DEVON, Pa.—The 121st Devon Horse show and Country Fair, May 25 to June 4, is just a few weeks from now, and when competitors and spectators arrive, they’ll see many more improvements to the show grounds.
For competitors, an additional 80 stalls of the 900 permanent stabling have been reconstructed to add to the many that have already been upgraded over the past few years.
For spectators, additional men’s and women’s restrooms have been added where the first aid station used to be.
“We’ve doubled the size of the patio in front of Clydesdale Corner,” said show Chairman Wayne W. Grafton. “Spectators can sit on the patio and watch exhibitors warming up.”
“There’s new LED lighting in the cupolas on the roof,” said Grafton. “The new building has been painted Devon blue.”
“There’s $25,000 worth of new on-site landscaping, and the back gate by the new building has been reconstructed,” Grafton said. “There are two new vendor boutiques.”
“Storm water management has been improved,” said Grafton.
Managing the storm water is a very important improvement, as in years past, when a particularly heavy and long rain occurred, there was a terrific build-up of water by the barns.
But the biggest new addition, according to Grafton, is that of a $50,000 Arena Eventing competition at 7 o’clock Sunday evening.
Olympians Phillip Dutton and Boyd Martin helped create the concept of the class, as well as Captain Mark Phillips, who will be the course designer.
“Competitions somewhat similar to this have been done in Wellington and Tryon,” said Grafton.
Unlike Wellington, however, Devon’s Eventing competition is not by invitation but is open to all who qualify, although it is limited to the first 40 entrants.
Devon’s Arena Eventing features only the cross-country phase, and the course will run through the Gold Ring and the Dixon Oval, with both cross-country and show jumping fences.
It is open to both event and show jumping entrants,
Everyone that goes clean in the first competition returns to the jump-off in the Dixon Oval in which time will decide between equal faults.
Competition opens with Junior Weekend, starting with equitation classes on Thursday, May 25 and continuing with junior hunter and jumper and pony classes on Friday and Saturday.
The Carriage Pleasure Drive on Sunday, arriving at the Dixon Oval around 1:30, opens eight days of adult competition.
Hunters compete Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with side saddle Wednesday afternoon and the $25,000 International Hunter Derby at 12:30 Thursday afternoon.
Pony jumpers compete Sunday afternoon, adult jumpers are on Monday, Memorial Day and young jumpers are Wednesday and Thursday.
FEI Open Jumpers begin Tuesday evening at 6:30 with a Speed Stake Wednesday evening and the $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon at 8 p.m. Thursday evening.
Open jumpers continue Friday and conclude Saturday evening with the stake and championship, and amateur/owner jumpers are scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
Breeding classes are on Sunday, June 4.
There is a fun Dog Show on Thursday, May 25 at 7 p.m., with sections varying from tricks to walk-trot, jumpers, speed weavers, K9 stakes and the lead line costume parade.
Pony racing is on the books for Sunday evening, May 28, and Guy McLean, the Australian trick rider who has performed to great acclaim before at Devon, will crack his whip and ride five horses at a time, standing on their backs, during the first part of adult week.
Devon benefits Bryn Mawr Hospital, and to date has raised over $14,000,000 for the Hospital.
For information, call 610-964-0550.