Madison Goetzmann and Alexandra Worthington Shine in Equitation on Opening Day of Devon Horse Show

Madison Goetzmann and San Remo VDL Photo: The Book LLC

Devon, Pa. – May 24, 2018 – This year’s famed Devon Horse Show and Country Fair kicked off on Thursday morning in typical fashion, with Junior Weekend taking center stage in the Dixon Oval. The country’s leading junior riders went head-to-head for top honors in the opening day’s highly competitive equitation divisions. This year, it was barn mates Madison Goetzmann and Alexandra Worthington who frequented the winner’s circle to make the team at Beacon Hill Show Stables and head trainer Stacia Madden proud. Read More from Phelps Sports »

Daisy Farish and Great White Kick-Off Junior Weekend with Junior Jumper Speed Stake Victory

Daisy Farish and Great White. Photo © Callie Clement / Phelps Media Group

The first event of the Junior Jumper championship saw 24 young riders and their mounts vie for top honors in the $3,750 Junior Jumper Speed Stake to wrap-up competition in the Dixon Oval on the opening day of the 2018 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. Seventeen-year-old Daisy Farish and her own Great White emerged victorious on Thursday, as the pair sped around the one-round course, designed by Guilherme Jorge, to a faultless finish in 60.825 seconds. Read More from Phelps Sports »

Wheeler Ring Wrap-Up

2018 Best Young Pony: Ledinjadon On Point. Photo © Callie Clement / Phelps Media Group

Best Young Pony:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner
1. Ledinjadon On Point / Ethan Maye / Janis Shaneberger
2. Just For Fun / Dowell (Junior) Johnson / Frederick Cooper

2018 PBHA Trophy: Royal Theodosia. Photo © Callie Clement / Phelps Media Group

PBHA Trophy:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner
1. Royal Theodosia / Emily Anne Belin / Denise Hankinson

2018 Leading Pony Breeding Handler Award: Emily Anne Belin. Photo © Callie Clement / Phelps Media Group

Leading Pony Breeding Handler Award:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner
1. Royal Lady / Emily Anne Belin / Barbara Sheerin

Leadline: The Cutest Class You’ll Ever See

The Devon Horse Show’s iconic leadline class will be held on Saturday, May 26, in the Dixon Oval! Photo: Brenda Carpenter Photography

By Veronica J. Finkelstein

The leadline class is a longstanding tradition at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. It may look like nothing more than an adult leading a child on a pony, but it’s much more. Significant work and planning goes into getting tiny tots ready for this special class, which is sponsored by Patriot Buick GMC this year.

Some years, as many as 100 children, divided by age into a 3 and younger section and a 4-6-year-old section, show in leadline.

Parents have to procure a leadline-appropriate pony. The job of a leadline pony isn’t easy. The ring is crowded and the atmosphere can be intense for a pony who isn’t used to Ferris wheels and string bands. It takes a special, calm pony to show off a little rider in the Dixon Oval. Some children ride their own mounts, while others borrow a pony specifically for the class, leasing a pony who is already at Devon showing in classes with older children. Leasing a “famous” pony can cost thousands of dollars, just to ride in a single class at the walk.

With the pony in hand, leaders next have to make sure the rider is appropriately attired. Most children dress as though they are competing in a hunter class, but from time to time a leadline rider will be outfitted as a sidesaddle, Western or jumper rider. All the little details matter. The hunter leadliner must dress like a miniature version of an adult hunter rider – wearing jodhpur boots, breeches, a ratcatcher-style show shirt, a well-fitted, dark hunt coat, an approved helmet and black gloves. If the rider is a girl, her hair will usually be braided into pigtails and adorned with colorful ribbons. Her pony will have its mane and tail braided, sometimes with yarn that matches the ribbons in her hair.

However, the rider and pony aren’t the only ones who must be properly attired. The leader has to dress the part as well. It’s as much a fashion show for the leaders as it is a horse show for the riders.

All riders get blue ribbons and a lollipop. Some talented children also get ribbons recognizing their riding skills.

See the class for yourself this Saturday, May 26, in the Dixon Oval!

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is the longest running and largest outdoor multi-breed competition in the United States. With the grandeur of Philadelphia’s prestigious Main Line setting the stage, the event features a world-class field that annually ranks among the most prominent internationally. The event also includes the country fair, which benefits Bryn Mawr Hospital and has donated over $14 million to date. The country fair offers world-class shopping, rides, games, multiple dining options and special entertainment events.

For more information about the Devon Horse Show, please click here. To purchase tickets, click here or email We look forward to seeing you at the 2018 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair!