Wednesday evening, May 29, at the Dixon Oval, featured a grab-bag of events designed to enlighten and entertain spectators who think of The Devon Horse Show as primarily a hunter/jumper venue. But it is much more than that, and in fact the logo of the show, founded in 1896, is a hackney pony reflecting the show’s origins in the meeting of wealthy landowners on “The Main Line” to improve the quality of horses and ponies pulling carriages and buggies. Equestrian disciplines competing at The Show are as varied as Saddlebreds, Roadsters (trotting horses), Hackney Horses and Ponies, Friesians, Coaching and Carriage Pleasure Driving in addition to Hunters, Jumpers and Equitation. There is a thriving Country Fair in conjunction with The Show featuring 63 vendors of all sorts selling clothes, hats, jewelry, furniture, toys, games, pottery and antiques, food, arcade games, a ferris wheel and a merry go round. Dressage in honored with a six day show of its own in the September. So when 7:00 rolled around on Wednesday evening there was a full schedule of events including jumpers, side saddle, hackney ponies, five and three gaited horses and coaching. Buried within that list was class 366, the Five Gaited Special at 9:20 P.M. The organizers had put together a class bound to get some attention. Riding “five gaited horses” were 5 of the top jumper riders in the country
Walking the course of the Southern Pines Horse Trials II this past Friday underscored yet again the tremendous amount of preparation, and bravery, involved for both horse and rider at the Advanced level. These fences are not for the faint of heart, equine or human. The humans, of course, have walked the course more than once; the horses, however, as they round each twist and turn, are seeing the course for the very first time.