Community and Equestrians Welcomed at Devon Fall Classic

Written by: Devaney Iglesias
Client: Devon Horse Show and Country Fair
Release Date: 2016-10-11

Devon, Pa. – Oct. 11, 2016 – Since its inception in 2011, the Devon Fall Classic has always been a popular stop for competitors and spectators alike. For five years the event has continued to grow and strengthen the historic tradition that is tied to the reputation of the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair grounds. Besides the spectacular competition, spectators were able to enjoy an array of activities throughout the four-day event that took place mid-September.

“The fifth Fall Classic went off beautifully,” said Elly VandeMerkt, Director of Events for the Fall Classic. “The weather was perfect and we had a great crowd. Our boutique vendors this year had an amazing selection of unique items, which really added to the seasonal atmosphere of the event. We were very lucky to have a great group of sponsors, volunteers and staff that played an integral part in the Fall Classic’s success. The exhibitors put on a great show, and I was thrilled that an up-and-coming rider, Mattias Tromp, had such great success here in the Open Jumpers!”

The Devon Fall Classic provided spectators with something to look forward to every day. From top-notch show jumping to fabulous food and carnival games, from live entertainment to amazing products from locally owned businesses, from a dog contest to the customary end-of-show plant sale, there was something for everyone at the 2016 event.

“I have been coming to Devon for most of my life,” Laura Chapot said. “For the Devon Fall Classic, we have come almost every year. I think anytime you win a class at Devon it’s great. This place has a different aura than anywhere else you go. We have more participation with the spectators, and the horses really enjoy showing here. It is always fun to come, and I think the horses jump well here, because it does have that different feel.”

With a one-two finish in Thursday’s $5,000 Open Jumper Speed Stake, Chapot set the tone for the weekend. The New Jersey native nearly earned the $5,000 purse the following day, but was forced to settle for second and third in the $5,000 Welcome Stake behind up-and-coming star, Mattias Tromp.

“I haven’t shown here in maybe four years,” Tromp said. “This horse show has so much history behind it, especially the facility. The locals are always great and there is always an atmosphere. It is a beautiful venue. Some horses can get a little starry eyed, because it is impressive if they are not used to showing under the lights.”

After a crowd of spectators from near and far applauded Tromp for his win in Friday’s featured class, they walked over to the Picnic Grove and enjoyed live entertainment from local favorites Dave Saunders and Paul Rossone.

The Dixon Oval was underway with competition by 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17, but the most unique class was not slated to begin until 1 p.m. In the “What A Good Dog Contest,” dogs of all shapes and sizes dressed up in their best costumes as their handlers paraded them passed the judges.

“We had a great turnout with some very creative costumes,” VandeMerkt shared. “Many thanks to What A Good Dog for all of their hard work to put the show on. They did an amazing job!”

Guests were able to enjoy live music in the Picnic Grove throughout the day. While Doug Hill had command of the stage in the afternoon, Concrete Charlie took over the mic after the featured $25,000 Devon Fall Classic Saturday evening. Mattias Tromp earned the victory lap aboard Avon after their second solid finish around a technical Paul-Jewell designed course.

“It was fabulous,” Jewell said about Saturday night’s class that was held in the memory of the late Frank Chapot. “Whenever I can build a grand prix with a nice jump-off and all the horses go home safe, I am really happy.

Callan Solem, one of America’s top show jumpers who competed the Devon Fall Classic noted, “We are so lucky to have such a historic venue so close by. The Devon Fall Classic was amazing. Between Devon in the spring and the Devon Fall Classic, the venue provides both ends of the spectrum for riders. I took a couple of young horses to the Devon Fall Classic and it’s so great for them to get the experience under the lights and with the crowd.”

The final day of competition, also known as “Locals Day,” highlighted USHJA Zone 2 Horse of the Year (HOTY) Jumper Championships. Seven athletes secured spots in the winner’s circle before the renowned plant sale took place at the conclusion of the show.

“The exhibitors were amazing,” VandeMerkt added. “We love hosting the Zone 2 HOTY Jumper Championships, and the plant sale was a huge success! Main Line Gardens, as always, provided gorgeous plant material for the show and subsequently the plant sale. It’s always a community post-show favorite!”

She concluded, “We couldn’t have done it without the generosity of our sponsors and volunteers, and of course the show managers, office staff, and grounds crew pulled off a great event as usual!”

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