Dressage at Devon photos courtesy of Betsy Barron Photography
The annual International Dressage at Devon Horse Show combines world-class dressage competition and the largest dressage/sport horse breed show outside of Europe with international Fall Festival shops, an array of food and the Ladies’ Day Hat Contest. Dressage at Devon will take place from Tuesday, September 27th through Sunday, October 2nd at the Devon Horse Show Grounds.
Dressage at Devon has been the premier North American Equestrian event since its founding by the Delaware Valley Combined Training Association in 1975, and became a separate organization in 2006. It combines world class dressage competition and the world’s largest open breed show with the international Fall Festival show and special activities for the entire family. The six-day event attracts more than 700 horses and 35,000 spectators each year.
This year an exhibition from the Australian horse whisperer Guy McLean promises to draw a large audience. The self-taught Australian has entertained, inspired and educated thousands worldwide in his horsemanship abilities. He is on tour for the first time in the USA with his team of four horses: Hope, Sequel, Pride and Spinnaby.
The Performance Division, which rounds out the week from September 29th to October 2nd, offers spectators the opportunity to see top riders from North and South America and Europe. The horses and riders are judged on their mastery of dressage training and the classes help qualify riders for events like the Olympics, Pan American Games and the World Championships. Locals will have the opportunity to cheer on breeders from Philadelphia and surrounding areas.
But Dressage at Devon isn’t all about horses. With the recent interest in hats sparked by the royal wedding in England, the annual Ladies’ Day Hat Contest promises to be bigger and better than ever. Creative entries in the past have included hats adorned with everything from martini glasses to the occasional decorative squirrel. Fascinators are also expected this year!
Sponsored by Feather in Your Cap, The Ladies’ Day Hat Contest will take place on Friday, September 30th at 3pm. All ladies in fancy hats will be admitted to the show at no charge.
Of course, there are also refreshments. “Mimosas on the Midway,” an all-you-can-eat brunch, on Sunday, October 2nd from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Centerline Café, is often the focus of a relaxing day out. Spectators interested in something a little more casual can sample ice cream, funnel cakes, soups, sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, fries, micro-brews and wine and cheese.
Dressage at Devon tickets are $10 for general admission. Children under 12 are admitted free. Reserved seating is $25 on Friday, $35 on Saturday and $10 on Sunday and is available online at www.dressageatdevon.org. General admission is available at the door.
About Dressage at Devon
Dressage at Devon, a 501(c) (3) PA non-profit organization, benefits Thorncroft Therapeutic Horseback Riding Inc., the oldest and largest therapeutic riding program in the nation. Since 1991, Dressage at Devon has raised in excess of $1,000,000 for Thorncroft.