It’s well-known in the equestrian community that the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is a mecca for the best of the best in primarily hunter but also jumper action. Devon is one of the most popular events of the summer horse show season and brings competitors from across the United States to earn the honor of winning a prestigious ribbon in the Dixon Oval.
Success was truly transcontinental this year as multiple members of the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association, based on the West Coast of the USA, earned top honors throughout the two week span. PCHA is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the promotion and development of showing in hunter, jumper, and western disciplines on the West Coast. Its members range from the local schooling show level all the way up to top tier international competition and includes young riders, amateurs, and professionals alike.
Their range in rider performance was evident at the 2023 Devon as PCHA members produced results from the pony divisions all the way through the prestigious Leading Hunter Rider award. Young rider Kathryn Padilla performed several beautiful rounds in the pony divisions, while adult amateur Caroline Ingalls claimed the Grand Champion of the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” division under the tutelage of esteemed trainer and PCHA board member Hap Hansen. Irene Neuwirth, another amateur competitor and PCHA rider, put forth fantastic rounds in the 36 and Over division. Avery Glynn brought home the R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch Equitation Championship honors and fellow competitor Paige Walkenbach took the title of Overall Large Junior Hunter Champion. Esteemed trainer and horseman Carleton Brooks’ horse, McQueen, was named Grand Hunter Champion, Champion Green Conformation, and Reserve Champion Green Hunter, and his colleague, Nick Haness was named the Leading Hunter Rider of the overall event.
Various equitation medals and classes were also a proven success for PCHA members as riders posted top scores in the ASPCA Maclay, the USET, the Dover Saddlery / USEF Medal, and the Washington. Noah Nelson and Paige Walkenbach emerged victorious as the Section A and Section B winners of the Washington, while Avery Glynn and Madison Nadalenco earned second and seventh of Section B, respectively. Madison Nadalenco continued in top form as she claimed fourth place in the USET medal, while Avery Glynn earned herself the leading position of the Dover Saddlery / USEF Medal in Section A, and Paige Walkenbach followed up with third place in that same event for Section B. Both Avery and Paige then produced top-ten finishes in the ASPCA Maclay with second and eighth respectively. Noah Nelson produced one more top-class performance to produce a sixth place finish in Section B of the ASPCA Maclay.
“Devon is the show where champions meet,” enthused Haness. “Every year it is an honor to bring the talented west coast horses, riders and trainers to Devon to show them what we’ve got. To be crowned the Grand Champion for the second year in a row is like a dream come true. I am proud to represent the West Coast.”
The Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association would like to extend its congratulations to all of its members for producing such fantastic results across all levels at this prestigious event. For more on PCHA, please visit pchashows.com.
The Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association (PCHA), a non-profit corporation, has as its main purpose the promotion and development of the sport of horse showing, primarily in the Hunter/Jumper, Western and Reining disciplines. These objectives are accomplished by setting the standards for showing on the West Coast and approving shows that meet these criteria.
Founded in 1946, the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association promotes the interests of owners and exhibitors, cooperates with exhibitors, officials, and management of competition, publicizes and advertises PCHA sanctioned shows, encourages and assists owners, exhibitors, and breeders of horses to maintain, develop and improve the quality of horses of the Hunter, Jumper, Western and Reining divisions.