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Dressage at Devon. Is the Magic Fading?

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  • Dressage at Devon. Is the Magic Fading?

    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.

  • #2
    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.
    www.ctannerjensen.com
    http://ctannerjensen.blogspot.com/
    Equine Art capturing the essence of the grace,strength, and beauty of the Sport Horse."

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    • #3
      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 ?

      Comment


      • #4
        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!

        Comment


        • #5
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              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....

              Comment


              • #8
                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
                I love my Econo-Nag!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by billiebob View Post
                  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
                  Then go do it babe! No time like now!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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.
                    Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
                    "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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!
                      McDowell Racing Stables

                      Home Away From Home

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Anewpony View Post
                        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.
                        ~Veronica
                        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                        http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I went once a couple of years ago with a friend

                          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.
                          Shoulders back, hands down, leg ON!

                          http://mellvinshouse.blogspot.com/

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                          • #14
                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                It will always be magic. Wet, hot, cold, at different times but Magic every time.
                                Anne
                                -------
                                "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Not Again

                                  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!!!
                                  "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Magic? Everytime I walk through the gates I feel it.

                                    It is out in full force this year for sure.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Devon

                                      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.
                                      Judy

                                      www.windyridgefarm.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Anewpony View Post
                                        Then go do it babe! No time like now!
                                        I did!

                                        Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                                        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
                                        I love my Econo-Nag!

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