DEVON, Pa.--After U.S. Equestrian Federation updated its attendance protocol too late for Devon to rescind its cancellation of this year's Horse Show and Country Fair, Devon put out a press release enumerating the reasons that Devon was unable to reschedule the show.
The Horse wrote an article yesterday with quotes from Devon Chairman and CEO Wayne Grafton and Olympian McLain Ward.
Ward said that over $800,000 had been raised in just four days, and Grafton had pointed out that, while the Kentucky 3-Day Event had rescinded its cancellation of this year's vent after concerned eventers raised sufficient funds to produce the event, Kentucky had had to refund some of that money, and Devon couldn't risk that.
In conversations on April 16 with hosts of fund raisers, The Horse learned that often, despite well-meaning pledges, much of that promised money never materialized.
So Devon was right to be wary of pledged funds.
Ward also pointed out that is a shame for children that, by having two years of Devon cancelled , it might mean that they never got to compete "Where Champions Meet", thus never getting the Devon experience.
But one big factor has never been mentioned in the various stories about Devon's cancellation, and that is what only 50 percent attendance would do to the boutiques and fair.
How many boutiques could afford to attend a Devon show with limited attendance, and if there were fewer boutiques and fewer spectators, Devon would just be another show, and in that case those children wouldn't get the "Devon experience."
Children can show at the Brandywine Summer Series or at the Devon Fall Classic if all they want is to show in the historic Devon ring.
But for Devon to be Devon, it needs excited, knowledgeable crowds, lots of boutiques, fair rides and a variety of food from hamburgers and hot dogs to the exotic in the Cafeteria.
So, while it is sad to again miss Devon, the two Boards, Fair and Hose Show, that voted unanimously to cancel this year's show did the right thing.
Under the Covid criteria, Devon wouldn't be Devon.
So anticipate next year's show, which will be bigger and better than ever as it celebrates its 125th anniversary,
THE DEVON Press Release.
Devon, Pa. - April 16, 2021 - The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair (DHSCF) would like to update its announcement regarding the cancellation of the 125th edition of its event, originally scheduled for May 27 - June 6, 2021. Although U.S. Equestrian (USEF) has updated its COVID-19 attendance guidelines more quickly than previously stated, their adjustments will not alter DHSCF’s decision to cancel its 2021 event. We appreciate the outpouring of support from our attendees, fans, and broader community and look forward to celebrating our milestone anniversary in 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to have long lasting negative effects despite social distancing guidelines and recent vaccination efforts. With many factors beyond capacity limits, the social distancing protocols for such an intimate venue would have continued to prevent the success of the show regardless of the increase in allowed participation. The decision to cancel was overwhelmingly embraced by our local community as the right choice in these uncertain times. The DHSCF believes in protecting the health and safety of their entire community and does not believe this is possible with the venue’s structural limitations.
The DHSCF is unlike any other horse show in the country. Although many other horse shows are able to operate under restricted conditions, the Board of Directors realizes that it cannot sacrifice the less recognizable parts of its event to run something that will be largely unrecognizable and that only a few can participate in. The complicated mechanics of putting on an event of Devon’s size was put on hold based on months of conversations with USEF. There is not enough time to resume preparations based on the adjusted timeline of USEF. As previously stated, the cancellation decision was made only after significant evaluation of the far-reaching operational and financial implications.
The DHSCF and its storied history is uniquely tied to our location, varied participants and spectator base for a successful event. After countless conversations representing multiple perspectives, the decision will remain the same for the integrity of the event.
The DHSCF staff will continue to contact all stakeholders with information regarding cancellation processes and applicable refunds.
For additional information please visit our website at www.DevonHorseShow.net or follow us on our social media channels.