A Founding Club: Delaware Valley Combined Training Association

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DVCTA’S QUAD SQUAD: Quadrille team (led by current DVCTA president Anne Moss) performs its “Think Pink” ride for breast-cancer awareness at Dressage at Devon 2012. (Jennifer Bryant photo)

Delaware Valley Combined Training Association in Region 1 was one of the charter GMO clubs that help found USDF.

In 1965, in Pennsylvania’s Chester County, several Pony Club moms (including Archie Leidy, Jeanne Braceland, Jill Willcox, and Sheila Wall Hundt) decided to start a “Pony Club for adults.” They reached out to the wider horse community, sponsoring schooling shows and horse trials.

One DVCTA dressage show outgrew its early base at Willcox’s farm; after a stint at the Radnor Hunt Club in the early 1970s, it moved to the Devon Horse Show grounds in 1975 and was christened Dressage at Devon. About the same time, one of the GMO’s horse trials grew into the Chesterland Three-Day Event. The club’s early emphasis was on eventing; as open space became scarcer, dressage became more of a focus.

DVCTA draws members from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey. As of 2006, Dressage at Devon is its own entity, separate from the GMO, although many volunteers are DVCTA members, and the club organizes a popular quadrille exhibition. Now a CDI-W, Dressage at Devon has become one of the top US dressage shows, with three days of sport-horse-breeding competition, four days of performance classes, and an enviable list of exhibitions and trade-fair shops.

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