Devon, Pa. – May 28, 2018 – Spectators gathered around the Dixon Oval on Memorial Day to witness the presentation of the tricolors for the Horse Pairs and the Single/Pair Pony Driving championship. Steve Wilson and his two grey Dutch Warmbloods received top honors in the Horse Pairs Championship after accumulating the most points throughout Sunday’s competition. Later, it was Nichole Jansen and Littletree Limited Edition who took home the blue in the Single/Pair Pony Championship.
Wilson acquired the two Dutch Warmbloods in Hungary and the team has proven to be very successful, having won two consecutive US Equestrian Pair Horse Driving National Championship titles in 2015 and 2016. Additionally, Wilson and his horses were selected to represent the United States in the 2017 FEI World Driving Championship Competition for Pairs in Lipica, Slovenia.
Later, the evening’s events shifted its attention to the ponies, where Nichole Jansen entered the winner’s circle to earn the Single/Pair Pony Driving championship with her Kutzmann Spider Lite carriage. Jansen and her pony, a versatile stallion named Littletree Limited Edition, have had a successful year together including winning the prestigious Edinburgh Prize for Driving, which is presented by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. The pair earned the champion ribbon on Monday evening by taking home first place in the Single/Pair Pony Pleasure Turnout and fourth place in the Single/Pair Pony Scurry.
The Four-in-Hand Coaching division was also a featured event in the Monday evening session, with Misdee Wrigley Miller of Paris, Kentucky taking home the blue. Four-in-Hand Coaching competition will continue throughout the week at the Devon Horse Show and County Fair.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Steve Wilson – Horse Pairs Championship winner
On his horses:
“They are Dutch Warmblood greys, one is 12 years old and the other is 13 years old. We normally compete in combined driving, so this is my first pleasure show. I’ve had one horse for three years and the other one for four years. They get along very well. They were both bred in Holland, but I bought them in Hungary. They are from the same lineage. Their gate and activity is very similar, but one of them is slightly taller and has a longer head, but when they are in harness you don’t really notice too much.”
On Monday’s courses:
“My task with my horses is that they are pretty hot. The judge told me after the first class if I had been able to make them walk, we would have won that class. They are very hot and so sometimes they prance a little bit. In the second class, the scurry, we are fairly used to cones from combined driving, but not with an antique carriage that has no breaks. We hit cone number ten so we got a ten point penalty, but then we galloped to the finish so we ended with a 95 second score. It was very exciting.”
On competing at the Devon Horse Show:
“I’ve never been to Devon before. I have a lot of neighbors back home in Kentucky who have been here and they talk a lot about how much fun it is and how great the tradition is here. This has been a unique and wonderful experience for us here. I had participated in a coach drive at Windsor and a friend of mine told me that Devon is the ‘Windsor of America,’ so that was very enticing and why we decided it was worth it to come all the way from Kentucky.”
Nichole Jansen – Single/Pair Pony Championship winner
On her horse:
“His name is Littletree Limited Edition and we call him Vern. We imported him from England last year. He got broke to drive last February and he was so great that we showed here at Devon in May and we got third place. It was so amazing. We were also fortunate enough together to be the first American to win the Duke of Edinburgh prize from Prince Philip this past season for driving achievements. We have just had the most amazing year with him. He is a stallion, but my little girl can still ride him at home. He is so versatile. We just started doing mounted shooting for fun. He rides, he drives, he loads – we can take him anywhere. He has such a great personality and we just wanted everyone to have Fell Ponies. We are working hard to promote the breed because they are just amazing.”
On competing at the Devon Horse Show:
“It’s such a big honor to come to Devon. When I got into carriage driving I would always ask what the big shows were and everyone always said that Devon is just the most prestigious and so fun. When we came last year, the crowds just went wild over [Vern]. It’s just so nice to have a horse show that is so welcoming to us. It’s been crazy awesome to be here. We will definitely be back here next year too, it’s so worth the drive from Florida for us.”