By Irene Elise Powlick
As a Devon first-timer, I quickly learned what everyone must do when visiting this historic horse show. Being such an old show, there are many traditions, and I discovered just a few that I now consider “must-dos”.
There are so many vendors, you can find practically anything here. From custom wooden signs and official Devon merchandise, to the clothing brands such as Charles Ancona and Le Fash, and, of course, The Plaid Horse, who is teamed up with Welsh Wear, EQU Lifestyle Boutique, and Dreamers & Schemers, among more. There’s nothing you can’t find!!
- Watch a champion be crowned
It’s not hard to do, since it is the show where champions meet, but you have to watch the incredible competition! Every class is stock full of the best in their division, so you really can’t go wrong watching any class. It’s basically an all-day riding lesson.
- Tea and Sandwiches
This one sounded weird to me, but I was told that I must get the tea sandwiches! After trying them, I concluded that it is a definite must-do if you’re at the show. The sandwiches, albeit small, are packed full of flavor, and you can choose several different types, my favorites being the cucumber and the tomato. There is also an iced tea booth right next to it, so you can have your tea with the sandwiches as well.
- Find Cover
Whether it be rain or heat, Devon always seems to have extreme weather, so finding some cover is essential. For me, it’s been super hot, so after grabbing my sandwiches and a cold drink, I found shade underneath large trees at the top of the Gold Ring. I enjoyed watching the pony hunters while relaxing and finding relief in the slight breeze. If the weather should be wet, you can always step into the barn aisles that run along the side of the Gold Ring.
- Meet a champion
I loved meeting and talking to Giavanna Rinaldi, a top junior rider, previous Devon champion, and a rider gunning for top ribbons again this year. Most riders are happy to chat, and you can learn plenty from talking to them about their riding and their horses.
If you’re going to come to Devon, here are just a few “must-dos” while you enjoy the incredible competition and atmosphere of the Devon Horse Show & County Fair.