The division championship, sponsored by Hassler Dressage, will be a part of the event’s extensive breed division, which takes place September 23-25 in Devon, Pennsylvania.
Dressage at Devon markets itself as "the highest rated international dressage competition and most complete breed show outside of Europe". Olympic medalist Robert Dover calls Dressage at Devon “the standard by which all American horse shows should be judged.” There is no question that a ribbon won at the show is a gold star on a horse's resume, to say nothing of potentially adding to a price tag.
Weanlings have been shown previously at the event, but there was no specific championship for foals. In 2007, the prize list had 20 fillies and 35 colts listed as entries; there are classes for yearlings too, of course. There was a winning colt and a winning filly, but the champion young horse award meant that the babies had to compete against older horses.
The organizers and sponsor say they want to be more like the Germans.
Showing a foal in Germany is serious business, all part of the overall marketing emphasis of the breeding industry there. The foals are prepped to showcase their gaits, and promote the stallions who fathered them.
We will just have to wait and see if there is a big demand for Equinalysis or OnTrack gait analysis of foals, and if trainers become obsessive about trimming tiny feet. Yes, show-quality foals have trainers, or at least professional handlers on show day, as a rule.