Just a few miles down the road from Portland’s hipster atheistic, the charming city of Sherwood hosts a regal affair with the Dressage at DevonWood (July 20-22 at the DevonWood Equestrian Centre). The epic horseback riding and dressage near Portland draws over 150 riders from Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho and Canada. As one of the largest dressage events in the Pacific Northwest, Dressage at DevonWood has a combined schedule of more than 500 rides across three days. Riders from every riding class compete for seat medals, as well as in the graceful musical freestyle competition. From a pair of tickets to a full VIP table, there are lots of ways to immerse yourself into the world of dressage.
What to Do in Between Events
There’s time for more than just horsin’ around. Make time for other deluxe offerings near the equestrian center. Partake in a sunset dinner on the patio of Tree’s Restaurant. The upscale Italian-Creole cuisine is belly and soul-satisfying. For even more Italian flair, savor a glass of Pinot at Alloro Vineyard. The tasting room looks like an enchanting Italian villa. Once inside, you’ll be treated like an old friend. As night rolls around, tuck in at The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport. Luckily, the Bridgeport Village shopping center is just across the road. You may be tempted to peruse the Saks Off 5th store for some tax-free outfits to wear to Dressage at DevonWood the next day.
Along with Dressage at DevonWood, another regal affair, Sherwood’s Robin Hood Festival, trots into town July 20-22. Old Town Sherwood becomes a medieval playground fit for a fairytale. Yes, you will spot Robin Hood and knights in shining armor. Many of them, in fact, can be spotted at a horseback cantor during the festival’s annual parade (July 21 at 10 a.m.). Crests and embellishments are not designated solely for royalty—the kingly equine will be adorned, as well.
Take a Vineyard Ride
After watching world-class riders at Dressage at DevonWood, we encourage you to experience the majestic beauty of riding for yourself. Bella Rue Stables is hosting genteel rides on the Plum Hill Vineyards property ($80-$100 per person; make reservation by calling 503-747-9846). Nicole of Bella Rue’s Stables can coax the freshest of riders into total confidence with her stable of gentle creatures. Your sweet horse will gingerly lead you up-and-down the rows of vines. Your reward for a ride well done? A wine tasting and cheese plate to enjoy vineyard-side.
Are you ready for a bad pun? Here it is: Say “neigh” instead of “nay” to a weekend of horses near Portland. The Tualatin Valley, and the beautiful horses here, can’t wait to meet you.