On Sunday at Dressage at Devon, we had a first: a leadline class! I’m sorry it was drizzling, which meant that judge Lendon Grey and all the mums and dads had to tromp around in the muddy Dixon oval, but oh how fun to see the next generation of dressage riders on their ponies!
A rider that caught my eye was tiny Tori Belles, daughter of my old friend Suzi Reggio Belles, and granddaughter of my other old friend Judy Reggio. Judy owns Windy Ridge Farm in Bethel, PA. She bred the wonderful Dutch Warmblood Roemer son, the stallion Joshua. Suzi compete Joshua through the FEI levels, and I have never seen a stallion who was more of a gentleman, unless it was his papa. I think Judy also went about three of four years in a row winning Yearling Colt or Filly in the Breed Show at Dressage at Devon: her breeding operation is a small one, but talk about quality!
Anyway. I was having that “old” feeling while shooting the leadline class, and it had nothing to do with having flown about a billion miles in the past few weeks. The thing is, I’ve known Suzi since I was a teenager on Long Island when we both rode at the same barn, and I think I first photographed her when she was only a few years older than Tori. There’s no mistaking whose little girl Tori is, either: not with those huge blue eyes, and no mistaking the family “horse gene” when you see her with her pony Ember!