It’s fall again, and that means it’s time for the annual International Dressage at Devon Horse Show.
The 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 takes place from at the Devon Horse Show Grounds, located on U.S. Route 30, in Devon, Pa. 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. General admission is available at the door.
The Performance Division, which rounds out the week from September 29 to October 2, 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.
One of the crowd pleasers is the Musical Freestyle which demonstrates why dressage is often called “horse ballet.” Riders direct their horses with precise, almost imperceptible aids, including body weight, legs and hands, to move gracefully in time to the music.
An exciting enhancement is being offered by Dressage at Devon and FLR Sports Radio. A credit-card sized personal receiver allows you to follow all the commentary of some of the foremost experts in the world of dressage, including Natalie Lamping, Monica Sinks, Suzanne King, Kathy Connelly, Ann Moss, Kem Barbosa, Sara Schmitt, Alison Head, and Johanna Gwinn. Listen as they give personal opinion and insight into the horse and rider during their performances. For only $35 you get a behind-the-scenes perspective exclusive only to those with a radio. For more information, or to pre-purchase, visit www.dressageatdevon.org.
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 with his horsemanship abilities. He is on tour for the first time in the U.S. with his team of four horses: Hope, Sequel, Pride and Spinnaby. “He’s amazing,” says Lori Kaminski, president/CEO of the Board of Directors of Dressage at Devon. “His horses trust him so much he can ride them through fire. He also orchestrates a team of four horses to move in sync using no bridles, no saddles and no whips or spurs.”
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, but baseball caps don’t qualify. The Ladies” Day Hat Contest takes place on Friday, September 30. All ladies in fancy hats will be admitted to the show at no charge.
Of course, there are also refreshments. “Mimosas on the Midway” or an all-you-can-eat brunch on Sunday, October 2 from 11am to 2pm at the Centerline Café, are 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.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit Dressage at Devon.