Plantation Field International Horse Trials is well known for its amazing parties, but organizer Katie Walker seriously outdid herself with the Saturday night competitor and sponsor party, which featured a “Dancing with the Stars” theme. She invited actual members of the DWTS dance troupe — Serge Onik, Allen Genkin, Amanda Spivack and Alla Kocherga — pair up with riders for a dance off.
Serge partnered with Sinead Halpin, Allen with Lynn Symansky, Amanda with Clayton Fredericks, and Alla with local jump jockey Jody Petty. The esteemed judges panel of local foxhunter Stevie Hayes, Phillip Dutton’s super groom Emma Ford and chair of the USEF Eventing Selection Committee Bobby Costello gave scores to each pair.
After the troupe’s demonstration, each dancer and rider pair had 15 minutes to come up with a routine to dazzle the crowd of 350 spectators that packed the VIP tent. Lynn and Allen were first out and completely brought the house down. She was dancing so fast that she’s practically a blur in all my photos. Girl’s got moves, ya’ll.
Then Jody and Alla took the stage with an impressively choreographed routine. Jody’s something of a local celebrity known for his dancing prowess, so the crowd absolutely went wild for his performance. Sinead and and Serge followed next with some bangin’ dips and spins, followed by Clayton and Amanda, who held their own in what turned out to be a very close competition.
The judges all ended up awarding the same combined score of 11 to each pair, so all eight of them came back out onto the dance floor for one finale dance, with all of them dancing for the win at the same time. It can only be described as a rousing spectacle akin to what you’d see on “Moulin Rouge” — totally out of control.
Though Lynn Symansky’s energetic performance wowed the crowd, Jody and Alla really stole the show, with Jody flipping her around more times than I could count. Jody and Alla each took home a disco ball trophy and eternal glory as the winners of Dancing with the Stars, Eventer Style.
Many thanks to Katie for putting on the Best. Party. Ever. at the Best. Event. Ever. — she ending up paying the DJ for an extra hour when everyone was having too much fun to go home. And word on the street is next year’s theme is already in the works, and it’s going to be equally fantastic. Go Plantation Field.