Devon, Pa. – Oct. 1, 2022 – Dressage at Devon’s pinnacle classes of the week, the CDI3* Grand Prix Special, presented by BioStar Whole Food Supplements, and the CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle, presented by Kingsview Partners, were highlighted in the Dixon Oval on Saturday evening. Ready for a night of musical freestyle performances in the electric atmosphere of the Dixon Oval, competitors and spectators reconvened for the evening session of FEI competition, seeing Micaela Mabragana and Alice Tarjan once again earn top placings, this time in the CDI3* Grand Prix Special and CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle.
Before the competition got back underway, Australian horseman Guy McLean returned to the arena for another special horsemanship exhibition with his four-horse team. McLean demonstrated impressive feats with the horses, only one of which he rode while the others followed his instructions without tack of any kind. McLean is always a crowd-favorite at Dressage at Devon for his personable touch and practical approach to training horses. McLeal will return Sunday, Oct. 2, at the conclusion of the afternoon classes to host a clinic titled “The Method Behind the Magic,” where he will detail how he trains his teams of horses.
The CDI3* Grand Prix Special, presented by BioStar Whole Food Supplements, was first of the two evening classes to begin, offering up The Braceland Trophy. Argentina’s Micaela Mabragana and Diamond Rosso, a 12-year-old Hannoverian gelding owned by Marjaleena Berger, once again stole the show with a score of 66.766%. The pair was given several high marks of 7.5 for their passage, one and two tempis, and their transitions, even scoring some 8s for their halt and one tempis.
In the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle that followed presented by Kingsview Partners, nine horse-and-rider combinations returned to perform their musical routine and vie for The Brigadoon Challenge Trophy. Canada’s Vanessa Creech-Terauds was first in the ring with Fleur de Lis L, a 13-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Louise Leatherdale. The pair was awarded a personal best score of 71.02% for their upbeat and fluid freestyle, setting the bar for the remainder of the class high.
Creech held the lead until Tarjan and Serenade MF, her own 9-year-old Oldenburg mare, returned to the arena. The pair wowed both the judges and the crowd alike, earning a score of 76.515% for their harmonious routine and fitting instrumental music.
Michael Bragdell and Qredit Hilltop, a 14-year-old Oldenburg stallion owned by Hilltop Farm, entered the arena soon after to audible cheers as “Blurred Lines” echoed throughout the Dixon Oval. Bragdell’s freestyle selection combined an ensemble of music genres. As Bragdell and Hilltop galloped across the diagonal to Coldplay’s “Hymn for the Weekend,” the crowd roared, applauding the noteworthy performance. The judges awarded their boldness with a score of 73.13%, their new personal best, to push them into third place on the leaderboard.
Megan Lane and Zodiac MW, an 18-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Deer Ridge Equestrian, were last in the ring, with their sights set on tackling their floor plan with a precise and consistent test. The pair finished with a score of 75.22% for their efforts, but were not quite able to overcome Tarjan and Serenade MF, and settled for second place. Bragdell and Qredit Hilltop went home with the yellow ribbon to complete the top three. The Jeanne Pake Memorial Trophy was given to Allison Nemeth as the groom of the CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle winner at the awards ceremony before Tarjan and her mare took their victory gallop around the Dixon Oval to celebrate.
Competition at Dressage at Devon will resume and conclude Sunday, Oct. 2, at 8:00 a.m with the CDI3* Intermediate B test, presented by Pure Insurance. The final class of the day, the CDI3* Intermediate I Freestyle, presented by Stubben North America, is set to start at 12:50 p.m.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Alice Tarjan – CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle Winner
On today’s ride:
“I think the balance was a little more uphill. I got lost multiple times, poor horse, so I have to ride a little bit better I think. She did her job as usual. I got a little lost but it’s a freestyle, so I guess it’s not so obvious. It’s a really difficult freestyle, Marcus made it for us. But on that horse, I think it’s possible to do it. She’s a really cool horse, she tries her heart out for you and she’s really on the aids so you can ride a freestyle that difficult.”
On winning at Devon and what’s next:
“I’m thrilled. It’s not something I ever expected. I’m still not able to get in the test what I am able to get in the warmup, and I think the idea is you want to be able to ride the test at just the same quality that you get in the warmup and can get at home. The horse is young, and so just to be able to hold the consistent balance throughout the entire test and get the same quality we do at home and in the warmup. I think you follow where the horses go and where they lead you, and all you can do is try to set the horses up as best you can and put them in the best situations. All I can do is try and train my horses as best I can and try to present them in the ring, and follow that.”
Michael Bragdell – CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle, Third place
On riding at Dressage at Devon:
“I loved it, it was fun. He (Qredit) was great. I just want to come in here and have fun, and just be thankful to have the chance to ride here and enjoy this awesome crowd. So I trimmed down my warmup quite a bit and thought, ‘I’m just going to do something nice and easy.’ I have to trust it, and it felt great, we finished so strong. And the crowd is just unbelievable, I mean it’s so much fun. It’s a wonderful thing. I got my personal best in the CDI score, so of course I want to win but it’s still fun to come here…when the horse is performing for you and the crowd is cheering you on the way you do, you can only smile.”
On his freestyle test:
“Today, I was a little calmer, more settled, and I think that helped Qredit perform a bit better. I think my pirouettes were better. I still had a little bobble at the end of the one’s but I love how that test finishes, with the extended canter into the piaffe and then turns, and he just really comes into it in the end there. It’s a super feeling, you can really just completely let go. He knows it.”
On what’s next:
“I’ll probably go down to Tryon. And I’m sure everybody is aiming for Omaha, so why not. That would be super exciting, and to be on the home turf…that would be extra special.”
CDI3* Grand Prix Special, presented by BioStar US
Rider / Country / Horse / Score
1. Micaela Mabragana / ARG / Diamond’s Rosso / 66.766
CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle, presented by Kingsview Partners
Rider / Country / Horse / Score
1. Alice Tarjan / USA / Serenade MF / 76.515
2. Megan Lane / CAN / Zodiac MW / 75.22
3. Michael Bragdell / USA / Qredit Hilltop / 73.13
4. Vanessa Creech-Terauds / CAN / Fleur de Lis L / 71.02
5. Abraham Pugh / USA / Elfenperfekt / 70.925
6. Kymberly Pullen / USA / Hot Date / 69.155
7. Silva Martin / USA / Belrano Gold / 69.13
8. Shannon Stevens / USA / Ferrari / 68.72