The great tradition of the Devon Horse Show, which benefits Bryn Mawr Hospital, continues this year, with top competition in a variety of disciplines and exciting exhibition and special events.
Thousands of volunteers work year-round to ensure the success of the show, and their work paid off in a major way last year.
The 2011 show generated a record donation of $402,000, which will be used for equipment, including two Cardiac Catheterization Lab Fast Track Holding Bays, a pediatric anesthesia monitoring and gas system and a SonoSite ultrasound machine.
This year, Lizzie Traband exhibits Western riding during the first Junior Weekend, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 25-27.
The Radnor Hunt hounds parade on Saturday evening, which features the Hunt Teams class.
The Wells Fargo stagecoach perform the final Thursday, Friday and Saturday; the Philadelphia Mounted Patrol Unit perform Thursday evening; and Carriage Racing takes place on Friday and Saturday, June 1 and 2.
Among Special Events, the Hat Contest on Ladies Day, Wednesday, May 30, is always one of the most popular events, and this year there will be only one category, Best Hat, which Carson Kressley again judges.
Another very popular event, the Doggie Dog Parade, will be held on Memorial Day at 1 p.m. in the Dixon Oval.
Back Barn Tours are conducted on Tuesday, May 29.
An additional Family Day, including numerous events for children, has been added to the final Sunday, June 3, the day of the prestigious Hunter Derby.
Devon, which was named the fourth best horse show in the U.S. by the North American Riders Group, hosts two Show Jumping Team Observation Events.
The first is the Grand Prix at 8 pm Thursday, May 31, and the second is the Idle Dice Stakes, which take place on Saturday, June 2 at 4pm.
These two classes, which help to determine the show jumping team at the London Olympics, are critically important this year, as McLain Ward, injured in a fall at the Winter Equestrian Festival, missed the selection trials in Wellington in March.
He will have to use the two Devon classes to convince selectors that he and his mounts, Sapphire and Antares, are fit and able to compete in London. Ward, with two Olympic team gold medals in his resume, is certainly a rider everyone wants to see on the team.
Two years ago, Devon redid the footing in the Dixon Oval, which received rave reviews, and last year the same footing was installed in the Gold Ring. This year, the entire schooling area will also receive new, state-of-the-art footing.
The Country Fair offers boutique shopping for men’s and ladies” sportswear, fine prints and paintings, silver and gold jewelry, ladies” hats, antiques, souvenirs and collectibles. Food for all palates ranges from gourmet dining in the Garden Cafe to tea sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizzas, lemon sticks and, of course, the famous Devon fudge. Rides and games include the Ferris wheel that towers over the show grounds, a carousel and other rides plus many fair-type games.
The ticket office opens April 9, and tickets are available over the phone, 610-688-2554, or online at www.devonhorseshow.org.
General admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under and seniors 65 and over. Reserved grandstand tickets are available ranging from $12 to $55 depending on the performance.