the case for auld lang syne

Devon Horse Show in years past.

Devon Horse Show in years past. 2009 or 2008 I think. Maybe earlier.

I have not really said a word for days as the tawdriness of Nouveau Devon and the 2016 scandals and incidents have swarmed around local news outlets and social media.  Yes, I have posted links to published media reports based on police reports and interviews with them, but I haven’t said much. Truthfully, I have been somewhat dumbfounded by all of these bizarre incidents.

I used to love Devon.  I stopped loving it a few years ago when things started to change, because the people running the show started to change. That made the vibe start to change. And when the coup happened in December 2014, well that pretty much was enough for me with Devon.

Devon circa 2012

Devon circa 2012

But then these people also kicked up a fuss about a Pennsylvania State Historical Marker honoring the Devon Horse Show. That pretty much made them horses asses. They might own a lot in some cases, but they don’t own local history do they?

I attended the historical marker ceremony across the road from the horse show in October, 2015 and was honored that the local historians and others who had worked so hard to just see that the history was remembered included me on the guest list. That day I felt old Devon again because well, a lot of the people who once made the show special attended that ceremony.

I did not attend Devon this year.  I was asked, but I just couldn’t do it. To me it seems such a mockery of what it once was.  And well, it seems that this year the seams are showing and it is falling apart?

First there was the litigation over the skybox that made the papers.

Judge rules in favor of ousted Devon Horse Show skybox holder

On Thursday a Chester County judge upheld an injuction telling horse show officials to let the woman use her skybox.

Trish Hueber, of Penn Valley, paid $20,000 for the 1B skybox in April 2012. She also paid $1,800 annually in maintenance fees to the horse show. However, this year after she responded to a letter that requested the maintenance fee, her check for the 2016 maintenance fee was returned and show officials told Hueber that she had violated rules and no longer had the use of the box, the suit said. Horse show officials also contended that the $20,000 she paid in 2012 was a charitable donation, rather than for the purchase of the skybox.

After Hueber’s lawyer, Cary McClain, sent a letter regarding the skybox requesting proof that there had not been an agreement or a tax return showing the charitable contribution, show officials removed Hueber from her position as vice president of the Hospitality Committee, a committee that she had served on for 29 years.

Devon circa 2012

Devon circa 2012

 

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And then there were all the comments about the uptick in alcohol at the event as a whole, and how is it a horse show needs so much booze? Especially when people are caring for very expensive animals and equipment and people DRIVE home after the show and fair is over each night? Comments like the couple I am posting below and many others including ones where people are describing being at the horse show with their kids watching drunks stumble by? How is that family friendly? And if someone has had too much and falls off say the Ferris Wheel or stumbles into the ring when the Clydesdales are thundering by, then what?

Devon 2012

Devon 2012

And I already discussed “Ladies” Hat Day so no need to rehash that except for all the comments floating around about things like event gate crashers that day? And how is that fair that they elbowed women out of the way who PAID to attend the event, in many cases a tidy premium? And when women approached event organizers they were told that Devon doesn’t like to turn people away? Huh?

drunk 2

 

devo 7

Comments about the jump in prices like:

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And this which pretty much summed up how Philadelphia and the Main Line has changed along with the horse show:

devo 4

Also heard a lot of vendors were not happy this year and they are locked in for what? Two years at a time and it’s expensive which is why the retail costs were reportedly so much higher this year in the shops?

And when they kept reporting “record attendance” and the live feed showed empty stands, what about that? People said the whole thing felt different this year and that it was sparsely attended a fair bit of the time so what about that? Is that all made up too?

Ok here is the current board:

corp board 1

corp board 2

Devon 2012

Devon 2012

Look I totally get that things and events have to grow and evolve to stay current and survive, BUT Devon Horse Show did this to themselves and maybe just maybe they all need to stop denying things like bad frat house party behavior and just own that they need to regroup and figure this out….before Devon is lost for good?

Or is that the plan? To let the show degrade to such a point that there really is no show and then what?

Yes, people aren’t going to like this post. They will say I am being unfair and disloyal to Devon. I am not. This stuff has all happened and is all documented and everyone is talking about it.

It’s time to bring back old Devon.  The event that had panache and style. Everyone always cocktailed at Devon but it did not use to be such a reported free-for-all, did it?

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devon horse show: #thisplacematters

pizap.com14315430407401I was thinking about the post I wrote recently on Devon Horse Show. In it I asked who owns local history, of which the Devon Horse Show is an integral part of the history of Main Line residents, Chester County residents, and so on.

The answer is pretty simple: boards may come and go, but they do not own the history.  Which is why it was ludicrous that they pressured a perfectly nice local historian into cancelling a talk given at a library on the history of the Devon Horse Show, wasn’t it? Just like it is utterly ridiculous they try to squash a roadside historic marker which is an honor, right?

So it got me to thinking. May is Preservation Month if you follow what the National Trust For Historic Preservation does. Devon Horse Show falls in May. So what if there was a grassroots movement to do a THIS PLACE MATTERS on Devon Horse Show?

This is what the National Trust for Historic Preservation says about This Place Matters:

Every single person in the country has places that are important to them. Places they care about. Places that matter. We want to see and celebrate the places that matter to you.

It’s simple…

Download and print the sign (or display it on your phone or tablet). Take a photos with the sign at the places that matter most to you.Share your photos online with the hashtag #ThisPlaceMatters. Look for your photo in the gallery below, and stay tuned to @SavingPlaces on Instagram and Twitter as we spotlight our favorites

 

What if people did this at Devon this year? You can download the sign art free HERE.

Could you imagine the IMPACT if #ThisPlaceMatters started showing up on social media about Devon Horse Show and started trending? People could do it outside the horse show in case the kabal had a hissy fit. People could start now as a matter of fact.

Boards come and go, but they do not own our history.  The tradition that is Devon Horse Show is part of our history and people have to begin to act now so that Devon and the land are preserved. Because that is one thing that has always bothered me – the question of is the land Devon Horse Show sits on preserved in any way? Is it Is there a trust set up to preserve the actual land? Deed restrictions at county level and so on?

Why are  they are terrified of a historic roadside marker?  Why don’t they want local historical societies discussing the history? Is this all a larger scheme for down the proverbial road? Unfortunately Devon Horse Show seems to be the perfect scenario for conspiracy theories since raw land for development is such a hot commodity, right? (Think of what almost happened to Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show a few years ago with that failed bid for eminent domain for private gain, right?)

Anyway, I was thinking about this. I think the Devon Horse Show is a perfect candidate for #ThisPlaceMatters.

Thanks for stopping by.

devon matters

devon horse show at risk.

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Why does this stuff happen at Christmas?

Group of Devon Horse Show and Country Fair board members calls sudden meeting to oust president, chairman Published: Friday, December 19, 2014

By Linda Stein
lstein@mainlinemedianews.com
@lsteinreporter on Twitter
Officials say future of horse show at stake

Devon >> Despite an apparently successful Devon Horse Show this past May, a group of nine members of the Devon Country Fair Committee called a surprise board meeting Monday to oust Sarah Coxe Lange, the president and CEO of the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, and board Chairman Henry Lafayette Collins III.

When Coxe Lange took the reins of the horse show earlier this year, she announced some changes including streamlining the board, beginning a separate endowment fund and establishing new bylaws for the board and attracting new, younger volunteers. Coxe Lange also noted that the horse show made a profit of $200,000 in 2014 after years of breaking even. The Country Fair earned $400,000 for 2014. Also, the foundation garnered an 11 percent increase in donations.

“I want people to know Devon has never been so successful, so modern and energized and yet this is happening,” said Coxe Lange…..She believes the group opposing her is among those who would allow the grounds of the horse show, founded in 1896, to be developed and the show itself moved to the hinterlands.

(take the time to read the entire article – long but worth it.)

Wonder where the former chair of Devon who was ousted over the development issues is in all of this, hmmmmm? Remember that article from this past October? And all the scuttlebutt about the proposed Urban Outfitters Eli Kahn Devon Yard development plans?

Anonymous letter spurs questions over Devon Horse Show, proposed Devon Yard, Urban Outfitters Published: Friday, October 03, 2014 By Linda Stein

….The current horse show president Sarah Coxe Lange has been in her present post for less than a year, after a controversy arose regarding McDevitt, the former chairman, who stepped down in February.

McDevitt, whose grandfather was one of the horse show founders, is the principal of The McDevitt Co., a commercial real estate developer that, along with Eli Kahn, has proposed Devon Yard, a mixed use shopping center, at the former Waterloo Gardens site. McDevitt’s company develops sites worldwide for Urban Outfitters and other clients. McDevitt stepped down from the horse show in February after controversy over plans to lease the horse show parking lot for overflow parking for new shopping center, Devon Yard, to be anchored by an Urban Outfitters branch. McDevitt said that he had announced his retirement previous to that brouhaha and wanted to spend more time with his family and to concentrate on business. McDevitt’s wife, Wendy, is president of Terrain, one of the Urban Outfitters brands and Wendy McDevitt also withdrew from the horse show.

An anonymous email received by Main Line Media News claimed that some of the Country Fair board members were given gifts and promised jobs by McDevitt and Urban Outfitters for their support.

In a phone interview, Hayne, of Unionville, called all the allegations in the email “crazy” and “not true.” He denied his company has designs on the horse show grounds.

The board members who signed the letter in the news that broke yesterday barely a week before Christmas should be ashamed of themselves. They are Gail McCarthy, Karin Maynard, Mimi Killian (she’s the one with the vanity plate and bad parking jobs, right?), Carolyn Capaldi, Beth Wright, Eileen Devine, Dolly Somers, Sandy Shinners and Ann Seidel – ANYONE who knows them should apply social pressure and whatever other pressure is needed to save this horse show from ruin. (And lest we forget this show was founded to fundraise for a hospital, not to just be a horse show.)

These people are JUST AS BAD as the people who were for eminent domain for private gain at Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show.

These people want to change Devon irrevocably and for the worse. Do you want what is Devon Horse Show replaced by development? I have a hard time respecting people who can’t respect tradition.

The Nouveau Main Line could very well completely ruin Devon.

Sarah Coxe Lange turned a significant profit for the horse show this year, and although they had broken even in years past, they had not done that. Ms. Lange rose above all the drama and she deserves kudos and thanks. She also owns a horse farm in Malvern, Willisbrook. And Henry Lafayette Collins III has an impeccable lineage and wow just wow.

I haven’t a clue as to how this gets undone but I felt compelled to post because what is happening is just so wrong.

Again the magic signers of this letter as per the published media reports are Gail McCarthy, Karin Maynard, Mimi Killian, Carolyn Capaldi, Beth Wright, Eileen Devine, Dolly Somers, Sandy Shinners and Ann Seidel. Shame on the Scrooges of Devon.

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