule / Results and orders of go / All the Chronicle’s coverage



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