Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Dressage at Devon Analysis: Sneak Preview

Rainbow over the Dixon Oval, during the breed show at Dressage at Devon 2018.

I had a lovely time at the Dressage at Devon breed show 2018, in spite of the rain. I had not made it to Devon in years, and saw first-hand the improvements in horses produced by North American breeding programs. Back at the time of my last trip, almost three decades ago (I don't get out nearly enough!), American breeders were still in the early stages of learning the craft. When the Born in the USA awards were started, 15 years ago, the winners of that award were not necessarily the best in their classes; most class winners were European imports.

What I saw in 2018 were American-bred winners being the rule rather than the exception. Of the horses in breed classes who scored over 80%, three-quarters were US-bred. Of the five top-scoring horses of all the breed classes, four were bred in the US. Many of our breeders now have decades of experience behind them: one of those four represented the fifth generation of an American breeding program.

My full article, with horse and breeder profiles, will appear in this space. Stay tuned.

- Anna Goebel

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