$100,000 Grand Prix Featured at Devon Horse Show and Country Fair
RELEASE: April 9, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Sara Cavanagh
Celebrating its 113th year, the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, for the second year, is offering $100,000 in its signature class, the Budweiser Devon Grand Prix.
Two-time Olympic Team Gold medalist McLain Ward, who has won the grand prix five times, as well as taking the Leading Open Jumper Rider title, will compete at Devon.
Laura Chapot, who has captured the Leading Rider title six times, as well as riding the Open Jumper Champion horse five times, will be trying to beat the Olympic champion.
These two have battled for top honors for the past five years.
Then last year, a new champion emerged, as Hillary Dobbs, daughter of CNN’s Lou Dobbs, wrested both the Leading open Jumper Rider title and the Open Jumper Championship from Chapot and Ward. So competition in the open jumper classes this year will be hot and heavy.
Scott Stewart has dominated the hunter divisions at Devon, winning the Leading Hunter Rider title for the past six years, and he, too, will be back to defend his title.
Devon, May 21-30, benefits Bryn Mawr Hospital, to which it has donated more than $13 million over its decades of association. The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair made a record donation of $335,000 to Bryn Mawr Hospital following a banner year during which the horse show, in which members of both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Gold medal-winning show jumping teams competed, played before the largest crowds in its history.
Last year’s donation will be used to purchase surgical recovery monitoring equipment, surgical instrument sterilization machines and several pieces of ENT equipment.
“The generosity of the Devon Horse Show and its incredible impact on patient care at Bryn Mawr Hospital is immeasurable,” said Dr. Anthony V. Coletta, surgeon and President of the Bryn Mawr Hospital Medical Staff. “This year their gift to Bryn Mawr Hospital will support extensive upgrades to our surgical equipment, providing our physicians the very latest and best technology in treating our patients. I know I speak for my peers when I say we are truly grateful for this wonderful partnership with the Devon Horse Show.”
Following the breeding classes that take over the Dixon Oval during the day on Thursday, May 28, the evening schedule begins at 4:30 p.m., with Saddlebred and coaching competitions, and the piece de resistance, the $100,000 Grand Prix of Devon will be held as the final class of the evening session, beginning at exactly 8:00 p.m.
Jumper classes are held daily throughout the 11 days, culminating in two grand prix classes, held Thursday and Saturday evenings, but there is also a potpourri of equestrian disciplines, from hunters to elegant side saddle competitions, high-stepping gaited horses and carriages of all types, plus exciting exhibitions.
The ticket office opened Monday, April 6, at 10 a.m., so to be sure to have a seat for all the excitement. Call (610) 688-2554. The ticket office remains open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to noon, until May 20. For information on the availability of boxes, call Meg Wiederseim at (610) 964-0550.
Junior weekend opens the 10 days of competition on Thursday, May 21, and includes hunter, jumper, equitation, pony hunter and pony breeding classes.
The Carriage Pleasure Drive on Sunday opens a week of adult competition in hunters, jumpers, three- and five-gaited horses, Friesians, Hackney and harness horses and ponies, roadsters and four-in-hand coaching.
Open jumpers begin competition Tuesday afternoon, with amateur owner jumpers competing Friday and Saturday.
Ladies side saddle classes are featured Wednesday afternoon and evening, and Thursday, May 28, is devoted to breeding classes featuring yearlings, two- and three-year olds.
Four-in-hand coaching is scheduled Monday through Friday in the evening performance, and the Friday night schedu