PDA

View Full Version : Dressage at Devon. Is the Magic Fading?



Shenandoah
Sep. 26, 2011, 09:41 AM
I've been a boxholder for many, many years at DAD and always look forward to receiving my box tickets and attending the show every year. As a boxholder, I am dissapointed that we get less and less for our money ($450.00/box for 6). We used to get a chit for a discount on one item at the souvenir booth. We also used to get daytime and evening tickets for the box on Friday and Saturday. Now they are combined day/eve. This year we get only 1 (instead of 2) Mimosas on the Midway brunch ticket (unless my packet was missing the second one). The entertainment has been lacking for the past few years (though Sabine is a hard act to follow) and now it seems as though the rides are down and many of the big names are not attending this year. I think there are only a handful of rides for the Special. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed this? DAD is the one big thing my husband and I treat ourselves to and I guess I'm just not feelin' the magic... I do commend the volunteers who make the show as well as the management. I do appreciate their efforts.

ctanner
Sep. 26, 2011, 11:43 AM
I was just thinking about how much I am missing DAD this year.
For me it always feels like the true end of summer and beginning of fall.
I wasn't there last year either, but this year it would be an impossibility me to be there and I really miss it.
Hope the competitors who are there really pull out all the stop and have some amazing rides.

Mardi
Sep. 26, 2011, 12:13 PM
Most of what the OP mentioned belongs in show management's lap.
Have you contacted them and asked what's going on ? Customer feedback
goes along way (or should, at least). Also talk to the vendors. Mention that you're a long time box holder, but lately things seem to be amiss, with the value not what it once was. They'll appreciate the feedback, because they depend on spectators for good business (more so than the exhibitors, who are tapped out of $$ because of cost of showing).

As for the riders...perhaps the upcomng Pan American Games in October is holding one or two back from DAD ?

DQonaDraft
Sep. 26, 2011, 03:27 PM
I feel the same way...did not renew my box this year for the first time. It's just gotten too expensive. We went with the $35 reserved seats instead. It definitely won't be the same, but the bank account will like it better! :)

stilldreaming
Sep. 28, 2011, 09:41 PM
I'll chime in... I would like to see exhibitions that demonstrate a special skill, breed or niche within the equestrian world. I miss Sabine. I love seeing those names we know, maybe in a new way. Remember when Lendon Gray did a Pas de deux with the Western rider?
I agree that some of the perks for boxholders have disappeared in recent years, and I don't know why that is.
I would like to mention that the volunteers I have dealt with over the years have been accomodating & hospitable.
I am looking forward to this weekend.
It is a wonderful event and I hope it shines for years to come.

Anewpony
Sep. 28, 2011, 09:54 PM
The weather isn't helping, and neither is the fact that people are getting ready for the Pan Am games and the Olympics, and Gladstone was the big deal for that.

judybigredpony
Sep. 28, 2011, 10:07 PM
Yesterday DAD ran until 10PM...on 1st day of breeding show and tonight I left @ 7PM and there was still 1 class in ring...tomorrow we should have a lighter day before full steam ahead into performance classes..its always a crap shot w/ weather and conflicts at the higher levels for aother shows...and the economey impacts the riders, less sponser money to spend..this year less landscaping if you look close although there is alot of new paint on exisitng buildings...new footing now in both rings that cost a packet..some old gaurd has left and newer people in key spots...also the venders for prizes and donations to volunteers is WAY down and we also got few to zip perks...ground crew and board persons got no meal tickets..and hey there was a huge snafu box w/ tickets and think they just cut back on those double Fri/ Sat tickets.
The star is still shining and there are some amazing bargains on some very snazzy clothes if you know where to look, shops were much more impressive this year than last w/ WEG....

billiebob
Sep. 28, 2011, 10:32 PM
Honestly, for me this is a special year. My boss's yearling colt is showing in a couple of breeding classes and this is the first time I've been "behind the scenes" at Devon. Tomorrow he's showing in the Dixon Oval and I *may* be in there with him......

My family never had the money for horses when I was growing up, and financially it's a stretch for me to have a horse. Showing at Devon (in any capacity) seemed so out of my league that it wasn't even an option. It's got me all excited like a first grader who's got a bag of sugar in one hand and a double espresso in the other :D

Anewpony
Sep. 29, 2011, 02:43 AM
Honestly, for me this is a special year. My boss's yearling colt is showing in a couple of breeding classes and this is the first time I've been "behind the scenes" at Devon. Tomorrow he's showing in the Dixon Oval and I *may* be in there with him......

My family never had the money for horses when I was growing up, and financially it's a stretch for me to have a horse. Showing at Devon (in any capacity) seemed so out of my league that it wasn't even an option. It's got me all excited like a first grader who's got a bag of sugar in one hand and a double espresso in the other :D

Then go do it babe! No time like now!

ise@ssl
Sep. 29, 2011, 08:53 AM
Shenandoah - I agree with you. I've had a box for decades and did renew this year but without parking.

I also used to purchase a reserved parking space because I come back and forth to DAD from my farm in NJ - stopped that last year. WHY? I'd arrive to find someone in my space CONSTANTLY - then they would tell me to park in someone else's space. (The names are on the fence in front of the spaces but that didn't matter). I didn't want to do that and would insist they find the person in my spot and make them move their car. Most of the time THEY WERE COMMITTEE MEMBERS! Yes - that's right - people who hadn't paid a DIME to be at the show or for parking. Finding someone to complain to was IMPOSSIBLE.

Numerous times I left tickets at Will Call for friends. Every time but ONCE the tickets were not there! It didn't matter if I used their envelopes or my own - my friends would be calling me and there was NO WAY to get in touch with anyone at the show to deal with this.

It's not unusual to arrive at the show and find people sitting in our box and we have to ask them to leave.

It's not unusual to find TRASH in the box and we have to clean it up.

It's not unusual to arrive and not have 6 CHAIRS and have to go around finding the ones that were taken by other box holders and ask for them.

There is NO ONE available on a telephone # to call when there are these problems. Spending time going to the various offices means we can't be watching the SHOW.

The Box Holders party last year did not have enough food for even half of the people there. Compared to previous years it was just plain sad.

This year I've paid for 6 extra tickets to the party and told them to have them at Will Call - I'm holding my breath as to whether or not they will be there when I go back down tomorrow.

Sadly the Show doesn't get it when it comes to "hospitality" for those who do put out extra money for box seats - which is a big source of income. All they have to do is have a person(s) at the show with a cell phone # that PATRONS can call if they have problems or need help. So simple and yet so necessary.

Laurierace
Sep. 29, 2011, 08:59 AM
I showed for the first time ever at Devon on Tuesday so I may not be the best person to ask but to me it was magical. There are a few places that literally feel like hallowed ground regardless of the circumstances. When I stepped into the Dixon Oval it felt like I was walking into the Vatican so for me the magic was very much still there. Now on to DHS in the spring I hope!

vxf111
Sep. 29, 2011, 09:54 AM
The weather isn't helping, and neither is the fact that people are getting ready for the Pan Am games and the Olympics, and Gladstone was the big deal for that.

The weather was a new level of wretched yesterday :)

The vendors yesterday actually told me it's been quiet but that their sales are better than expected. So maybe fewer people are going but the people who are going are more die-hard?!

You dressage folks... sure spend a lot on schooling breeches. $450 Pikeurs in colors that weren't show appropriate. I nearly fainted ;) Maybe I'm just cheap!

FWIW the paint, the footing, the renovated barns-- DHS did that, not DAD. DAD just rents the showgrounds from DHS. So if they had less flowers/decorations, etc., it wasn't because DAD spent money on the capital improvements. Because DAD didn't fund those.

mellsmom
Sep. 29, 2011, 01:24 PM
She treated us and we had a box. I won't be going back. There were not many vendors and it just wasn't all that. The stabling I saw on grounds did not inspire me either.

paintlady
Sep. 29, 2011, 04:29 PM
I must say that DAD is doing a good job on Facebook of posting pics of the vendors. It makes me wish I was there! I was only at DAD once a couple of years ago. We had reserved seat tickets for the Saturday night performance... except one of the tickets was for a seat that did not exist. DAD staff/volunteers were unable to offer us any assistance since there were no open seats. My friend wound up sitting on the steps. We complained to DAD, who did refund the ticket price, but it made for an uncomfortable situation when we just wanted to sit back and enjoy the show. We haven't gone back since then.

NWDressage
Sep. 29, 2011, 05:32 PM
Part of the lack of attendance last year was due to the WEG being held the same weekend unfortunately. The two events were not supposed to be held on the same weekend, but they were. Pan Ams this year is another reason. I see your concerns, but I have a feeling DAD will not die and will again be magical soon. But in the meantime, keep attending and share your comments with management!

not again
Sep. 29, 2011, 07:40 PM
It will always be magic. Wet, hot, cold, at different times but Magic every time.

Claudius
Sep. 29, 2011, 08:01 PM
Ditto, ditto and ditto!!! This was my third and least successful year....but I learn so much every time and LOVE seeing all the promising young horses!!!

lcw579
Sep. 29, 2011, 08:13 PM
Magic? Everytime I walk through the gates I feel it.

It is out in full force this year for sure.

Joshua's Mom
Sep. 29, 2011, 08:53 PM
I just came across this link to the live streaming video for the Saturday night Freestyle
http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2011DressageAtDevon

The Majic was back for me this year. My Dutch Filly, Grand Jewel WRF won the filly class, and her brother was 3rd in the Colt class. It has been 19 years since I won that class.

billiebob
Sep. 29, 2011, 11:14 PM
Then go do it babe! No time like now!

I did!


I showed for the first time ever at Devon on Tuesday so I may not be the best person to ask but to me it was magical. There are a few places that literally feel like hallowed ground regardless of the circumstances. When I stepped into the Dixon Oval it felt like I was walking into the Vatican so for me the magic was very much still there. Now on to DHS in the spring I hope!

As I was walking into the ring today, the only thing going through my head was "holy sh*t I'm showing in the DIXON OVAL!" I probably would have skipped in if I didn't think my boss would beat me with a schooling whip :lol:

marta
Sep. 30, 2011, 07:06 AM
funny, you complain about missing perks for box holders, all we hoped for is just getting a box. we signed up early this summer, but didn't make the cut.

i assume (and please correct me if i wrong, b/c i'd love to know HOW one gets that box) that the way it works is you sign up but the first dibs go to prior box holders so unless someone wants to give up their box, someone else can't get one.

we only go for the freestyle grand prix. i love the show, the location, the show grounds, the vendors, the lights, and of course wine and french fries ;) admittedly we haven't been going there for that many years, so maybe my expectations are lower, but i think it's a great venue with a great show and every year as we pull up and see the wall of the oval i feel excited all over again :)

ise@ssl
Sep. 30, 2011, 07:33 AM
Marta - it is a waiting process to get a box. And also to move up to a better box location. What you might want to do is let show management know now that you want to be on the waiting list.

friesian4me
Sep. 30, 2011, 07:55 AM
As of 4 weeks ago there were box seats with 4 chairs in them available.

Shenandoah
Sep. 30, 2011, 09:24 AM
I attended the last 3 days. I think the vendors are better than last year. The complaints I heard from them is that the price for them to be at Devon is getting more and more expensive. Almost prohibitively so. Some vendors do not return as it is not worth their while. I am very disapointed (as are many others) that DAD cut out day and evening tickets for Friday and Saturday for us boxholders. I write my box off and love to be able to treat clients to a day or evening at Devon especially during the performance show.

I am looking forward to Guy McClean (sp?) as entertainment. I am hoping it is of the caliber of Sabine though a different venue. I miss the entertainment!

Last night was magic after the show. I loved sipping a glass of wine and watching the dancing horses schooling under the lights. It may be the best part of Devon this year (for me). Facinating and entertaining; watching 20 horses under the lights in the Dixon, all schooling various movements. I do wonder where the technical deligate was though as there were several people schooling without helmets. I thougt the new rule was that everyone had to school with a helmet. Funny how it used to look odd for someone to wear a helmet in schooling. Now, if you don't have a helemt on you look like the odd man out. Anyway, it was enjoyable.

Marta, As far as getting a box for DAD goes, my husband and I work hard all year to pay for my box at Devon. Boxholders get first dibs on the same box each year. If you don't renew it is up for grabs via waiting list. Devon is my only splurge. I don't buy new vehicles, jewelry, or go to Florida. This is it for me for the year. Just want my day/evening tickets for Friday/Saturday back! That is also extra income for the vendors ans show (double shoppers on Friday and Saturday). Again, I do want to thank the staff and volunteers for all they do each year.

marta
Sep. 30, 2011, 09:25 AM
how do you know this? we were advised we would be contacted if/when a box became available. as i said earlier, we've been on a waiting list for months! i finally gave up 2 weeks ago and bought regular proletarian seats ;)


As of 4 weeks ago there were box seats with 4 chairs in them available.

Warmblooded707
Sep. 30, 2011, 09:52 AM
" but I have a feeling DAD will not die and will again be magical soon. "

Correct - the show is the 'Freddie Kruger' of horse shows:eek::eek::eek:

Warmblooded707
Sep. 30, 2011, 09:59 AM
funny, you complain about missing perks for box holders, all we hoped for is just getting a box. we signed up early this summer, but didn't make the cut.

i assume (and please correct me if i wrong, b/c i'd love to know HOW one gets that box) that the way it works is you sign up but the first dibs go to prior box holders so unless someone wants to give up their box, someone else can't get one.

we only go for the freestyle grand prix. i love the show, the location, the show grounds, the vendors, the lights, and of course wine and french fries ;) admittedly we haven't been going there for that many years, so maybe my expectations are lower, but i think it's a great venue with a great show and every year as we pull up and see the wall of the oval i feel excited all over again :)

Correct about box availability - a prior box holder must give up their box for it to go to a new person; first suggestion: call the boxholder chair to the point of being harrassing:lol:, ask to be on waiting list, and don't give up. It has been my personal experience that efficiency where boxes are concerned is not a strong suit :no: IMHO, if you go annually with low expectations you'll never be disappointed :D

ExtravagentEventer
Sep. 30, 2011, 10:08 AM
Love DAD! I go every year and always have a fantastic time no matter the situation! This year is extra special as I am in a box seat with some fantastic people
I've always enjoyed the shopping, food, and freestyle night! There's nothing like Dressage at Devon!

ise@ssl
Sep. 30, 2011, 10:10 AM
One problem is the person in charge of the Box situation keeps changing so there are vacuums in the system.
I am so sorry to hear that they are upping the costs to vendors - BAD IDEA. Once they decide to leave - they very often don't come back and it's one of the great benefits at the show.
I think the DAD organizers should stick their neck out and put a 'RATE OUR SHOW' survey on their website! They would get valuable feedback and perhaps some very constructive suggestions.
Not everyone goes on the COTH BB or other locations that people discuss these issues.
I know that Lori Kaminski listens to people - Kathy Moffit - does not.

Shenandoah
Oct. 1, 2011, 08:38 AM
Devon last evening (Friday) was a blast! Reminiscent (sp?) of years past. The 8 person DVCTA drill team brought tears to many eyes. A patriotic tribute to 9/11 opening with a Toby Keith song. The horses and riders marched into the Dixon Oval followed by firefighters and police officers. It was absolutely awesome and moving. A must see tonight for anyone attending. Guy McClean, the Aussie Cowboy was equally enthralling. He is the best entertainment since Sabine IMHO. A MUST see! Of course the horses and riders in the GP were awesome as well even though many of the big names were not there.

However, I did not enjoy the commentary/demo by Ransehousen and Parra. I found the commentary long and condescending (as if it was delivered to small children IMHO) and...no comment. Not getting into it here. Anyway, I was very pleased as were my guests and it felt like the old Devon I fell in love with years ago. Kudos to the entertainment committee! I can't wait to return tonight and see it all over again plus the freestyles. Now if I could only get my day/evening tickets back for Friday and Saturday...:)

Tasker
Oct. 1, 2011, 08:51 AM
I was there too last night! I think the magic is still there! The DVCTA tribute was awesome, the cowboy demo was way cool and I got this photo of CHS & W! :)

There are more photos here (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150396567235239.406188.160425195238&type=1) - just not quite as in focus!

Shenandoah
Oct. 1, 2011, 08:57 AM
Great pic Tasker! I'm sure Catherine would love a copy of it!

meupatdoes
Oct. 1, 2011, 09:07 AM
Numerous times I left tickets at Will Call for friends. Every time but ONCE the tickets were not there! It didn't matter if I used their envelopes or my own - my friends would be calling me and there was NO WAY to get in touch with anyone at the show to deal with this.

I was on the receiving end of this a year or two ago.

Someone left tickets for me that had mysteriously disappeared when I showed up at will call.

Reaction of the people in the booth was to say "We don't have any tickets under that name," and shrug and give me dumb eyes. No efforts to resolve the situation whatsoever.

I just went in the back way through the stabling without paying* then. Eff them if they are going to be complete idiots.



*(By this I mean, Without paying **anything additional**to the lost tickets that had already been paid for. But yes they wanted me to just buy new tickets. *shrug* *dumb eyes*)

S A McKee
Oct. 1, 2011, 09:08 AM
I think the DAD organizers should stick their neck out and put a 'RATE OUR SHOW' survey on their website! They would get valuable feedback and perhaps some very constructive suggestions.
Not everyone goes on the COTH BB or other locations that people discuss these issues.
I know that Lori Kaminski listens to people - Kathy Moffit - does not.

Why bother with that? If they choose to ignore it they will.
Instead, fill out the USEF show evaluation form. Send it to USEF directly. If they get enough of them they do take action.

If it was that bad USEF should know so it can be taken into consideration when the show comes up for licensing.

ise@ssl
Oct. 1, 2011, 09:33 AM
That Aussie fella is pretty darned impressive. LOVED those horses!! I'd like to clone him and have him come and work without youngsters!

We missed the 9/11 tribute but will be there again tonight.

The Para/Ransehaussen "thing" was a waste of time and BORING. I miss the funny stuff that Brian O'Connor did to get the crowd "UP". Ransehaussen's voice was like a chastising school marm.

Emy
Oct. 1, 2011, 01:11 PM
Alot of riders are choosing not to attend because of the facility.
The warm-up footing is brutal; hard then with rain it turns to slippery slop that is hard underneath. Only the GP horses get to warm-up in the Gold ring then compete in the Oval. The small tour horses must warm-up on the old style hard sand footing then transfer and compete on the new different fiber footing - it IS great that they have replaced the Oval and Gold but you only spend 10mins in there! Also, for us to take stallions we always have to go with tools and sheets of plywood to reinforce the rickety old CDI stalls. When you are paying $1000+ in entry fees for a CDI it gets a little old.
When the warm-up footing changes the small tour riders will return. It is a wonderful show, with a great feeling.

Tasker
Oct. 1, 2011, 01:51 PM
Great pic Tasker! I'm sure Catherine would love a copy of it!

Thanks Shenadoah! She was very kind and commented on the photos this early this morning on FB! :) *blush* After watching such a correct rider execute so well - remembering to take any photos at all feels like an accomplishment! :D

ise@ssl
Oct. 2, 2011, 07:21 AM
Well we arrived last night and put our things in our Box and then went to the Box Holders Party which runs from 5 to 7. When we arrived there at 6 there was NO FOOD LEFT. I had purchased 6 extra tickets for clients and that was a pretty embarassing situation. This is the 2nd year in a row (with the same catere) that they were without food within an hour. We've had a box at DAD for at least 12 years and this never happened until last year. Something has to be done or they should LOWER the prices on the boxes and forget the party completely.

I had to laugh at the write up here about the GP Freestyle and that the rain didn't start until the top 3 riders went. Where was this reporter sitting???? We had rain gear on most of the time and we were still pretty soggy when we left. I felt so badly for the vendors - we wanted to do some serious shopping but the rain was a deterrent.

I top my hat to the riders who were at times riding in torrential downpours and still put one solid performances. And seeing that Aussie guy with his fabulous 4 again was a real treat.

War Admiral
Oct. 2, 2011, 07:47 AM
I had to laugh at the write up here about the GP Freestyle and that the rain didn't start until the top 3 riders went. Where was this reporter sitting????

Seriously, they *said* that??! I mean, we could see it was pouring down on the USEF live feed (for which, BTW, thanks, USEF, that was great!)... I remember feeling SO sorry for the stalwart ring crew, b/c it didn't seem watching onscreen as if there was anyplace for them to duck out of the rain at all - and very glad to see all the ULRs thanking them as they left the arena.

not again
Oct. 2, 2011, 08:04 AM
Dressage at Devon was and is "Magic". My advice has and will be that if you don't like how something is going, volunteer to fix it. Great show last night, AGAIN!!

S A McKee
Oct. 2, 2011, 08:05 AM
FWIW the paint, the footing, the renovated barns-- DHS did that, not DAD. DAD just rents the showgrounds from DHS. So if they had less flowers/decorations, etc., it wasn't because DAD spent money on the capital improvements. Because DAD didn't fund those.

Yes, DHS already has a 'special' license from USEF because they don't meet the standards for H/J shows. Schooling/warmup is very bad and to some H/J exhibitors it's unacceptable as is the condition of the stabling. Besides DHS there have been only 1-2 HJ shows run there each year because better facilities are available in the general area.

In 2012 the new H/J show standards start and they are stricter than ever. 'Magic' ? When parking is way way off in the distance and unloading and loading almost impossible? I don't think so.

I doubt DAD spent a dime on any improvements.

Shenandoah
Oct. 2, 2011, 08:22 AM
The boxholder's cocktail party was a bust. Food ran out after an hour, but honestly it was pretty bad anyway. I saw numerous people throwing plates of food out with disgusted looks on their faces. The dessert which was pathetic was set up at the beginning of the line. no plates, just cocktail napkins. Appetizers were haphazardly placed along the whole "buffet". The plates were near the end of the line and the food was cold. This was not volunteers who were responsible but a paid caterer. I hope they hire another caterer for next year, or as someone said here just lower the price of the boxes and forget the party. It is a shame to run out of food. The boxholders pay for this and get 2 tickets per box, and the walk ins have to pay $20.00/person. Chris Nye always did a good job. Why not hire him again or use the brunch caterer?

Anyway, the entertainment was the same as Friday night and just as enjoyable. Kudos to the riders who chose to wear their helmets in the GP Freestyle. Wish they hadn't wasted the time on the Ransehousen/Parra demo/commentary thing...again. The vendors were great and here is lots of stuff to see and purchase. I hope that the show was "worth their while" and they'll return next year. A shame that "the Engraver" is all the way back in the corner of stabling. They are a fixture at DAD and many eople look forward to getting nameplates etc. at the show. I hope everyone found them OK. Off to the show for the final day. Hope it doesn't pour!

Commander Cody
Oct. 2, 2011, 08:32 AM
I have worked on the show in a variety of capacities and went there this year as a riding (as opposed to breed) competitor for the first time in many years. I can report a few things:

1. I and the other DAD board members designed surveys for both competitors and spectators (different ones of course) and these were distributed throughout the show and there was a gift given when they were returned to the souvenir stand (a poster). I and others will be going through ALL the surveys and have no intention of ignoring them. We are hoping to use them to help us prioritize improvements as best we can, as well as to gain information of use to potential sponsors and build a list of new people that might like to get involved.

2. I was stabled in the back stalls (Barn 2) and found it to be fine. There were, of course, the usual nails but I was prepared for that. The stall floors had been newly leveled and covered with sand and were very nice and there was no flooding that I was aware of despite some heavy rain at times. I have some suggestions to improve the loading/unloading process that I hope we will implement for next year and am happy to hear additional suggestions. As for the difficulty of loading and unloading, it's just part of having a show in such an urbanized area. This is the logistics of the venue and the choice is either move like the National HS did out of NYC (good idea? Hard to say..) or deal with the limitations as best we can.

3. The footing in the Gold and Dixon arenas was very good and held up well throughout the show. My horse seemed very happy on it. The warm up looked bad on Thursday but actually ended up not bad at all. Of course it isn't level and of course not the same great footing, but they dragged it regularly and I had no issues warming up. I know there are discussions about redoing the entire warm up, but that is a hugh project involving drainage and other issues and so there is much planning to be done. I did not feel that my rides were in any way compromised by the warm up footing.

I have to admit I was a bit hesitant to bring my horse this year, but we both had a great time and I am already thinking about plans for next year. I thought the vendors were great and seemed to be doing well (although not sure how well top hats are selling this year - seemed like safety helmets were predominating in all classes!). Of course there are small glitches, but we want to hear about them and have every intention of trying to improve them.

If anyone wants to fill out a survey that didn't receive one, I'm sure we can get one to you or feel free to PM me your suggestions.

Alison

Shenandoah
Oct. 2, 2011, 09:01 AM
As I sit here at the computer, my husband just walked in and announced that he will no longer attend the boxholder's cocktail party. He said he'd rather go in for a couple of beers and bring a sub to eat in the box. That way he gets dinner and can enjoy it. Said he wasn't interested in sitting at a cramped table, elbow to elbow with people you can't talk to because the acoustics are so bad eating lukewarm ravioli. He suggested that maybe there could be a boxholders cocktail reception instead, with small tall tables that you could stand around. Hors dourves(sp?) could be served by staff that walk around with trays. Without people sitting, it wouldn't be so crowded. Also, no chardonney? It is probably the most popular white wine. Anyway, I and he appreciate all that the volunteers do and the critique is not aimed towards them. Alison, I will look for the evaluation forms. There are also many positive things to comment on as well.:)

ise@ssl
Oct. 2, 2011, 09:39 AM
I too wanted to order some name plates from the Engraver but by the time we realized where the booth was it was too late to go there (in the torrential rain) and order what I wanted. I'll just contact them directly.

I think some people here are missing the point. Spending the money on a box at DAD is something I do to watch the competition but it's also a business expense as I am a breeder. It's a way to entertain customers or potential customers. I have to believe many other people who spend this money are also doing the same thing. To tell people the Boxholder party is from 5-7 and run out of food 2 years in a row at 6 is inexcusable. And why are they selling tickets at the door? Their first focus should be the tickets that the Boxholders have purchased. If they want to offer another "party" that people buy tickets to at the door - DO IT SEPERATELY AT ANOTHER TIME.
The number of tickets provided to Box holders and purchased PRIOR to DAD is the # that the Caterer should have for the food. Allowing others to come and pay at the door clearly makes it impossible to provide adequate food to the BOXHOLDERS- it's their party.

marta
Oct. 2, 2011, 10:11 AM
picked up the tickets at will call. i admit, after reading some posts here, i was worried if my tickets would be there. they were but the lady at the window handed me two envelopes of tickets - mine and someone else's. of course, i returned it but i wonder if that's how tickets disappear sometimes...
the only other ticket/seating related issue we saw was a couple of ladies who purchased seats in the EG section and one of them had a seat number 16 but the last seat on that bench was seat number 15. they were directly across from us which is how we heard about it.

overall, our experience has been consistent the last 3 years. the entertainment during the break (australian cowboy) was much better than last year's jousting.

next year, however, we will make our own sandwiches and bring our own beverages.

it was nice to see all the helmets in the gp. i'm not a helmet nazi but i do think that they are being looked up to by youngsters who are just starting.

we loved the top three riders. my SO asked if they get extra points for performing in the downpour ;)

Commander Cody
Oct. 2, 2011, 11:27 AM
@ Shenandoah -
Send me a PM with your email and I will get a survey to you. I don't think you can email it back (that's way too high tech for me :-) ) but if you mail it back to me, I'll include it in the results. That goes for anyone else who wants one.
It may take a bit of time for them all to get processed as I am still mid competition season and others will be doing wrap up for the show and recovering, but we will work on it over the quieter months.

vxf111
Oct. 2, 2011, 12:48 PM
Yes, DHS already has a 'special' license from USEF because they don't meet the standards for H/J shows. Schooling/warmup is very bad and to some H/J exhibitors it's unacceptable as is the condition of the stabling. Besides DHS there have been only 1-2 HJ shows run there each year because better facilities are available in the general area.

In 2012 the new H/J show standards start and they are stricter than ever. 'Magic' ? When parking is way way off in the distance and unloading and loading almost impossible? I don't think so.

I doubt DAD spent a dime on any improvements.

Things are being imoroved every year at SIGNIFICANT cost to DHS. Putting Poels footing in both rings was not inexpensive. My horse warmed up in the "unacceptable" footing and yes it was sloppy but you will see worse 9/10 at any rated H/J show in this area under similar rainy conditions. The barns are being redone, a little at a time. Did you walk through any of the renovated ones? They are beautiful and as nice as any facility I know (keeping in mind the age of Devon). Serious, expensive capital improvements have been happening for the last few years at DHS's expense. And they continue to happen. Until some generous donor hands over enough money to do them all at once (don't we all wish) they'll have to be done a little at a time, year by year.

vxf111
Oct. 2, 2011, 12:52 PM
What "better" facilities in the area are you talking about? There are certainly some newer (HPNJ, Dream Park) and some swankier (Swan Lake, Wyndsor) but I can't think of ANY on the same size/scale with 2 rings worth of super high end footing. Maybe it's just the HJ in me. All year long I have to vascillate between Woodedge and Our Farm because they have all the dates (thanks mileage rule) and neither one is anything even remotely like a "better" facility. I have a feeling the reason that the Devon grounds don't get rented more often is the COST of renting the facility and not the fact that the warmup ring has regular, "old fashioned" footing (which is what is IN THE RING most rated shows I attend).

lcw579
Oct. 2, 2011, 01:09 PM
Dressage at Devon was and is "Magic". My advice has and will be that if you don't like how something is going, volunteer to fix it. Great show last night, AGAIN!!

This is DEVON people - it is a Magic place for hunters, for jumpers, for dressage. It is an institution and there aren't many left these days. The DHS people are working hard to improve the facility and they have been doing a great job.

I drive by the grounds every day and always feel lucky to have them in my backyard. I will have to say that while at times this thread was like getting kicked in the gut (hey you were picking on the hometown team!) it did inspire me to volunteer for next year.

Oh and watching Lyle & Wizard's freestyle, even in the rain, was certainly Magic with a capital M!

eks
Oct. 2, 2011, 03:55 PM
It will always be magic. Wet, hot, cold, at different times but Magic every time.


100% agree..I grew up 25 minutes from Devon and really miss going to the shows there....there is really nothing like Devon...it even has a certain smell!!

marta
Oct. 2, 2011, 03:57 PM
i have to add that there is something really special about that venue. i don't know if it's the downtown location or the view of the little cupolas as you approach but even our non horsey friends seemed smitten by it.

Mia412
Oct. 2, 2011, 06:44 PM
It's got me all excited like a first grader who's got a bag of sugar in one hand and a double espresso in the other :D

billiebob, I hope you don't mind, I'm so going to steal this line. :D We've had a rough few days but this made me laugh out loud!

netg
Oct. 2, 2011, 07:03 PM
Seriously, they *said* that??! I mean, we could see it was pouring down on the USEF live feed (for which, BTW, thanks, USEF, that was great!)... I remember feeling SO sorry for the stalwart ring crew, b/c it didn't seem watching onscreen as if there was anyplace for them to duck out of the rain at all - and very glad to see all the ULRs thanking them as they left the arena.

I love the USEF is doing the feed. There tend to be glitches in the loading, some on their side, some on mine - but if they figured out a way to do the feed which allowed you to load the buffer on your computer instead of only being able to see immediately live (the WEG was broadcast that way from FEI.tv for example) I would gladly pay for the feed. It's GREAT getting it free, but I imagine it can't stay free for long just due to expenses!

Claudius
Oct. 2, 2011, 07:16 PM
Devon is so unique....from the location within walking distance of the Devon train station, to the Blue and White barns and grandstands. How many shows do we show at that have grandstands.,....and actually fill them on big nights??? I rode in the leadline and won it when I was three years old . I can still remember the smell of the tanbark that was the oval of footing around the grass infield in the "Wanamaker Oval", since renamed the Dixon Oval. I remember the post and rail fencing of the warm up ring, that is now the Gold Ring. I remember the trees that lined the perimeter drive ways, and the outside course on the grass field, jumping out of and into the Wanamaker Oval as the beginning and end of the course. And the bank jump. And through all the improvements, the ambiance still remains. Regardless of the discipline exhibiting there, Devon welcomes us in all its historical grandeur. Long live Devon... and heartfelt thank you to all the people who have put in so much effort to keep it where it is!!!!!!!!

Warmblooded707
Oct. 2, 2011, 08:35 PM
After reading all posts on this thread one thing stands out in my mind - those who have voiced criticism are largely pointing out flaws in the systems of show management, not the Devon facility itself.
Devon is indeed special. Generations of people and horses have come and gone. I think the magic one feels are in part the ghosts of people and their beloved horses long past. It is history and as such deserves respect and preservation.
I met my first horse when I was 21. His name was Rafter...yes, he looked like he could hold up a house. Our meeting began my 30 plus year love affair with all things equine. DHS '79 found me and two of my best friends in a local hotel with my yearling filly in a DHS tent stall awaiting her fifteen minutes in the 'Wanamaker Oval'. It was magic, it was special, I will never forget it or her. The memories each of us have made or have yet to make is what makes DHS special. Each generation of horse lovers should have their turn inside or outside of the Oval.
Kudos to all of the volunteers that make horse shows possible. Special props to those who braved the rains to respectfully and ceremoniously open and close the arena boards last evening at DAD.
If those among us have gripes with the people that manage DHS/DAD then let there be other threads that deal with the subject.
It is fitting this one should end as this years DAD competition has ended - stalls emptied, grandstands closed for winter, paperwork packed up, scores submitted, horses all home safely, riders proud of ribbons won, riders improving their mounts for ribbons yet to be won, volunteers pleased with a job well done. Turn out the lights, lock the gate. 2012 will be here before we know it.

867-5309
Oct. 2, 2011, 09:25 PM
This is DEVON people - it is a Magic place for hunters, for jumpers, for dressage. It is an institution and there aren't many left these days. The DHS people are working hard to improve the facility and they have been doing a great job.

M!

Magic place for ASBs and Hackneys too ;-). And word to yours and vxf111's comments about hard work happening all the time!

ise@ssl
Oct. 2, 2011, 09:43 PM
I grew up in Drexel Hill and learned to ride in Malvern. I remember Devon when it wasn't a "downtown location" as someone wrote on this thread! The venue is special - but here's the reality folks. The only way it's going to continue to exist is if the shows run there make money and people who want to go there who have money help by donating even more money. The Box Holders (I am one) pay a large sum of money up front. And all the Boxholders together provide a solid cash income to any show that's there - whether they use the box every day (we don't) or not. The Boxholders Party was always a special event but it has now turned into one big mess. Selling tickets at the door has resulted in people - who are not boxholders - buying a ticket going in and eating as much as they want and then loading up plates of food and walking out with them (I presume for their friends). So the last 2 years we have seen the food gone in less than an hour and the special atmosphere of the party is gone. We use our extra tickets that we buy way in advance to give out to friends and business contacts. How embarassing to arrive and be told "there's no food left and very little to drink". What did I buy?

As someone pointed out - it's not about the venue - it's about the failure of management to keep the standard that most people expect at DAD or just DEVON. And I do remember the Wanamaker Oval which then became the Dixon Oval and as someone who remembers Wanamakers Department Stores , it's hard for me to even call it the Dixon Oval.

If people want to keep this 'MAGICAL PLACE' they have to understand it's financial viability is critical to it existing and being able to make necessary improvements. DAD has continued to lower their own standards on keeping the events at a level that draws in patrons and money!!! And as far as the stands being full - that's only for 2 1/2 days of the show.

dudleyc
Oct. 3, 2011, 06:44 AM
http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/dressage-devon-why-competitors-horse-show

I don't know if you all read the blogs here - but Catherine Haddad Staller was very happy.

paintlady
Oct. 3, 2011, 07:49 AM
the only other ticket/seating related issue we saw was a couple of ladies who purchased seats in the EG section and one of them had a seat number 16 but the last seat on that bench was seat number 15. they were directly across from us which is how we heard about it.


That is exactly what happened to my friends and I two years ago. We complained and eventually got a refund. Still, my friend had to sit on the stairs due to no seat. You'd think they'd have that straightened out by now!

S A McKee
Oct. 3, 2011, 08:39 AM
What "better" facilities in the area are you talking about? There are certainly some newer (HPNJ, Dream Park) and some swankier (Swan Lake, Wyndsor) but I can't think of ANY on the same size/scale with 2 rings worth of super high end footing. Maybe it's just the HJ in me. All year long I have to vascillate between Woodedge and Our Farm because they have all the dates (thanks mileage rule) and neither one is anything even remotely like a "better" facility. I have a feeling the reason that the Devon grounds don't get rented more often is the COST of renting the facility and not the fact that the warmup ring has regular, "old fashioned" footing (which is what is IN THE RING most rated shows I attend).

Devon is not used more often because of the unacceptable stabling. Another poster mentioned the usual 'nails'.
Not acceptable under any circumstances. I've never had to repair stalls at a H/J show, at least not in many years.
Read the H/J show standards and it will be clear that this facility is sub standard in many areas such as warmups and exercise space.
While you may not be happy with other nearby facilities because they have the dates they do have show grounds that meet the standards. H/J people avoid shows that have bad footing.
It may be news to you but in H/J land most AA or A shows operate with more than two rings of all weather footing.
I'd like to know what DAD really spent money on. The Devon show publicized the improvements they had made and they involved footing. Those improvements had to be made or deal with exhibitors refusing to go there.

7HL
Oct. 3, 2011, 09:02 AM
The world is coming to an end :lol:....



This year we get only 1 (instead of 2) Mimosas on the Midway brunch ticket (unless my packet was missing the second one).

ASB Stars
Oct. 3, 2011, 09:02 AM
For me, and many others, Devon is hallowed ground.

I first attended the horse show as a star struck horse loving child, in 1968. I first showed there in 1973. I have had the great good fortune to show there many times, in different disciplines, in the years since.

The management at the DHS, and DAD, can be challenging. As a lover of American Saddlebreds, watching the breeds presence diminish of the decades is heart breaking. It is a true testament to the love that many have for the breed that they are still represented in the Spring.

The Dressage at Devon group, I believe, became a victim of their own hype. They fought to be able to "own" the show, and now they do. What has to be remembered is that it is all about supporting everyone who supports the show- the vendors, the exhibitors, the box holders and ticket buying public. Without the feeling of belonging to the experience, it tarnishes what was once a very special moment in each years activities.

There have been complaints at DAD about scheduling, ticket foul ups, and stabling issues forever. The advent of in internet allows us all to know about them in real time. Perhaps that is a good thing- because we can let management know how we feel- just as quickly. And that is exactly how they should respond.

I have not set foot on the grounds of the DHS this year, for a number of reasons, but I know when next I do, that special frission that you get- seeing the ring and stands, and knowing and remembering all of the great performances you have witnessed, and maybe even been a part of, will come tingling through me.

Because, after all, it IS Devon.

vxf111
Oct. 3, 2011, 10:33 AM
Devon is not used more often because of the unacceptable stabling. Another poster mentioned the usual 'nails'.
Not acceptable under any circumstances. I've never had to repair stalls at a H/J show, at least not in many years.
Read the H/J show standards and it will be clear that this facility is sub standard in many areas such as warmups and exercise space.
While you may not be happy with other nearby facilities because they have the dates they do have show grounds that meet the standards. H/J people avoid shows that have bad footing.
It may be news to you but in H/J land most AA or A shows operate with more than two rings of all weather footing.
I'd like to know what DAD really spent money on. The Devon show publicized the improvements they had made and they involved footing. Those improvements had to be made or deal with exhibitors refusing to go there.

How do you know why the Devon showsgrounds are/aren't used more often? I'm just curious where that information is coming from? Because, actually, I think they are used more than you assume. There used to be a non-rated hunter show every year that Dolores Swan put on. There's the rodeo. Last year Wells Fargo had some sort of company outing. The Black Tie and Boots Ball was there one year. Plus DAD and the DHS and, last year, the Brandywine series. I really, genuinely suspect the reason it's not used a whole lot more is: (1) expensive to rent; (2) way too large for the turnout at most shows in this area; (3) people are already used to shows at other venues; and (4) no room in the calendar/mileage rule. So if you have some evidence to suggest that it's the STALLS that are making people rule out hosting a show there-- I'd be curious to know the source of that information.

What venues are you talking about that are in the area and are much better? Because I'd genuinely like to know. I'd like to SHOW THERE?! What venues are you referring too? I don't mean this to be a diss on ANY venue but where are you referring to?! What venue in this area has 2 rings and 2 warmup areas all with the same exact all weather footing?

There are limitations that Devon cannot get around because of its location. There is not a lot of space. Parking is limited. That's just how it's going to be. It's one of the few shows grounds left that managed to survive most of Montgomery County and Chester County turning into McMansion central. Think logistically about where Devon is. Unless some wealthy benefactor donates many millions of dollars that would enable the foundation to buy up all of the McMansions surrounding so they can knock them down and put in paddocks and a parking lot-- I'm not sure HOW you think Devon is going to be able to change anything about its physical footprint. That's part of its charm. Devon is NOT a cookie cutter HITS showground. The show has been put on in that location for longer than probably both of us have been ALIVE. It's different. It's never going to be cookie-cutter-perfect-built-2-years-ago. If that's what you want, you just want to go show elsewhere. The same way that if you want a nifty shiny retromodern brand new house, you don't buy an old colonial and whine that you don't like brick. If you want space to lunge all day long and turnout paddocks and tons of parking-- Devon is never going to satisfy you. It's just plain never going to be big enough!

I have heard VERY few complaints at DHS about the footing. Very very few. Now, the weather is typically more cooperative at DHS than it is at DAD (different time of year) but very few complaints. Certainly this "I can't warmup on a different surface than the show ring" slant is something that seems to concern dressage riders more than hunter riders. I can't name one, NOT ONE, venue in this area that hosts rated shows and has the exact same footing in all rings and the warmup area. Most of the rated shows I go to, you're lucky if there *is* a warmup area that isn't essentially a muddy paddock. Again, what venue are you thinking about when you are referring to the better ones in this area?!

As for the stalls, they are being redone. Did you walk through any of the redone barns? They are beautiful. Safe, clean, new-looking, AND managed to retain their charm and originality. Redoing all the barns is expensive and they're being done bit by bit. A few every year until they're all done. The "back" barns (which is I think where the international competitors were for DAD) are overall newer so I would suspect they're close to the bottom of the list-- I think the ones "on the grounds" are older and being done first. How exactly do you propose the foundation finance redoing all the barns overnight? If you have a great idea for where that money should come from, you should share it!

As for having to take down nails/staples from the prior occupant-- it sucks but unfortunately that's not entirely unique to Devon. When I lived in GA we regularly showed at 2 facilities- Wills Park and Chateau Elan. I don't ever remember going there and NOT having to take down nails/staples and fix up the stalls a bit. Here in PA/NJ I rarely go to shows that have stalls (many of the rated venues around here don't really have stalls and put up temporary ones) but I would suspect it's not an unusual practice to find a mess from the past occupant. In all seriousness, would it make you happier to pay more for stabling but to have included in the price someone going around to clean stalls/remove nails between occupants? Because it's a fair request/suggestion, I am just not sure I'd want to personally pay for that service.

Also, every stall is inspected before the show begins, so I'm not sure what you mean by stalls that are "in need of repair." Yes, they are older. Yes, people leave nails behind. No, they don't look like the highest tech product that was installed 2 weeks ago, but I have walked up and down those stalls for many years and I've never seen ones that seemed unsafe or not useable. I've now stabled my horses in them both for DAD and DHS multiple times. I have been in the "back barns" and one of the non-redone "on showgrounds" barns. Every single time they were absolutely plenty safe and acceptable. Yes, I had to pull a few nails and eyehooks, but "in need of repair?" I've never seen that.

I think the complaints about the managment/organization are all very valid and should be followed up on. Certainly there is no excuse for losing tickets, running out of food at a party you charge entry for, etc. No excuse for any of that. But I really bristle at the assertion that there's something so inherently wrong with the showgrounds. Do you WANT old traditional shows like Devon, Upperville, and Pin Oak? Because they're never going to be HITS. And they shouldn't be. But they have something unique that HITS and those big money corporate shows DON'T have. And the grounds is owned by a non profit organization whose primary mission is raising money for Bryn Mawr Hospital, not turning the DHS into HITS v 2.0. Different priorities. Different funding streams. Different facilities. Different experiences. Maybe it's just not the venue for you?

vxf111
Oct. 3, 2011, 10:42 AM
What exactly is so "in need of repair" about these stalls?

http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/?action=view&current=037.jpg

DAD 2011

http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/Devon%202010/?action=view&current=FrankieinStall.jpg

http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/Devon%202010/?action=view&current=HangingOutPreClass.jpg

DHS 2010

http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/Devon%20Hunters%202007/?action=view&current=Atti4.jpg

DHS 2007

lcw579
Oct. 3, 2011, 10:51 AM
Oh, Veronica, I do love you so!

mbj
Oct. 3, 2011, 01:42 PM
I had a great time at Devon this year, both seeing breeding classes and performance classes. I also very much enjoyed the Specials-- the audio tapes by experts, Jessica Ransehausens "warm-up" of Cesar's lovely horse, the aussie with the stockponies,and the 8 horse quaudrille were terrific. The "warm-up" was particularly helpful to my non-dressage friends who were attending DAD for the first time, but I,who have come a lot, also found it very interesting.

mr_miamis_mom
Oct. 3, 2011, 03:30 PM
how do you know this? we were advised we would be contacted if/when a box became available. as i said earlier, we've been on a waiting list for months! i finally gave up 2 weeks ago and bought regular proletarian seats ;)

This is 100% true. I spent 3 years on the waiting list, and this year a friend heard boxes were available, called and got a box. I called and was told that there was a new person and somehow the list was never updated accurately.

Plenty of 4 seat boxes were still available and also some 6. My friend got bumped up to a 6 seater which was fine and we will share next year.

On another note, I had attended DAD for 10 years. In the last several years since the "big change" things have gone markedly downhill, from the long term vendors who are no longer there, the big name riders who no longer compete to how the volunteers are handled. After volunteering for 7 years my experience last year was so lousy I will never volunteer again. And of course there was the box issue.

That said, I went Thurs - Sun and had a good time in spite of the weather, mainly because it's great to see top quality horses, and friends that I don;t see any other time of the year. I only live a half hour away, and if I lived farther I do not know if I would travel a distance since it has changed so much.

happyhorsegirl
Oct. 4, 2011, 08:03 AM
The stalls in the pictures a few posts up are from the stabling used for the breeding entries. The ones in desperate need of attention are the stables in the CDI competitors barn ( in the back of the property within the chain link fence). Those barns suck. Sorry no pictures though.

dudleyc
Oct. 4, 2011, 09:34 AM
http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/dressage-devon-why-competitors-horse-show

there is a picture here

vxf111
Oct. 4, 2011, 11:15 AM
oops, quoted wrong post

vxf111
Oct. 4, 2011, 11:17 AM
The stalls in the pictures a few posts up are from the stabling used for the breeding entries. The ones in desperate need of attention are the stables in the CDI competitors barn ( in the back of the property within the chain link fence). Those barns suck. Sorry no pictures though.


Not correct. The photos from 2007 and 2010 I posted are all the "off campus" stalls in the back which are the ones that DAD uses for the CDI. The very ones that are being complained about as "in need of repair." That's what is shown in my 2007 and 2010 photos. The 2011 photo shows an "on campus" front barn which was used for breeding horses for DAD.

veronica2368
Oct. 4, 2011, 03:23 PM
This year was mine and my Moms first time at Dressage at Devon, we had a great time, got soaked on Saturday nght, but it was worth it! I took a few pictures when I could dodge the raindrops, and I wanted to share them!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v180/veronica2368/dayofdevoncownload005.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v180/veronica2368/dayofdevoncownload004.jpg


I'm sorry for cutting the top of the photo off on this one...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v180/veronica2368/dayofdevoncownload026.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v180/veronica2368/dayofdevoncownload007.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v180/veronica2368/dayofdevoncownload006.jpg

Sister Margarita
Oct. 4, 2011, 07:10 PM
The stalls in the pictures a few posts up are from the stabling used for the breeding entries. The ones in desperate need of attention are the stables in the CDI competitors barn ( in the back of the property within the chain link fence). Those barns suck. Sorry no pictures though.

Could not agree more. Two years ago a sudden downpour flooded the CDI barn that my horse was stabled in at about 11 pm at night. I arrived at 6:30 am the following morning to see my horse standing in 8 inches of water and shavings. He had not been able to lay down after a six hour trip to Devon the day before. Unacceptable. People lost their hay and their grain. Unacceptable. No one was checking the horses, despite the fact that there is supposed to be some security for the horses. Unacceptable
I tried to rectify the situation politely with the stable manager and was told the person to speak with would be in at 10 am! We walked the horse outside for nearly two hours. I talked to the show manager who sent me back to the stable manager who sent me back to the show manager. I was in complete shock that this would happen at Devon, at a CDI. If not for the FEI TD who told me to take any stall and send anyone who questioned it to her, my horse would have walked on pavement for much of the morning. This was my most recent Devon experience. I remembered it when deciding whether to enter this year.
I won't discuss the footing, since some improvements have been made. Are those improvements in the warmup areas as well? The warmup for my last test was walking in the least soupy areas. Very little trotting on a straight line at the edge of the warmup area where it was not deep mush, no cantering.
Warmup is where most of the riding goes on. Did they fix that too?
After all the happy anticipation I had going to Devon, I went home very disappointed.
Devon has a special aura, no doubt. But when the well-being of horses is so compromised, it becomes tarnished. I hope they can get it together so that it can live up to that special image it had.

not again
Oct. 4, 2011, 07:36 PM
The North American Young Rider Championships stabled all the horses for all disciplines in one large tent on a slight grade the first year we attended. Flooding rains had the horses at the low end standing a more than a foot of water.....it was still a great competition and we all remember working together to sort things out. Rain can ruin your experience, or you can focus on the good parts...just saying.

JMurray
Oct. 4, 2011, 07:56 PM
I spoke to one of the organizers. They and the May Devon show rent the property from the town/city of Devon who owns the property. Devon the town makes the decisions on how money is spent to improve the grounds with input from the shows that rent the grounds who also put up money for improvements. This year it was getting the Gold Ring footing done and more stalls fixed. DAD and Devon the town know 1). the FEI barn has to be fixed next and 2). the footing in the back 2 warm up areas used when the Gold ring has classes in it.

Mardi
Oct. 4, 2011, 08:52 PM
Why bother with that? If they choose to ignore it they will.
Instead, fill out the USEF show evaluation form. Send it to USEF directly. If they get enough of them they do take action.

If it was that bad USEF should know so it can be taken into consideration when the show comes up for licensing.

Surely USEF knows that the stabling is inadequate. How often do they have to hear that ?

Mardi
Oct. 4, 2011, 09:38 PM
I and the other DAD board members designed surveys for both competitors and spectators (different ones of course) and these were distributed throughout the show and there was a gift given when they were returned to the souvenir stand (a poster). I and others will be going through ALL the surveys and have no intention of ignoring them. We are hoping to use them to help us prioritize improvements as best we can...

Let me help you get started. Exhibitor Friendly rated and reviewed this show in 2003. Surveys were completed by exhibitors, trainers and spectators. Show management was offered detailed feedback, but declined. The review was later published in The Horse Show Review.
Ratings: (out of 5, 5 being excellent)
Showgrounds: 4
Show Management: 4
Value for Fees Paid: 4
Overall Experience: 4

Some comments from the surveys:
"Boxholder packet: would like to see schedule of events, at least. Preferably a free program."
"I love this horse show and look forward to it every year but I think the footing needs a little work."
"My first time here. Show management was excellent but facility leaves much to be desired compared to other facilities in Region 1."
Stabling: "small and falling apart", "Too many nails, even on ground"
"Really dirty bathroom, really nice people, TINY stalls"
"Footing needs to be improved"
"Well organized"
Show Office staff: "polite"
"Very organized, pleasant, enjoyable"
"Excellent vendors and shopping!"
Warm up arena footing: "Very poor. Same for the last 10 years."

And personally what surprised me the most that year besides stabling was that the FEI/CDI jog was held in the lower barn area on a grade next to a chain link fence/neighboring parking lot. Very classy ! :)

Again, this was done in 2003. I was there last year and made my own "inspection" of the grounds. A few things had improved, but overall
it was pretty much the same.

As for this year, I was a 1/4 page advertiser in the program
and have not received one. Hopefully it's just an oversight.

vxf111
Oct. 4, 2011, 10:10 PM
I spoke to one of the organizers. They and the May Devon show rent the property from the town/city of Devon who owns the property. Devon the town makes the decisions on how money is spent to improve the grounds with input from the shows that rent the grounds who also put up money for improvements. This year it was getting the Gold Ring footing done and more stalls fixed. DAD and Devon the town know 1). the FEI barn has to be fixed next and 2). the footing in the back 2 warm up areas used when the Gold ring has classes in it.

Not sure where the info came from but the town/city doesn't own the grounds?

The foundation bought them in 2005...

http://articles.philly.com/2005-05-26/news/25440867_1_repurchase-10-day-event-stables

vxf111
Oct. 4, 2011, 10:11 PM
Could not agree more. Two years ago a sudden downpour flooded the CDI barn that my horse was stabled in at about 11 pm at night. I arrived at 6:30 am the following morning to see my horse standing in 8 inches of water and shavings. He had not been able to lay down after a six hour trip to Devon the day before. Unacceptable. People lost their hay and their grain. Unacceptable. No one was checking the horses, despite the fact that there is supposed to be some security for the horses. Unacceptable
I tried to rectify the situation politely with the stable manager and was told the person to speak with would be in at 10 am! We walked the horse outside for nearly two hours. I talked to the show manager who sent me back to the stable manager who sent me back to the show manager. I was in complete shock that this would happen at Devon, at a CDI. If not for the FEI TD who told me to take any stall and send anyone who questioned it to her, my horse would have walked on pavement for much of the morning. This was my most recent Devon experience. I remembered it when deciding whether to enter this year.
I won't discuss the footing, since some improvements have been made. Are those improvements in the warmup areas as well? The warmup for my last test was walking in the least soupy areas. Very little trotting on a straight line at the edge of the warmup area where it was not deep mush, no cantering.
Warmup is where most of the riding goes on. Did they fix that too?
After all the happy anticipation I had going to Devon, I went home very disappointed.
Devon has a special aura, no doubt. But when the well-being of horses is so compromised, it becomes tarnished. I hope they can get it together so that it can live up to that special image it had.


I am sorry to hear the management had such a slow/poor reaction to flooding. That's hugely unacceptable. Unusual flooding/over-the-top rain can throw everything for a loop but to not have a contingency plan when stalls flood and to no do night check is inexcusible!

happyhorsegirl
Oct. 4, 2011, 10:51 PM
The flooding at NAJYRC was bad but the managment and volunteers were AMAZING---within minutes of the problem being reported they were digging drainage ditches and trying to minimize damage....they showed a real concern for the horses and competitors.

Weather happens but it's inexcusable for management to be 1. unaware of problem and 2. unresponsive to problem.

JMurray
Oct. 5, 2011, 04:13 PM
Not sure where the info came from but the town/city doesn't own the grounds?

The foundation bought them in 2005...

http://articles.philly.com/2005-05-26/news/25440867_1_repurchase-10-day-event-stables

Well how about that! My source did not have their facts straight. I suppose though DAD rents from the foundation and has to work with them on improvements they need?

vxf111
Oct. 5, 2011, 04:37 PM
Well how about that! My source did not have their facts straight. I suppose though DAD rents from the foundation and has to work with them on improvements they need?

The foundation is, in essence, DHS. DHS owns the showgrounds and is responsible for improvements thereto. Of course, they are still subject to zoning etc. and so Devon the town has *some* control over what happens there-- but only the way that the town you live in has control over what you do with your home. Your home belongs to you and the grounds belong to the foundation which runs the DHS.

The foundation rents the property throughout the year to other entities, including DAD, the rodeo, Louise Serio for Brandywine, etc. I am not privvy to the arrangements. I don't know specifically what DAD pays or if they have to agree to do certain things to rent the property-- but I would all but guarantee that they don't have to DO capital improvements themselves. They probably just pay a rental fee and agree to return the property in like condition. I know for a fact that the foundation paid for the new footing and has been spending the money to renovate the barns and build a new souvenir booth (which actually was largely and very generous done gratis/at cost by Anthropologie).

When I was at DAD, I saw plenty of DHS executive committee people walking around, and well as the company DHS uses for maintenance/grounds upkeep.

Now assigning horses into stalls, moving people when they have problems, dragging the warmup (or not), deciding who can school where, etc.-- pretty sure THAT is all run by DAD during DAD.

But someone said earlier "well, maybe DAD spent less on decorations because they spent money on footing." That can't be, because the foundation put in the footing. Now, whether they raised the rental rate thereafter-- I have no idea, but DAD did not put in the footing or renovate any stalls. DHS through the foundation did that. And is continuing to do that.

msloyer
Oct. 6, 2011, 08:31 PM
Mardi,
I was co-chair of the show in 2003 and had no knowledge of the survey you are referring to. The information contained would have been welcomed then as well as now. Thank you for posting it.

ASB Stars
Aug. 3, 2012, 08:51 AM
Thought I'd put this here, as I had a couple of questions.

I was reading this: http://www.dressageatdevon.org/cms2/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2&Itemid=9

Which discusses the history of DAD, according to them, of course :winkgrin: However, it states that Thorncroft was the beneficiary, and it does not mention anything about the fact that Thorncroft no longer IS the beneficiary...

http://thorncroft.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=33&Itemid=29

So, my question is who IS the beneficiary? Is there one (other than DAD itself?). If the relationship no longer exists, why does the website intentionally leave one with the idea that it does? Did they kiss and make up?

Warmblooded707
Sep. 8, 2012, 06:50 PM
Thought I'd put this here, as I had a couple of questions.

I was reading this: http://www.dressageatdevon.org/cms2/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2&Itemid=9

Which discusses the history of DAD, according to them, of course :winkgrin: However, it states that Thorncroft was the beneficiary, and it does not mention anything about the fact that Thorncroft no longer IS the beneficiary...

http://thorncroft.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=33&Itemid=29

So, my question is who IS the beneficiary? Is there one (other than DAD itself?). If the relationship no longer exists, why does the website intentionally leave one with the idea that it does? Did they kiss and make up?

Had a busy summer so haven't been on the COTH boards for a while. Logged in and saw this question re/beneficiary for DAD. It was a question I had many months ago when reading DAD's 'history' on their site. The omission, for whatever reason, was obvious to me.
So I'm presuming the beneficiary status is still unanswered or perhaps simply not answered on this forum? Facts please someone, just the facts. We are a curious lot and after all, a well known show well known for eons to benefit a well known worthy cause should strive to be well known for informing all about who the shows charitable contributors are contributing to. Whew! Now that's a mouthful :winkgrin:

Tina~M
Sep. 8, 2012, 07:19 PM
Let me help you get started. Exhibitor Friendly rated and reviewed this show in 2003. Surveys were completed by exhibitors, trainers and spectators. Show management was offered detailed feedback, but declined. The review was later published in The Horse Show Review.
Ratings: (out of 5, 5 being excellent)
Showgrounds: 4
Show Management: 4
Value for Fees Paid: 4
Overall Experience: 4

Some comments from the surveys:
"Boxholder packet: would like to see schedule of events, at least. Preferably a free program."
"I love this horse show and look forward to it every year but I think the footing needs a little work."
"My first time here. Show management was excellent but facility leaves much to be desired compared to other facilities in Region 1."
Stabling: "small and falling apart", "Too many nails, even on ground"
"Really dirty bathroom, really nice people, TINY stalls"
"Footing needs to be improved"
"Well organized"
Show Office staff: "polite"
"Very organized, pleasant, enjoyable"
"Excellent vendors and shopping!"
Warm up arena footing: "Very poor. Same for the last 10 years."

And personally what surprised me the most that year besides stabling was that the FEI/CDI jog was held in the lower barn area on a grade next to a chain link fence/neighboring parking lot. Very classy ! :)

Again, this was done in 2003. I was there last year and made my own "inspection" of the grounds. A few things had improved, but overall
it was pretty much the same.

As for this year, I was a 1/4 page advertiser in the program
and have not received one. Hopefully it's just an oversight.

I was the Festival Chair in 2003 & I was thrilled to see in 04, the same report you posted. We worked hard to expand & make the Festival Area a shopping experience for all, not just the horsey folks & a place for families to make Fall memories.

I'm saddened that the Festival Area isn't recieving the same reviews as it did in the Grace years & my 2 years. I was dismissed in 2004 but I still kept an eye on the vendors as I really enjoyed 99.9% of them. I keep hope that the Festival will once return to the popularity & positive reviews of the past & not become a mediocre horse show shopping area.

ASB Stars
Sep. 8, 2012, 08:04 PM
Since I posted that, I have read several pieces on the upcoming show, and what is blatantly obvious is that there is no **outside** beneficiary. There are MANY sponsors- some are listed in the advertisements that they have put out.

I found the write up on the site amusing in the discussions about **paid employees**, as well as the mention of Thorncroft, by name, and the relationship, but no mention whatsoever of what actually became of that relationship. If you go to Thorncrofts site, the letter is still posted, which clearly states that is OVER!

So, I guess that this all means that DAD is raising funds for DAD, their employees, and that is the end of it.

Really, really sad.

ginnysimon
Sep. 10, 2012, 09:23 AM
Just wanted to make sure everyone knew that the warm up ring footing now matches the great quality of the Dixon Oval and Gold Ring.

ASB Stars
Sep. 10, 2012, 10:04 AM
ALL for the good- no question! Did DAD fund that completely, or in part?

I suppose I am lost trying to understand how a 501.c.3 non-profit, which is designed, by definition, to support worthy causes, is now not benefiting anyone-- at least, not that they are disclosing.

Which makes no sense, because, heck wouldn't you want to make sure the world knew that you were doing good with the funds that you are receiving from sponsorships, vendors, entry fees, stalls, tickets, boxes, etc.?

I am getting really slow in my old age.

ASB Stars
Sep. 10, 2012, 10:05 AM
So the fees are up- where is the money going??

ise@ssl
Sep. 10, 2012, 11:37 AM
Just a note on non-profits. Any not for profit corporation 501(c)(3) has per granting of non-profit status several requirements. One stipulates that any person can: Either go to the office of the non-profit and request to see the financial statements of the corporation and/or write and request same. The non-profit MUST provide this information and CAN charge a nominal fee for providing copies. They cannot refuse to provide them.
All non-profits must submit a copy of their BY-LAWS when applying for non-profit status. Within in the By-Laws it should stipulate their purpose and what benefit they provide. In other words - who benefits from the existence of the corporation.
Also the IRS frowns on non-profits amassing large sums of money without providing some public benefit as stipulated in their by-laws. They can have money in Endowments Funds if a donor stipulated that or in investments to provide a return to keep the corporation operative but they must be actively providing the benefit for which they exist.
Non-profits also use a different form of accounting - not General Ledger. It's called Fund Accounting. So any money donated to a non-profit that is for a specific use MUST be kept in a seperate "restricted" account. That money cannot be used for any other purpose. i.e. for example if people donated money to replace footing - that money canot be used for any other project.

Non-profits are not like private corporations where financial information is protected. So regardless of whether it's DAD or any other non-profit if you want to know the detail on the numbers - it's information they must provide.

ginnysimon
Sep. 10, 2012, 12:17 PM
Guy McLean will be back this year with his wonderful team of horses!

Warmblooded707
Sep. 11, 2012, 12:24 PM
ALL for the good- no question! Did DAD fund that completely, or in part?

I suppose I am lost trying to understand how a 501.c.3 non-profit, which is designed, by definition, to support worthy causes, is now not benefiting anyone-- at least, not that they are disclosing.

Which makes no sense, because, heck wouldn't you want to make sure the world knew that you were doing good with the funds that you are receiving from sponsorships, vendors, entry fees, stalls, tickets, boxes, etc.?

I am getting really slow in my old age.

A portion of a press release by Lori Kaminski is posted below:
“It is a great time for Dressage at Devon to give even more back to the sport” said Lori Kaminski,
President of the Dressage at Devon Board of Directors. “Dressage at Devon has decided to take this
opportunity to focus on our mission statement of producing a world class dressage and dressage sport
horse breeding show, promoting the sport of dressage, and supporting dressage education. We have
already initiated a capital campaign along with the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair Foundation to
raise the funds needed to excavate and rebuild the schooling arena using the same high quality footing
that has already been installed in the competition arenas. This improvement will include the necessary
drainage and provide a safer environment for horses, riders, and handlers. Educational sessions for
dressage judges and dressage sport horse judges are in the planning stages for 2012 and we are currently
in the process of identifying the topics and presenters for the Wednesday evening forum and the weekend
mini seminars.”

The only thing clearly spelled out is that they will use proceeds, in part, to help pay for footing, albeit "high quality".
It would also seem that at the time of this release they were considering using funds for educational purposes as stated in the release. If memory serves, the evening forum, and educational sessions (could this refer to Dressage with the Experts?) were paid for by participants and any profit went into the general budget. So, can exhibitors expect that these offerings will be free of charge for 2012? If one is collecting sponsorship dollars to fund equine educational endeavors for the public then I would think they should be. Any thoughts :confused: Another alternate interpretation could be their mission statement is to have a really high brow horse show funded by other people's $$.

Shenandoah
Sep. 11, 2012, 04:45 PM
Got my boxholder packet in the mail today. No Mimosas on the Midway brunch. Instead you get 6 mimosa drink tickets (big deal). If you want to purchase more, the tickets sell for $10.00 each. No seperate day/evening tickets for Friday and Saturday. Boxholders still get 2 boxholder cocktail party tickets for Saturday night (hope it is better than last year). Every year we get less and less for the same $$. Think this will be my last year. A shame. This is our one big splurge for the year and we save all year for it. Yeah, the magic is fading alright...

ASB Stars
Sep. 11, 2012, 06:04 PM
I still want to know where the damn money is going- they certainly aren't supporting those who support them, the way this reads.

ise@ssl
Sep. 11, 2012, 06:29 PM
Shenandoah - I noted the change in the Mimosa's as well. And the Boxholder Cocktail Party has turned into a mess. Last year we arrived 45 minutes into the time frame and there was NO FOOD left. We were told that at the door. I had purchased extra tickets for friends and clients and even after speaking to Lori and writing to the other woman in charge of the event - never received a refund for the extra tickets. I guess I should take that as a charitable deduction. What was a nice "dress up" get together before the evening performances has turned into a dress down - take plates of food out to your friends event that we won't ever attend again.

Bogey2
Sep. 11, 2012, 06:42 PM
I am curious, do think they really make a lot of money? I am on a board that runs recognized shows twice a year and can tell you, they do not make a lot of money. These are shows run with a lot of volunteers...and still, they don't make a lot of money.

ASB Stars
Sep. 11, 2012, 07:57 PM
IIRC, and someone on here with better recall than I can confirm or deny- they have written checks as large as 75K to Thorncroft in the past. This, allowing for paying DVCTA, employees, etc.

I suppose I should request the financials, eh? :lol:

pluvinel
Sep. 12, 2012, 04:23 AM
IIRC, and someone on here with better recall than I can confirm or deny- they have written checks as large as 75K to Thorncroft in the past. This, allowing for paying DVCTA, employees, etc.

I suppose I should request the financials, eh? :lol:

The DaD financials have been discussed in depth here
http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=333927&highlight=thorncroft

And here
http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showpost.php?p=6036918&postcount=44

The more current IRS Form 990's are available at guidestar.org.

Warmblooded707
Sep. 12, 2012, 10:52 AM
I am curious, do think they really make a lot of money? I am on a board that runs recognized shows twice a year and can tell you, they do not make a lot of money. These are shows run with a lot of volunteers...and still, they don't make a lot of money.
All due respect, the amount of money this particular show makes is not the point. You are correct, horse shows as a rule do not make much money, often running in the red. But if you are a show that accepts sponsorship dollars, not to support the show but to support a stated cause, mission, or entity, then the competition's responsibility is to disclose where the money will go. After all, would you write out a charitable check not knowing what it would be used for? If you want to support the show so be it; if you want to support the show's stated cause then shouldn't you know what it is specifically - all the press release is to me is vague generalities.

Warmblooded707
Sep. 12, 2012, 11:10 AM
Shenandoah - I noted the change in the Mimosa's as well. And the Boxholder Cocktail Party has turned into a mess. Last year we arrived 45 minutes into the time frame and there was NO FOOD left. We were told that at the door. I had purchased extra tickets for friends and clients and even after speaking to Lori and writing to the other woman in charge of the event - never received a refund for the extra tickets. I guess I should take that as a charitable deduction. What was a nice "dress up" get together before the evening performances has turned into a dress down - take plates of food out to your friends event that we won't ever attend again.
While I can happily sum this up in two words - bad management - I'll add a few thoughts -
1. Back in the day, the woman who used to run the party thought lemon squares, cheese and crackers, and the tired red and black caviar offerings were haute cuisine.
2. how one treats ones guests is a direct reflection on what one thinks of those guests. In that these are paying guests makes the treatment all the more insulting.
3. forget the 'dress up' concept if their standard of acceptable attire is breeches under ten years of age and only worn twice so far this week. Of course, there is the other contingent who trot out the same tacky hat, droopy skirt, baggy blouse, and dated hairstyle (no doubt the need for the tacky hat), pick up their glass of corked dry white, and toast to their successes.
These are and always will be people who believe their own press. If one approaches the event with low expectations all will be well.

ASB Stars
Sep. 12, 2012, 05:31 PM
While I can happily sum this up in two words - bad management - I'll add a few thoughts -
1. Back in the day, the woman who used to run the party thought lemon squares, cheese and crackers, and the tired red and black caviar offerings were haute cuisine.
2. how one treats ones guests is a direct reflection on what one thinks of those guests. In that these are paying guests makes the treatment all the more insulting.
3. forget the 'dress up' concept if their standard of acceptable attire is breeches under ten years of age and only worn twice so far this week. Of course, there is the other contingent who trot out the same tacky hat, droopy skirt, baggy blouse, and dated hairstyle (no doubt the need for the tacky hat), pick up their glass of corked dry white, and toast to their successes.
These are and always will be people who believe their own press. If one approaches the event with low expectations all will be well.

Agree 100%. I was involved with sponsoring a class at DAD for five years. It is not an experience I would ever get involved with again.

ASB Stars
Sep. 12, 2012, 05:35 PM
"It is the intent of Dressage at Devon, a Pennsylvania non-profit, to produce an annual dressage and sport horse breeding competition that will generally be recognized as the premier event of its type in the United States. It is further intended that a full food and beverage service as well as a wide selection of vendors be open and available to the public."


This is their mission statement. They plan on running a show that they can tell everyone is the **premier** show of it's kind in the US ( what does **premier** really mean here?) and, they plan on having food and stuff to buy available.

Really? Is this really what a 501 is supposed to do? What about work **for the good of** OR, that really big deal- BENEFIT someone or something?? :mad:

Am I just completely missing the boat here?

Regarding their tax filings? I do not think that there is anyone out there who doesn't understand how THAT goes :rolleyes:

puddytat
Sep. 13, 2012, 01:07 PM
Since it was Thorncroft who ran the Mimosas on the Midway in the past, now that TEC is no longer associated with the show and that is why it has been dropped; no one to run it.

Somewhere there was a press release, saying that DAD was now in a position to donate to a wider variety of educational opportunities or something like that. I read it as they are now free of their financial commitment to Thorncroft, so they can now donate to other causes; hand-picked by the DAD Board, no doubt, and those causes would more than likely be those that would benefit the DAD Board members and further their personal agendas.
If they are saying they are going to help fund dressage judge educational sessions, oops; they're too late - DVCTA (remember them? the parent organization that DAD split away from a few years ago?) has advertised that they are putting on an "L" judges program over the next year. So, unless DAD is contributing funds to that program, I doubt there is a need for two programs at the same time in the same geographical area.

The Cocktail Party has been a joke for so long it's not funny. It's locusts descending in biblical proportions. Sorry to all of you 'polite attendees'... you were just elbowed out of the way by dirty-breeches-clad barn help grabbing plates of food to take back their friends at the barn. I'm not sure how you can change the behavior of some of the guests. FREE FOOD= Stampede!!
So how are entries looking? Any big names???

Nelzeagle
Sep. 13, 2012, 02:56 PM
As a 15 year Thorncroft volunteer at DaD, I know that Thorncroft did Mimosas on the Midway, Wine & Cheese, the Beer Garden, the Pita & Chili booth, and the Sweet Shop. We made hundreds of calls to get the food donated. We also staffed the Souvenir Booth, Program Booth, Kids' Corral and provided the ushers. That's a lot of work and a lot of volunteers for an 8 day show.

Thorncroft is not involved with DaD this year in any way, shape or form. Issues with boxes and boxholders has always been the DaD committee's responsibility. It will be interesting to see how DaD makes out without the hundreds of Thorncroft volunteer hours.

I am not optomistic.

ise@ssl
Sep. 14, 2012, 09:21 AM
puddytat - I LOVED YOUR COMMENT:

"The Cocktail Party has been a joke for so long it's not funny. It's locusts descending in biblical proportions. Sorry to all of you 'polite attendees'... you were just elbowed out of the way by dirty-breeches-clad barn help grabbing plates of food to take back their friends at the barn. I'm not sure how you can change the behavior of some of the guests. FREE FOOD= Stampede!! "

You were spot on - it's like the Wedding Gown sale at Filene's basement sans the women stripping to try them on...........but then again who knows that may happen in the future! ;-)

Some of my other favorite moments are the people who are sitting in the box we pay for when we arrive and they are quite annoyed when we tell them they have to leave OR arriving to find NO CHAIRS in the box - then it's about a half an hour of searching for someone...anyone ...on the show committee who can find the chairs. Not hard to do actually - when some of the other boxes have 10 chairs instead of the 6 provided.

It will be interesting to see if they can hustle up enough volunteers without the Thorncroft people.

So sorry to see Kathy Moffit running the Breed Show. She is not pleasant and last year the changes in the times and rings for the classes was a disgrace. We had a 3yo mare in the Materiale class and U/S class. For the Materiale she was tacked up, warmed up 4 timesand untacked and returned to the stall 3 times because the time/ring was changed that many times. The mare did very well but there's no excuse for that lack of show management.

I've always felt they should just KEEP TO THE SCHEDULE. Too often the Announcer changes things for God knows what reason and he really has no power to do that. The management just doesn't GET IT - when there's a lull in the show - attendees GO TO THE VENDOR VILLAGE. That's what the Vendors need and want and the attendees like to be able to shop or eat without missing anything.

Tina~M
Sep. 15, 2012, 01:59 PM
puddytat - I LOVED YOUR COMMENT:

"The Cocktail Party has been a joke for so long it's not funny. It's locusts descending in biblical proportions. Sorry to all of you 'polite attendees'... you were just elbowed out of the way by dirty-breeches-clad barn help grabbing plates of food to take back their friends at the barn. I'm not sure how you can change the behavior of some of the guests. FREE FOOD= Stampede!! "

You were spot on - it's like the Wedding Gown sale at Filene's basement sans the women stripping to try them on...........but then again who knows that may happen in the future! ;-)

Some of my other favorite moments are the people who are sitting in the box we pay for when we arrive and they are quite annoyed when we tell them they have to leave OR arriving to find NO CHAIRS in the box - then it's about a half an hour of searching for someone...anyone ...on the show committee who can find the chairs. Not hard to do actually - when some of the other boxes have 10 chairs instead of the 6 provided.

It will be interesting to see if they can hustle up enough volunteers without the Thorncroft people.

So sorry to see Kathy Moffit running the Breed Show. She is not pleasant and last year the changes in the times and rings for the classes was a disgrace. We had a 3yo mare in the Materiale class and U/S class. For the Materiale she was tacked up, warmed up 4 timesand untacked and returned to the stall 3 times because the time/ring was changed that many times. The mare did very well but there's no excuse for that lack of show management.

I've always felt they should just KEEP TO THE SCHEDULE. Too often the Announcer changes things for God knows what reason and he really has no power to do that. The management just doesn't GET IT - when there's a lull in the show - attendees GO TO THE VENDOR VILLAGE. That's what the Vendors need and want and the attendees like to be able to shop or eat without missing anything.

I do recall the Boxholder's Party in the last of my years, as a feeding frenzy. I remember watching people feeding their DOGS off plates but because the were a high dollar sponsor, nothing was said. There was a time when someone "checked in" the guests & freeloaders would be turned away. Food was then plenty but with anything, people get tired, lazy,complacent...whatever, & the party suffered.

95% of DAD jobs were volunteer positions & most had fulltime jobs outside of the show. Still, everyone had different motives as to why they volunteered therefore; some areas of the show were not managed as well as others.

Warmblooded707
Sep. 15, 2012, 03:21 PM
As a 15 year Thorncroft volunteer at DaD, I know that Thorncroft did Mimosas on the Midway, Wine & Cheese, the Beer Garden, the Pita & Chili booth, and the Sweet Shop. We made hundreds of calls to get the food donated. We also staffed the Souvenir Booth, Program Booth, Kids' Corral and provided the ushers. That's a lot of work and a lot of volunteers for an 8 day show.

Thorncroft is not involved with DaD this year in any way, shape or form. Issues with boxes and boxholders has always been the DaD committee's responsibility. It will be interesting to see how DaD makes out without the hundreds of Thorncroft volunteer hours.

I am not optomistic.

Nor am I but one can always dream. If they manage to enlist every member of the DVCTA as a volunteer, which would indeed be dreaming, it would get them only 200 +/- live bodies. There's also a 'learning curve' so those who do staff any remaining old venues will initially have a tougher time doing their job.
I hope for their sakes they live up to their press releases and their own opinions of themselves because if they do not, it could get ugly. Scaling down and omitting the venues that were old favorites would be a shame.
They've wanted total autonomy for years, first from DVCTA and eventually from a beneficiary; they're about to get their wish so we shall see if they're able to carry their own water.
One of DAD's head honchos took the reins of DVCTA's Dressage at Fair Hill when its manager departed after '04 but she didn't last long as queen of the hill.
From '00 to '04 aside from the usual volunteers necessary as runners, scribes, etc. that show, expanded to three days, was run, and run well, by approximately six people in the top spots - manager, secretary, stable manager, volunteer coordinator, hospitality, and fund raising/sponsorship. The manager and all on the committee wore at least 3 hats to get the jobs done while enlisting their husbands or significant others. The show in its five years under that manager ran in the black and was able to give back significant funds to the DVCTA general coffers. It is noteworthy that since the departure of old management, the "smartest people in the room" have complained at length about the lack of help/volunteers, hired professionals to do the secretarial and scheduling duties, have gone backwards and reduced the show to its original two days, and I'm not sure how much $$ it currently earns or costs DVCTA.
If this same talent pool thinks that show was a bear without an army of bodies, then may heaven help them while they wrestle with big DADdy!