It’s one of the oldest, largest and most prestigious horse shows in the country and I had never been there. This ten day event boasts that it attracts over 100,000 spectators and 1,500 horses. You might even see a celebrity such as Bruce Springsteen, his daughter, Jessica was last year’s “Best Child Rider” winner. Just what’s so special about Devon?
My day started off at the show arena. I guess I picked the wrong day to visit, halter class after halter class followed by thoroughbreds at the walk, trot and canter. As I have said before, if your not showing or there cheering someone on who is, it’s just plain boring! It’s really not a spectator sport.
I walked through the shops and had a bite to eat. I will say that there is a great variety of food and it all looks good and is not outrageously priced. There are rides and games for the kids, as well as cotton candy and funnel cakes. My tour of the shops was interesting to say the least. Being a western girl I didn’t find the high fashion dresses to my taste. There were lots of beautiful hats but, with the threat of rain I decided to leave mine at home. There were a few items that drew my attention, the $800.00 pillow ( you have got to be kidding!), the $7,000.00 rocking horse and the $15,000.00 bracelet. Do people really buy these things? I did manage to find a treasure or two which included a crop that looked like a magic wond, a candy stick with a horse on it and I saved the best for last, a book “The Quotable Equine”. Jim Dratfield was a really nice guy, great to talk to and a very talented photographer. For $20.00 not only did I get a beautiful book, but he autographed it for me.
The action did improve later with the carriages and the harness competition. My biggest complaint is the seating. Due to the Grand Prix all the reserved seats were sold out, so we purchased general admission tickets. Little did we know that the reserved seat ticket entitled you to that seat all day. With the Grand Prix not starting until 8:00 p.m. there were hundreds of open seats and I had to stand. At 4:00 I decided I had had enough and sat down only to have a uniform guard tell me that without a ticket he had to kick me out. When I left at 6:00 p.m. those seats were still empty.
Overall, I’d say that if this is your thing then Devon is the show to be at. It is a tradition that has lasted 113 years and has made $335,000.00 for the Bryn Mawr Hospital. Hats off to everyone who made it to Devon and especially those who left a champion. Although it wasn’t my cup of tea, or should I say glass of wine, but, at least I can now say “Yes, I have been to Devon”.
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Did you visit? Leave a comment.