Ladies Hat Day and Leadline Class are Among the Must-See Events at Dressage at Devon

image0011Ladies Hat Day and Leadline Class are Among the Must-See Events at Dressage at Devon

Dressage at Devon, September 22-27, 2009, at the historic Devon Horse Show Grounds, is home to world-class horses and riders competing for more than $50,000 in cash and prizes. But there’s much more! Among the festivities are the annual Ladies Hat Day, Box Decorating Contest, Leadline Class, Kids’ Corral, free educational workshops, Mimosas on the Midway, and, of course, the Festival Area shopping experience. Whether you are on the grounds for all six days of competition or just an afternoon, Dressage at Devon will be an event to remember.

“The Olympic horses and riders draw the crowds, but Dressage at Devon is so much more,” says Lori Kaminski, CEO and President of the non-profit organization. “Ladies Hat Day has become a real tradition and although the leadline class is only in its second year, it is already becoming a favorite.”

Whether they arrive decked in feathers, dangled with sugar cubes, adorned with martini glasses or foxes and birds, the entries in the Ladies Day Hat Contest are far from ordinary. The sixth annual Ladies Day Hat Contest will take place on Friday, September 25. All ladies in fancy hats (no baseball caps, please) will be admitted to the show at no charge. “The amount of creativity and fun these ladies have with their hats is astounding,” Kaminski states.

Dressage at Devon visitors display a tremendous amount of creativity and resourcefulness during the Box Decorating Contest prior to the Grand Prix Freestyle on Saturday evening. Box holders are known for their elaborate spreads, which range from elegant with crystal chandeliers, to festive fall-themes. Scott Palmer, former Action-News Anchor and the Philadelphia Phillies Director of Public Affairs, will judge the entries.

Another soon-to-be tradition is the Leadline Class for riders under six years of age. Held Sunday afternoon in the Dixon Oval, this fun class gives the youngest equestrians their turn in the limelight. These youngsters will be decked in their finest equestrian gear on ponies and horses spit-shined to perfection. Kaminski continues, “We wanted to create a fun way to encourage future generations of riders.” Making horse shows fun for the youngest horse lovers is augmented by the Kids’ Corral, open Friday afternoon and Saturday and Sunday. With its bounce castle and horse-themed crafts, the Kids’ Corral is a fun way to spend the afternoon. For adults who arrive with a child under 12 on Sunday, admission is free to the show is free.

As part of its commitment to education, Dressage at Devon is offering a variety of educational workshops on Friday, September 25, and Saturday, September 26, 2009. These programs are free of charge to anyone who has purchased a general admission ticket and are held in the Devon Club.

This year’s sessions include:


* Strengthening and Stretching Techniques for the Rider (Kristi Redd/ Dan Weltner) 10:00-11:00 a.m. Sponsored by Equi-Stretch * Feeding Broodmares and Stallions (Kelly Vineyard Ph.D.) 11:30-12:30 a.m. Sponsored by Purina Mills, Inc. * Soundness in Dressage Horses Part I: Understanding Joints and Arthritis (Dr. Lydia Gray) 1:00-2:00 p.m. Sponsored by SmartPak


* Focus, Flexibility and Recovery; why dressage horses and their riders need omega-3 fish oil (Anne-Marie Chalmers M.D.) 10:00-11:00 a.m. Sponsored by Wellpride LLC. * Feeding Growing Horses (Mary Beth Gordon Ph.D.) 11:30-12:30 Sponsored by Purina Mills, Inc. * Soundness in Dressage Horses Part II: Understanding Insulin Resistance and Soundness (Dr. Lydia Gray) 1:00-2:00 p.m. Sponsored by SmartPak

Don’t forget to make time for shopping in the Festival Area shops. With wares ranging from saddles and bridles to home décor, visitors are sure to find a must-have item or two. “We receive rave reviews on the Festival Area shops,” Kaminski says. “It is such a charming location and we also work really hard to choose a nice selection of boutiques that our visitors will enjoy.” Guests can cap off the shopping experience with a lovely gourmet snack or meal.

After nearly of week of top quality horses and riders, shopping, activities and educational classes, visitors can relax for Sunday Brunch during Mimosas on the Midway. From 11:00am-2:00pm on September 27 in the Festival Area, this special event is hosted by Thorncroft Horseback Riding Inc. volunteers. Great food and wonderful music make this a fun place to be on Sunday! Reservations include two drinks of your choice (Mimosas, Wine or Beer), plus an all-you-can-eat brunch. Tickets for the Brunch are available onsite at the Souvenir Shop for $25 or by pre-ordering. Complete ticket information can be found online.

To learn more about Dressage at Devon, visit

image0021Ladies Hat Day

The ladies hat contest showcases creativity and fun.

Photo credit: Sophie Ghedin







image003Leadline Class

The Leadline Class has quickly become a Dressage at Devon tradition.

Photo credit: Sophie Ghedin

About Dressage at Devon Dressage at Devon is a 501 (c) (3) PA non-profit organization. Founded by the Delaware Valley Combined Training Association in 1975, Dressage at Devon became a separate organization in 2006. The six-day event attracts more than 700 horses and 35,000 spectators each year. Dressage at Devon benefits Thorncroft Therapeutic Horseback Riding Inc., the oldest and largest therapeutic riding program in the nation.