Devon, Pa. – April 21, 2022 – The competitive sport of coaching, a time-honored Devon Horse Show and Country Fair tradition, allows spectators a unique glimpse into 19th century life. As one of the few venues where competitive coaching can be seen, Devon’s coaching division is open to entries driven to authentic road coach or park drag, and is held in honor of Robert A. Weaver and John M. Seabrook. The coaching division reminds us to reflect on the beauty and versatility of our equine athletes.
On Sunday, May 29, spectators can enjoy the grand Carriage Pleasure Drive down neighborhood streets, a parade of vintage vehicles on their way from St. David’s Church to the famed Dixon Oval. Terry Picket from Metamora, Michigan, will judge the horse division, while Jessica Axelsson from Cape May, New Jersey, will judge the ponies.
“The Carriage Pleasure Drive is always a fan-favorite event for the local community. It makes it special when they all rally together to watch the horse division, then the pony, light commercial and farmers divisions, go along their route,” said Wayne W. Grafton, Chairman of the Board for the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. “I am sure this year will be no exception in the energy the community brings to this unique event!”
Pinning for the best turnout and presentation of awards will take place in the historic Dixon Oval. Each exhibitor in the Carriage Pleasure Drive will receive a bronze plaque and six ribbons will be awarded in each division.
The Coaching Championship will take place on Friday, June 3, in the Dixon Oval and the trophy and champion ribbon will go to the coach having won the greatest number of points throughout the five days for the division.
Picket will judge the coaching division and competitors will be judged on a variety of factors, including performance, manners, presentation and appointments. In coaching, the road coach is traditionally a more durable vehicle used for public transportation on a scheduled route. This is different from the park drag, which is the lighter and more elegant version of the former and was a private driven vehicle with seats on top.
Coaching competitors will be individually scored on the driver’s skill and turnout, the combination of the coach, horses, appointments and the harness. In two of the classes, the skills portion will be objective, judged on time and the driver’s ability to navigate the course of cones with the fewest knockdowns. Turnout is subjective and variables include quality of turnout and horses, matching of the harness to the horses, groom’s livery, carriage lights, boots, safety equipment and more.