Up and Coming Riders at Devon

By TPH Intern Izzy Feinstein

As the Devon Horse Show approaches this year, some of the top equestrians in the country prepare to enter the Dixon Oval. While there are many old faces that return year after year, there is always a large group of new faces ready to compete. I had the opportunity to interview a few of the up and coming riders that will be attending the Devon Horse Show this year.

Samantha Takacs and Topeka King (PC: Maria Takacs)

Name: Samantha Takacs

What is your age: 12 (show age 11)

Who do you train with: New Hope Farm in Ohio with Dave Belford and Chris Payne (at shows) and Heathersfield Farm in New Jersey with Maria Takacs (at home)

How long have you been riding: 10 years

Have you shown at Devon before: No, this is the first year

What division will you be showing in: the medium pony divison

Which pony will you be showing at Devon: Topeka King (aka King)

What is your greatest accomplishment as an equestrian: Earning enough points to qualify and qualifying for Devon

Goals for the 2017 show season: Qualifying for Harrisburg and Washington

Helen Lohr and Costar (PC: Helen Lohr)

Name: Helen Lohr

Age: 15

Who do you train with: Hidden Hollow Farm with Ginny Edwards and Erin Hastings in Virginia

How long have you been riding: For as long as I can remember.

Have you shown at Devon before: No, this is the first year

What division will you be showing in: The large junior hunters 15 & under

Which horse will you be showing at Devon: Costar

What is your greatest accomplishment so far as an equestrian: Winning VHSA/EMO Pony Medal Finals 2015 and 2nd place in the leadline at Upperville

Goals for the 2017 show season: To mature as a rider and learn in the ropes in the equitation as well as qualifying for WIHS and Harrisburg

Margot Peroni (PC: Margot Peroni)

Name: Margot Peroni

Age: 35

Who do you train with: Redfield Farm in New Jersey with Ashley Dibonigrazio

How long have you been riding: 32 years

Have you shown at Devon before: Yes, last year was my first time showing at Devon in almost ten years

What division will you be showing in: The 3’3” Younger Amateur Owners

Which horse will you be showing at Devon: Orion, an 8 year old German Sporthorse, and Encore B, a 12 year old Hanoverian Warmblood

What is your greatest accomplishment so far as an equestrian: Winning the $250k Platinum Performace Hunter Prix in 2015 and finishing Champion and Reserve Champion with Orion and Encore B at WIHS last year

Goals for the 2017 show season: Qualify for the 3’6” Amateur Challenge at Capital Challenge, have a successful indoors in the 3’6”, and jump a USHJA International Derby

Katherine Strauss and Capacity (PC: Katherine Strauss)

Name: Katherine Strauss

Age: 18

Who do you train with: John Madden Sales with John and Beezie Madden in Cazenovia, NY

How long have you been riding: 13 years

Have you shown at Devon before: Yes, I have shown at Devon for the past 6 years

What division will you be showing in: The Open FEI division, the High Amateur Jumpers, and the Seven Year Old Jumpers

Which horse will you be showing at Devon: All In will show in the Open FEI division, Executive and Capacity show in the High Amateur Jumpers, and Famous shows in the Seven Year Old Jumpers

What is your greatest accomplishment so far as an equestrian: Winning individual and team gold at Prix Des States

Goals for the 2017 show season: Become consistent as I move up from the junior/amateur classes to the open division. I am also aiming for a top finish at the Under 25 Championship at the National Horse Show this November.