Horse and shop around at the Devon Horse Show May 22 through June 1

The Devon Horse Show, the largest outdoor horse show in the country, holds dozens of competitions over its 11 days--May 22 through June 1. (Photo by Brenda Carpenter)

Before cars, motorcycles and the other mechanical forms of transportation we’ve come to depend on, one of the few ways to get around in the 1800s was by horse and carriage. In April 1896 a decision was made to bring top-quality horses to Devon, Pennsylvania in order to ensure the area had the best horses for their carriages. And thus, the Devon Horse Show was born. Less than 20 years later the show was the largest outdoor horse show in the country, which still holds true today.

This year’s show runs from Thursday, May 22 through Sunday, June 1 on the Devon Horse Show Grounds (23 Dorset Road, Devon) and features 11 days of carriage racing, horse jumping, pony steeplechase and other events to get an equestrian’s heart racing. All of the days of the show begin between at 8 a.m. with the gates closing at 10 p.m. (Except for Sunday, May 25, when doors open at 11 a.m. and Sunday, June 1 when the show ends at 3 p.m.) For exact competition times, check out the show schedule.

Sneak a peek at some famous horses—the Budweiser Clydesdales—as they make a few appearances over the course of the show. Tentatively, they’ll be parading around the Dixon Oval, pulling the signature red beer delivery wagon on Wednesday, May 28 at 7:50 p.m., Thursday, May 29 at 7:20 p.m., Friday, May 30 at 8:20 p.m. and Saturday, May 31 at 8:30 p.m.

Besides the thrill of the competition, the show’s Country Fair, whose shops open at 10 a.m. daily, offers excitement of a different kind. Devon Garden Café, a tea cart and Devon Fudge, in addition to a variety of other food vendors, will supply the sustenance for the duration of the show. Over 50 vendors selling everything from art, needle baskets, stationary, toys and home décor will also set up shop at the fair. For the first time this year, “Shops at the Devon Club” welcomes merchants selling goods for riders and their horses.

All funds raised from the show will benefit the Bryn Mawr Hospital, making your spectating and shopping experience worth the while.

Get acquainted with the fairgrounds and scope out the prime viewing location to make the most of this year’s Devon Horse Show.