Comparing the FIRST day of anything to the last is just silly. The first day is new, everyone is ready to go, vendors stocked, people fresh, with 10 days ahead. The last day of any run, be it a play, fair, horse show, finds tired people ready to go home, stocks depleted or sold out and nothing on their mind other than going home or to the next stop. Who is going to come to Devon for that? Not many.
The horses don't need the quiet. That is just an excuse. If they have been prepared properly by attending smaller shows as prep, they do just fine.
YHUS is NOT pretty much local horses. It isn't for PA BREDS, it is for PA REGISTERED, something any horse can be by paying a nominal registration fee. It draws horses from all over the east coast.
Devon is our SHOWCASE show, the one we plan for all the previous year. The one we use as a measure when evaluating young horses (can he/she win at Devon?). Being put on the last day, like an afterthought, is not cool and is really a bit insulting to the owners who support these horses, the help, like me, who work so hard to have them PERFECT, and the handlers who want their day in the sun. I hope I am wrong, but I will definitely have to be convinced.