Devon, PA - The 115th Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, May 26 through June 5, has many improvements, including all new state-of-the-art footing in the Gold Ring to complement the footing installed in the Dixon Oval last year, which drew many compliments. Not only will there be new footing in the Gold Ring, but the footing in the schooling area has also been up-graded.
Devon welcomes Wells Fargo as its official presenting sponsor, and Wells Fargo will also serve as the title sponsor of the Grand Prix of Devon, held Thursday, June 2. The iconic Wells Fargo Stagecoach will perform in exhibition on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
Devon benefits Byrn Mawr Hospital, to which it has donated nearly $14 million in the past four decades.
The ticket office opens April 11 at 10 a.m., and annually a large group assembles at Devon’s gates early in the morning, eager to snag the best tickets for their favorite days and the exciting jumper classes that are held every evening. So Devon fans better call the ticket office early. For ticket information beginning April 12, call 610-688-2554. The ticket office is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon. For additional information visit www.devonhorseshow.org.
New roofing is being installed on all the stalls along Valley Forge Road, and the electrical there is being up-graded. The Country Fair area also benefits from capital improvements, particularly to the cafeteria building and the food area.
The show opens with the traditional Junior Weekend, featuring equitation classes on Thursday, with ponies and junior hunter and jumper classes contested Friday and Saturday. The Pony Hunt Teams, in which the teams of three ride in elaborate costumes while presenting “gifts” to the judges, held as the last class Saturday afternoon in the Gold Ring, is a wonderful spectacle.
The Junior Jumper Classic highlights the Saturday evening schedule in the Dixon Oval, followed by the popular Horse Hunt Teams, Parent and Child and Family classes. The Carriage Pleasure Drive opens the adult week of showing, with the carriages arriving from the pre-judging at St. David’s Church into the Dixon Oval at 2 p.m. Sunday, followed by Pony Jumpers in the afternoon and evening. First and Second Year Green, Regular Working, Green Conformation and Conformation classes are held Monday through Wednesday, with Adult Jumpers and Coaching featured on Monday evening. Young Jumpers compete Tuesday and Wednesday, while the first Open Jumper class is held Tuesday evening. Thursday is devoted to Breeding classes, with the $100,000 Wells Fargo Grand Prix of Devon at 8 p.m. Thursday evening. Amateur Owner Hunters and Jumpers and Local Hunters compete Friday and Saturday.
Coaching classes are evenings Monday through Friday, while Saddlebreds, roadsters, hackney and harness ponies and Friesians compete Wednesday through Saturday evening. The $50,000 Open Jumper Sakes is the final class Saturday evening, followed by the presentation of the leading Open Jumper Rider and Champion Open Jumper awards. Competition in the jumper section is always exciting and should be extra special this year, as both Laura Chapot and McLain Ward, who have traded the Leading Rider title back and forth, will both compete at Devon this year, along with many other top international competitors and Olympic veterans. The final Sunday is devoted to the $25,000 International Hunter Derby, beginning with round one at 10 a.m.
From the starting field, the top 12 horses will compete again in round two over a handy hunter type course.
The Country Fair offers boutiques and rides and delicious foods for every palate, plus there are contests for hats, dresses and dogs, plus special back barn tours, so there are special events for each member of the family. At the Country Fair, from the Ferris Wheel high above the show grounds, to carousel horses and rides of all description to classic games of shoot the duck and throw the ball, there are rides and games for children of all ages. Hot dogs and hamburgers vie with pizza and soft drinks and ice cream, while in the cafeteria, every afternoon and evening there’s a different selection of gourmet foods, including fine wines, that can be enjoyed in comfort in the pavilion.
Then, of course, there’s the famous Devon fudge.
Boutiques offer a vast selection of goods from men’s and women’s sports wear, often appliquéd with a horse or dog design, shoes, beautiful gold and silver jewelry, fine paintings, prints and sculptures, souvenirs and collectibles as well as, of course, tack shops.
Tickets will be available over the phone, 610-688-2554, or on the internet, www.devonhorseshow.org, beginning April 13. General admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under and seniors 65 and over. Reserved grandstand tickets are available ranging from $12 to $50 depending on the performance.
Photo Credit: A youngster enjoying the 2010 Devon Horse SHow & Country Fair. Photo by Daria Killinger.