Devon, Pa. – June 1, 2018 – Following the $35,000 Devon Speed Derby CSI4*, attention in the Dixon Oval shifted to the Four-in-Hand Coaching championship, where Misdee Wrigley Miller took home the tricolor ribbon. Miller competed with her Holland and Holland Park Drag coach that was pulled by her team of four bay Dutch Warmbloods. Reserve champion was captured by Paul Martin and his Brewster Park Drag coach.
Miller competed against four other coaching combinations earlier in the evening, where teams had to maneuver around a timed obstacle course while practicing technique and carefulness in the class sponsored by AJ Blosenski. She and her team of horses finished in second in a time of 118.645 and 4 faults.
Miller was able to accumulate the most points throughout multiple days of competition, placing in first in four out of five of the offered classes, to take the championship. Miller, based out of Paris, Kentucky, is a seasoned coaching competitor who has competed worldwide representing the United States with her team of horses.
Devon is a family affair for Miller as her sister, Helen Rich, is also a successful Four-in-Hand Coaching competitor as well as her niece, Ali DeGray, who is competing in the Roadster Pony and Amateur Hackney Pony classes at Devon.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Misdee Wrigley Miller – Four-in-Hand Coaching Championship winner
On her horses:
“I have some original members of my Dutch harness team and a couple of new ones. As we bring them in, we work them together as pairs and then add them together as a team as they get used to each other.”
On showing at the Devon Horse Show:
“When it was announced that this was the 122nd edition of the Devon Horse Show — to be so much a part of that history, especially the coaching, is very wonderful. I have a friend in England who texted me and she said that she was coaching at Devon 50 years ago. How wonderful is that? I really thank the show management for keeping coaching as part of the show schedule. It is really important to all of the coaching competitors. This coaching championship at Devon is very highly sought after.”
On her coach:
“It was built at the end of the last century. It was owned by Leonord Powell, who was a prominent coachman in Great Britain and president of the Coaching Club there as well. When he retired from coaching, he gave it to a friend and the friend passed away which resulted in the coach falling into disrepair. One of my mentors, Cynthia Hayden, said I know where you can find a good coach. So we went to the barn to look at it and restored it in 1997. When restoring a coach like this, you strip it down to its bare wood and inspect it to see how much wood needs to be replaced. It was a several-month-long process. The painting is unbelievable. I chose my own colors on this coach and my family crest has three swans on it. I took a rubbing of my great-grandmother’s tea set and sent it to the painter where he recreated the swans on my coach. It’s gorgeous, I love it.”