Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dressage at Devon Under Way

It has already been a busy season for Silva. Just over a week ago she and Nina Gardner's Wasabi won the Training level championship Dressage at Bucks Count, where Waimea placed second in Fourth Level test 1 and Jeff the Chef won Fourth Level test 3.

Today is the first day of Dressage at Devon, and Silva will be taking two horses to the show this year. She is riding FS Tiger Lily, owned by Meg Williams, in the Championships for five-year-old horses on Thursday. On the weekend she'll be riding her own Jeff the Chef in Fourth Level - Saturday in the Fourth Level Test 2 qualifier, and Sunday in Fourth Level Test 2 and Fourth Level Test 3.

Last year at Devon, with Silva riding, FS Tiger Lily won the Championship for four-year-old horses and Jeff placed third in the Championship for six-year-old horses.

"This year I know the place better and won't have to find my way around," said Silva. "Jeff is still green at this level but he is going the best he can, so I'm looking forward to riding him. He had a 69.5% at Bucks County, and if he gets that at Devon I'll be really pleased. Hopefully Tiger Lily will do well; she had the last week off with a hoof abscess but she's back in business now and doing great."

Silva is excited about the atmosphere at Devon too. "It's fun having a lot of competitors at one show - there are maybe 35 horses competing in Fourth Level, which is a lot in this country, and it's world-class competition. It's more like the shows in Germany. Jeff is only seven but hopefully he'll keep up with the others. I am hoping that he'll do the small tour there next year."

Amber Heintzberger Photo of Silva and working student Caitlin Silliman preparing Nina Gardner's mare Wasabi for a photo shoot at True Prospect Farm.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Top Finishes at Plantation Field International

In the inaugural Plantation Field International CIC and Horse Trials, just down the road from True Prospect Farm, Boyd finished second in the CIC** with Bellaney's Destiny, owned by Debbie Kuhns, and fourth in the CIC*** riding Belmont II, owned by Kate Dichey. Boyd and Silva's students also had an outstanding weekend, with Molly Rosin winning the CIC** riding Havarah's Charlie,and Lillian Heard winning the CIC* aboard Share Option.

Silva commented after Heard's successful jumping round, "She and her horse both have a lot of talent and she has been working hard. I'm very proud of her."

Boyd hopes that Belmont II will compete in a couple of upper-level events before he sells him for Dichey. "He's soft and rideable in the dressage and has good jumping ability," said Boyd of the big bay gelding. Horse and rider have not had much time to get to know each other. "I did an intermediate on him a couple weeks ago and placed third or so, and then he just came to Silva's barn last week."

Bellaney's Destiny came to Boyd with longer-term goals, and Boyd said, "He's only been here a couple months and he's really improved. It's a shame he didn't win today, but he has shown amazing improvement."

Photo of Boyd and Bellaney's Destiny copyright Amber Heintzberger 2008