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Thrilling Competition to Spice up the Devon Show

by By Sara Cavanaugh | Apr 7, 2005, 11:36 AM

Members of the show jumping team that won the Silver medal at last summer’s Olympic Games in Athens will compete in the jumper divisions and in two thrilling grand prix classes at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, which runs May 26-June 4. In a thrilling duel for this year’s top honors, Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, NJ, Open Jumper Champion for four of the last six years, will take on Olympians Chris Kappler of Hunterdon in Pittstown, NJ, Open Jumping Leading Rider at Devon two years ago; and McLain Ward of Brewster, NY, Leading Open Jumper Rider at Devon for five of the past six years. Along with the grand prix classes, held Thursday and Saturday evenings, there is a potpourri of equestrian disciplines, from jumpers to elegant side saddle competitions, high stepping gaited horses and carriages of all types, plus exciting exhibitions.

Add to that the large variety of wares offered in charming boutiques adjacent to the Dixon Oval and the combination makes the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair a unique experience. Junior weekend begins Thursday, May 26, and includes hunter, jumper, pony hunters and pony breeding classes. The junior rider who best exemplifies the American style of equitation, as modeled by Olympic medalists Billy Steinkraus, George Morris, Joe Fargis and Conrad Homfeld, as well as exhibiting the respectful, dignified, courteous and workmanlike manner of a true sportsman will be awarded the SHALANNO, Style of Riding Award, on Saturday evening, May 28, after the final junior jumper class.

The Carriage Pleasure Drive opens a week of adult competition on Sunday, with singles, pairs, tandems and four-in-hands arriving at the Dixon Oval at 2 p.m. for final judging. Open jumper classes are featured as the last class of every afternoon session, the first class of the evening session from Sunday, May 29 through Thursday, June 2 and the final class of the evening on June 4 and 5.

The $75,000 Grand Prix of Devon is featured Thursday evening, and the $40,000 Idle Dice Stake, also a grand prix, is the final event of the show on Saturday evening. Gerry Diaz, a Mexican Charro who performs trick roping and riding, will perform in exhibition Tuesday, May 31, through Saturday. Added attractions include mounted games and a demonstration of the Nokota Horse.

Boutique shopping for sporting clothes, paintings and prints, gorgeous gold and silver jewelry, fancy hats, leather goods and antiques bring hundreds of shoppers to Devon. Also offered are collectibles and souvenirs, as well as food for every palate from hamburgers and hot dogs to gourmet dining in the Cafeteria. Adjacent to the rows of boutiques is a complete little fair offering games and rides, including the ferris wheel that looms over the show grounds.

General admission is $7 for adults, $3 for children under 12 and $5 for seniors. Reserved seating is available. For information on the availability of boxes, call Milly Levin at (610) 964-0550.Tickets may be purchased in advance at the ticket office at the show grounds or call (610) 688-2554.~~~