DEVON, Pa. — Ladies Day at the Devon Horse Show featured the long standing tradition of the Ladies Side Saddle championship. Horse-and-rider combinations competed in an undersaddle class, a hunter hack and an over fences class. At the end of an impressive show of skills from all competitors, it was Hypnotic that accumulated the most points to take home the championship ribbon.
Winning the championship ribbon at the Devon Horse Show has been a long time goal for Debra Taylor, of Berwyn, Pa. “I watched a side saddle class from the rail one day and thought that maybe I could give it a try. So I tried it and I’ve been riding side saddle for about 15 years now. I grew up riding in the local hunter shows.”
Hypnotic, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse, is owned by Taylor’s daughter. Hypnotic won all three of the side saddle classes, with Debra Taylor in the saddle for the flat classes and her trainer, Susan Sisco riding over fences.
“My daughter and I bought this horse about four years ago. My daughter now owns the horse and I ride him side saddle and she showed him in the Children’s Hunters. He is really just such a family horse and we love him so much,” Taylor said.
Side saddle has been a part of the Devon Horse Show tradition for as long as anyone can recall. The style of riding was first introduced in Great Britain by Anne of Bohemia in 1382, at the time of her marriage to King Richard II. It introduced a more independent way of travel, since travel was primarily through cart or carriage back then.
“I have been showing side saddle at Devon for about 10 years now. I have dreamt of this day my whole life,” Taylor said after winning the championship, “I couldn't be more excited and happy. It’s such an amazing experience. No other place could ever be as special as Devon.”
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