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
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.
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
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?
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?
Comments about the jump in prices like:
And this which pretty much summed up how Philadelphia and the Main Line has changed along with the horse show:
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:
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?