Friday, May 31, 2019

Leatherdale Farms Announces Retirement of Home-Bred Grand Prix Powerhouse Devon L

Wellington, Fla. - May 21, 2019 

Diane Creech and Devon L
Following a stellar career with Canada's Diane Creech and her daughter, Vanessa Creech-Terauds, Leatherdale Farms's 19-year-old Hanoverian gelding Devon L (De Niro-EM Wibranda, Wolkenstein II) will be retired from high-performance dressage competition.

Bred by Doug and Louise Leatherdale, founders and owners of Leatherdale Farms, Devon L turned heads from the moment he was born at their farm in Minnesota, especially as a shiny chestnut despite his dam and sire both being black. Throughout Devon L's long and illustrious show career he has played an instrumental role for his riders. In 2005 Devon L and Creech dominated the 5-year-old division tests and won the Canadian FEI 5-Year-Old Championship title. The following year, the pair represented Canada at the 2006 World Young Horse Breeding Championships in Verden, Germany. However, his success as a young horse was only the beginning of much more success to come.

As Devon L's sole trainer and rider, Creech formed a strong bond with the gelding and they made their Grand Prix debut in 2009. They enjoyed top placings and many CDI Grand Prix wins around the globe, with the pinnacle of their resume thus far being their selection as the reserve horse-and-rider combination for the 2012 London Olympic Games. A few years later in 2014, Creech and Devon L earned a new career high score of 75.100% in Palgrave, Ontario, during their Grand Prix Freestyle.

Diane Creech and Devon L
"I met Devon when he was just turning 3 and, after some excitement getting him undersaddle, he has continued to fill my life with stories and many, 'Wow,' moments," Creech explained. "He is so talented with a genius mind and training came so easy to him. He taught me so much over the years - carrying me from Training Level youngster moments to being a world-class horse ready to head down centerline at the London Olympic Games as Canada's traveling reserves. 

"Retirement are the golden years of our lives and while Devon L is still so young at heart and happy to work, we decided to retire him," Creech continued. "I've always wanted him to feel great as he steps into the next chapter of life happy and full of it. In his mind, he believes he is a 6-year-old and is ready to give 120%. In the meantime, we have to protect his body from his mind and remind him, laughingly, of his age. With one bright and one tearful eye, we decided to make the decision for him and lead him through his next door."

A few years prior to Devon L's retirement, Leatherdale provided the opportunity of a lifetime to Creech-Terauds. Ready to teach a younger rider the ins and outs of the Grand Prix, Devon L and Creech-Terauds began their partnership in May 2017 competing in the U25 Grand Prix division. As Creech-Terauds strengthened her understanding as a U25 rider, Devon L gave her the confidence to further develop her skills, improving their scores each time they stepped in the ring. As a result, they've won over 10 CDI U25 classes together. In 2018, the pair made the trip to Pennsylvania for Dressage at Devon, where they were undefeated in their division.

Vanessa Creech-Terauds and Devon L
"These past two years that I have been fortunate enough to ride and learn from Devon have been absolutely priceless," said Creech-Terauds. "Moving up from Young Riders to the U25 Grand Prix was a very big step and learning curve, and Devon was the best teacher I could've asked for. Always keeping me on my toes and riding every step, his sharp mind and bold personality really showed me what it takes to be a Grand Prix rider. Being able to share so many memories and accomplishments has been a dream come true and I can't thank Louise enough." 

Vanessa Creech-Terauds and Devon L
Leatherdale Farms proudly recognizes this exceptional horse and his great achievements as a great teacher, companion and partner.

"A kind horse that always gave so much of himself to his riders, Devon L brought our entire team an immense amount of joy over the years," Leatherdale said. "Devon L's ability to listen and learn from a young age made him wise beyond his years and he carried this wisdom and enthusiasm throughout his adult life." 

"We are so lucky that Louise is allowing us to take Devon home to Canada with us for his retirement, where he will still be hacked out and be the big uncle to our young Damsey filly, Davina," Creech said. "Devon has taken me so many places and I will always be grateful to him and to Louise, who has supported us all these years. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to Doug and Louise Leatherdale, and Devon L! Let's celebrate looking forward to many more years together!"

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