Devon, PA – May 22, 2014 – The 2014 Devon Horse Show & Country Fair kicked off on Thursday with junior equitation and young pony competition at the renowned showgrounds in beautiful Devon, PA. Showcasing the best horses and riders in the country, the Devon Horse Show hosts 11 days of top-tier competition across multiple breeds and disciplines through Sunday, June 1.

While junior competitors showed their equitation in Devon’s famous Dixon Oval, the young hunter ponies competed in-hand in the Gold Ring on Thursday. The ponies showed in their respective age groups divided by gender, and the top ponies of all ages were then judged together for championship honors. The Best Young Pony was ultimately crowned overall.

The Hunter Pony Championship for Fillies and Mares was awarded to Denise Hankinson’s Three Royal Cheers with handler Emily Anne Belin. Jody Vesty’s Bryn Taran Miss Riley placed in reserve with handler Jay Raach.

The Hunter Pony Championship for Colts and Geldings went to Orchard Hills Dragonflyy, owned by Orchard Hill Farm Ponies, with handler Oliver Brown. Jamie Sindell’s Secretive and handler Dowell Johnson placed in reserve.

Orchard Hills Dragonflyy then earned the Best Young Pony award and was presented The Violet Haines Memorial Challenge Trophy. Handler Oliver Brown was awarded The Magic Hill Farm LLC Challenge Trophy as the Leading Pony Breeder Handler. A special Pennsylvania Pony Breeders Association Perpetual Trophy was also presented to Denise Hankinson’s Three Royal Cheers for the second year in a row.

Orchard Hills Dragonflyy BestYgPonypres D14-12-218 The Book lo

Orchard Hills Dragonflyy was named 2014 Best Young Pony. Photo (c) The Book LLC.

Orchard Hills Dragonflyy (known in the barn as ‘Wesley’) is a two-year-old colt by Smoke Tree Dragon Tail out of Vanity Fair, owned by Sara McCormick’s Orchard Hill Farm Ponies in Aiken, SC. Former top junior rider Elizabeth Lubrano brought the pony along this year after turning professional and deciding to get involved in different aspects of the sport after college. Based out of her family’s Horizon Hill Farm in Glenmore, PA, Lubrano has enjoyed making a name for herself in a new way and becoming more well-rounded in the industry.

“I started doing pony handling this year, and Wesley has been living with me since February,” Lubrano explained. “I have been handling him until this horse show and then I handed him off to Oliver Brown because I am still learning and this is a huge venue. I knew that this pony could do something big and I thought that for Devon we needed to put him in the hands of someone that could do that for him.”

“It was definitely a team effort to get him here,” Lubrano emphasized. “Cindy Diebert was a huge help as well as Jessica Forliano. Without Cindy putting all of the pieces together for today none of this would have happened. She had the connection with Oliver and she knows Jess, who helped handle him today. Stud colts can be difficult, so it is good to have someone who is proficient and Jess is very good. She is the one who made the magic happen today. I have just kind of been managing it from the beginning.”

Orchard Hills Dragonflyy and Oliver Brown. Photo (c) The Book LLC.

Orchard Hills Dragonflyy and Oliver Brown. Photo (c) The Book LLC.

Owner Sara McCormick plans to keep Orchard Hills Dragonflyy for breeding and can be proud of his top placing and development. Lubrano described the colt as “a bundle of personality,” noting, “He is a funny pony. He runs around in the field with this big jolly ball. He is the one where you go in the barn in the morning, and he is throwing his ball around the stall. He is a goof, but he is a two-year-old colt who is still trying to figure out who he is.”

“He has matured a lot this year,” she added. “He is really easy to live with and it is just a pleasure to work with ponies like that because they keep you entertained. They have all of this personality, and places like this are great venues where they can really show themselves. He likes to show off. He stands there and presents himself, and I think that is what really makes a show pony.”

Lubrano thanked McCormick for the opportunity to work with a great young pony. “Sara has done a fantastic job with that breeding program,” she stated. “I can’t give her enough compliments. Orchard Hill ponies were represented more than any other line here in the hunter breeding. I think she had eight showing. There’s a lot to be said about her lines and her hard work. I am really happy that she has given me the opportunity, because not a lot of people would give a 24-year-old an opportunity to take a winning pony and get it ready for Devon and trust them. Trust is a big foundation for a lot of relationships and I hope that this is one that will continue for a long time.”

While the young ponies were showing off in the Gold Ring, the junior exhibitors competed in their equitation classes in the Dixon Oval. The WIHS Equitation Classic Jumper Phase was held in a California Split and awarded four sets of prizes. Top honors went to Megan MacPherson of Boulder, CO, in Section A. Kelli Cruciotti of Elizabeth, CO, won Section B. Spencer Smith of Wellington, FL, topped Section C, and Michael Hughes of Allendale, NJ, was the winner in Section D.

Megan MacPherson and Class Action. The Book LLC.

Megan MacPherson and Class Action. Photo (c) The Book LLC.

The Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search was held next in the Dixon Oval with two sections and wins for Caitlin Boyle of Hampshire, IL, and Spencer Smith of Wellington, FL. Boyle was also presented the Honey Craven Perpetual Memorial Trophy for her top score.

Spencer Smith and Beau van het Keyershof. Photo (c) The Book LLC.

Spencer Smith and Beau van het Keyershof. Photo (c) The Book LLC.

The Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal, presented by Randolph College, was held in the Gold Ring with three sections to show. Ashton Alexander of Ocala, FL, won Section A, Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, won Section B, and McKayla Langmeier of East Granby, CT, won Section C.

Ashton Alexander and Fernway Park. Photo (c) The Book LLC.

Ashton Alexander and Fernway Park. Photo (c) The Book LLC.

First Night Kicks Off Devon Week

With over 500 pieces of artwork on display and a cocktail reception under the sycamore trees, First Night kicked off the 118th annual Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. Now in its 11th year, First Night also marks the opening of the Art Gallery at Devon. Fifty-eight artists, ranging from the ages of 23 to 92, produced the 572 pieces of framed art on display, in addition to unframed original artwork.

Mrs. J Maxwell “Betty” Moran, was honored at the event as the Devon Country Fair’s Champion of the Year. Each year the award is presented to a person or persons, for their longstanding support and/or contribution to the organization. Moran has been a lifelong supporter of Devon in every way possible, offering her service, generous financial support and opening her home and farm for numerous events.

Jamie O'Rourke, Leonard King, Betty Moran and Eric Corkhill. Photo (c) Brenda Carpenter.

Jamie O’Rourke, Leonard King, Betty Moran and Eric Corkhill. Photo (c) Brenda Carpenter.

Following the presentation, and new to First Night, a live auction of three items took place with auctioneers from Freeman’s Auctioneers and Appraisers. The items for auction included the original artwork for the official 2014 Devon poster by Susan Sponenberg; a piece to be commissioned by Genevieve Snyder, the 2013 Devon poster artist; and a painting by Devon’s Chairmen Emeritus, Leonard King. King is an avid painter and the original of the painting up for auction is currently on display in a private collection in East Hampton, New York. The painting is of a barn that King often passes by; King painted it based off what he thought the barn would have looked like back in the 18th century. Also new this year, Thos. Moser, one of First Night’s sponsors, designed a chair and table with the Devon insignia.

This year’s best in show artwork is “Supper Bell” by artist Sandra Severson. Severson is a native of Chester County and studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Last year’s best in show artist, Sam Price of San Francisco, once again has artwork on display at Devon. Price’s pieces this year include collages of dogs.

Each year, a jury selects the new artists whose work will appear in the Art Gallery at Devon. This year, the jury saw work from 25 artists who presented their work in person to the jury. Out of those 25 entrants, the jury chose 9 new artists whose work would appear at Devon.

“We have some amazing artists,” said Lori Friel. Friel is a chairman of the Art Gallery at Devon, along with fellow chairmen Jeanne Dechiario, Sandy Floyd, Marcia Pontius and Gretchen Schwoebel. “I’m a huge art person, so, for me, for the gallery to be about art and Devon, it doesn’t get better than that,” Friel said.

Devon Horse Show Art Gallery. Photo (c) Brenda Carpenter.

Devon Horse Show Art Gallery. Photo (c) Brenda Carpenter.

First Night is sponsored by the Bryn Mawr Trust, Freeman’s Auctions, Thos. Moser, Haverford Trust, Janney and UAS. Proceeds from the event benefit the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair Foundation. The Art Gallery will be open for the duration of the show, and the proceeds from the sales at the Art Gallery benefit the Bryn Mawr Hospital.

The 2014 Devon Horse Show & Country Fair will continue on Friday with junior equitation, hunter and jumper competition as well as the start of the pony hunter divisions. For full results, please visit For those unable to attend the Devon Horse Show in person, you can watch every single round of competition thanks to continuous live-streaming from the USEF Network at

About The Devon Horse Show & Country Fair
May 22 – June 1, 2014
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The Devon Show Horse Show & Country Fair, founded in 1896, is the nation’s oldest and largest multi-breed outdoor horse show. It is one of 16 United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Heritage Competitions. The 11-day event attracts over 100,000 visitors annually and is one of the largest volunteer based fundraising events in the country. Proceeds from the event benefit Bryn Mawr Hospital. While attracting top competitors from around the world for events such as the $100,000 Grand Prix of Devon (Thurs., May 29), the event remains one of Philadelphia’s premiere traditions, offering great food, boutique shopping, and rides, games, and events for the whole family. Tickets are on sale now, click HERE to purchase!