DEVON, Pa.--Devon Horse Show and Country Fair co-managers David Distler and Peter Doubleday, both of whom had been associated with the show for almost 50 years, announced their retirement following this year's show.
Distler began in 1974 and Doubleday in 1975 and they became co-managers upon the retirement of Honey Craven in 1987.
Distler rode in the show as a junior before beginning to work for Devon in a variety of jobs, and Doubleday announced the show for years before becoming co-manager.
"We appreciate all they have done for us, and we wish them well" said Devon Chairman Wayne Grafton."We thank them for the time, effort and dedication that they have shown to the show for so many years."
"This didn't come as a surprise to us," said Grafton. "Peter has been talking about it for a good many years. Things are changing. There has been a lot of discussions about where the show is going."
"The time had come,"said Doubleday. "My family needs me at home. My wife is jumping for joy."
Doubleday corroborated Grafton's statement that things were changing at Devon but said they felt they had been left out of those discussions.
He stressed that they were retiring, not resigning.
Doubleday will continue to manage the Royal Winter Fair in Canada.
"I USED to joke that if I were cut I would bleed Devon blue," said Distler in his letter announcing his retirement.
Distler will continue to manage Washington International Horse Show and the USEF Talent Search as well as helping to manage Lake Placid.
"I'll be doing a lot of judging," said Distler. "I'm judging the World Championships and then a show in Denmark. It was a very hard decision for both of us."
Meanwhile, the Devon officials are looking forward to holding the Devon Fall Classic in September and have to move on.
"We have a list of 12 candidates that we're looking at to manage future shows," said Grafton.