Ever since I found out it was a thing when I was a little girl flipping through the pages of Practical Horseman, I’ve wanted to go to the Devon Horse Show. How could I not? It’s practically The Masters of the horse show world, and I share a name with it. I even have a poster from the 1986 show that I’ve had since I was a teenager waiting to be hung in my office at home (side note: I’m continually hunting for one from 1984 – please let me know if you find one!).
This year, the timing of our trip to Philly coincided with Devon’s show dates. Anthony, being the wonderful horse show boyfriend he is, agreed to go check it out with me.
We headed out on Wednesday to catch the Regular Confirmation Hunters and the High Performance Hunters in the Dixon Oval. There were some younger jumpers going on in the Gold Ring, but you all know my heart belongs in the hunter ring because I’m a control freak perfectionist. After scoping the show grounds, we found some nice seats in the grandstands.
Kelley Farmer on Baltimore in the High Performance Hunters
As we watched the rounds, I explained to Anthony how hunter judging works and what to look for in each round. We both predicted scores, and by the end of the day, he was doing an awesome job with his estimates. At least now when I have a good round at a show, he knows what he’s talking about when he’s says “Baby that was great!”
Sloane Coles riding Autumn Rhythm to 5th in the High Performance Hunters
I learned a lot by watching these pros and the way they approached their rounds. Ringside showing/riding is such a valuable part of training and learning. It was interesting to see how they handled behavioral issues such as spookiness and even stops as well as the turns and trot jumps in the handy round. My friend Sarah recently posted her experience with ringside showing on Horse Junkies United. It’s worth a read!
Louise Serio is so incredibly talented. Watching her ride was such a pleasure. I want to be her when I grow up.
And of course, we did some shopping.
I was so excited to see Devon branded Vineyard Vines items! I wanted a new shep shirt, but they only had mens, so I settled on a fleece vest. Most of my horse stuff is navy, so it’s perfect! Of course, I had to add to my koozie collection, and Petunia NEEDED a Devon saddle pad. The hat and shot glass were Anthony’s purchases. I think it’s pretty funny that he walks around wearing a hat with my name on it 🙂 Lastly, I got a new Essex Talent Yarn show shirt.
I wasn’t planning on getting one (nor do I need one), but as soon as I saw that its collar was wine-themed, I had to have it. Anthony bought it for me, and so far, it’s brought me good luck. If you haven’t tried these shirts before, they’re awesome. Even in the Florida heat, they definitely keep me cooler!
We happened to be there on Ladies Day and there was an outfit contest. I WISH I’d taken a picture! So many ladies were dressed like it was the Kentucky Derby, and Carson Kressley was the judge. In case you didn’t know, he’s been very involved in the equestrian world most of his life – since WAY before his Queer Eye days! And no, I didn’t take part. I was in jeans and an Ariat sunstopper.
The entire Devon Horse Show experience just made me feel like a kid at Disney. Maybe some day, I’ll be able to qualify Petunia to show in the A/O hunters. That would be an absolute dream come true.