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Press Release


Gray Slipper was retired during the 2011 Devon Horse Show.

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Champion Hunter Gray Slipper Retires at Devon Horse Show

Written by: Rebecca Walton
Client: Derbydown
Release Date: 2011-06-08

Devon, PA – June 8, 2011 – The 2011 Devon Horse Show proved to be a very emotional event for Derbydown, as they retired the great hunter Gray Slipper, who was successfully campaigned for many years by Louise Serio and owner Bridget Hallman. The prestigious Dixon Oval was a fitting location for the moving ceremony, as Gray Slipper has claimed two Grand Championship titles during his competitive years.

Over the past 11 years, Gray Slipper was awarded the 2006 Chronicle of the Horse Overall and Hunter Horse of the Year, was Grand Champion three times at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, Grand Champion two times at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Grand Champion at the Washington International Horse Show, and Winter Equestrian Festival Circuit Champion.

Professional rider and Derbydown owner Louise Serio competed with Gray Slipper in the professional hunter divisions, while owner Bridget Hallman showed him in the Amateur-Owner Hunters. Hallman commented, “These past 11 years have been a life-changing, true fairy tale. Looking back at all that was accomplished is remarkable. He was the epitome of what a great hunter should be. He had the movement, style, stride and scope for days. He could lope down to the hugest of oxers and effortlessly fire into the air. It would feel like you were in the air forever. He would give you so much confidence that when you came out of the ring you didn’t think you won, you knew you won. But win, lose or draw at the end of the day you were walking back to the barn on Gray Slipper and nothing else mattered. “

Serio added, “Slipper taught me more than I ever taught him. He always went beautifully at Devon. The jumps used to be huge in the Regular divisions and he just loved that ring. He was champion with both Bridget and me, so it was a fitting place for him to retire.”

Derbydown is based in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, just a few miles from the Devon Show Grounds, and two of Serio’s riders had great success in the Local Hunter divisions during the 2011 Devon Horse Show. Devon Yacka and Furst Laugh claimed the Grand Local Hunter Championship award after dominating the Local Hunters Section A. The duo garnered two first place ribbons and two second place ribbons to score the tricolor prize. “Devon had a great week on Furst Laugh,” said Serio. “He went beautifully in each class.”

The Barnes Brooks’ entry, Nickleback, had great success with Jane Maguire and Chrissy Serio in irons to claim the Local Hunter Section C Reserve Championship. Nickleback won the stake class and placed second in the under saddle. Jane Maguire’s Fun & Games was also successful in the Local Hunter Section C division, scoring a first place ribbon and a third place ribbon.

Derbydown will now travel to the HITS Saugerties and Swan Lake Horse Shows before returning to the Devon Show Grounds for the first annual Brandywine Valley Summer Series.

About Louise Serio and Derbydown:

Owned and operated by top hunter trainer Louise Serio, Derbydown is nationally recognized as one of the foremost show hunter barns in the country. It is a training, boarding, showing and sales business with a multi-level horse facility providing all levels of instruction to A-quality showing in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Serio began training at Derbydown in 1975 and she consistently trains and rides champions in every division at the most prestigious shows on the East Coast, as well as traveling the country to judge at those top shows in which she is not competing. Some of her championship mounts include Gray Slipper, Dream Date, Red Panda, LaFayette and Hat Trick. Most recently, Serio was victorious in the 2011 WCHR Pro Hunter Classic aboard Castle Rock at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

For more information please visit

Photo Credit: Gray Slipper was retired during the 2011 Devon Horse Show. Photo By: Jessica Nemzoff/ Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.


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