Arena/Stadium - Fairgrounds - Historic Building/Landmark
23 Dorset Rd, Devon, PA 19333
Although the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is now the oldest and largest outdoor multi-breed horse show in the country, it started with much more humble beginnings. In the 1890’s there was a new migration into the rolling rich farmlands and small towns of the Philadelphia western suburbs. The railroad lines attracted development to the newly christened “Main Line” area. Although families arrived to the Main Line by train, once settled they used horses as their primary form of transportation. Horse-drawn vehicles were used to go to church, to town, and to the market. On May 22, 1896 a meeting was called by the gentlemen of the Main Line area inviting their friends and neighbors to “effect an organization for the purpose of holding a Horse Show at Devon.” Less than two months later the first Devon Horse Show was held!
The first show was a one-day event that consisted of approximately thirty classes. At most, each class had ten entries. The fenced-in show ring was constructed on grass and the judges and officials sat in a gazebo in the center of the ring.
Before long, the show was expanding in response to overwhelming demand. By 1914 show had become the largest outdoor horse show in the entire country. A grandstand was erected for the comfort of the spectators. Even more luxurious were the famed box seats covered by a canvas awning. The elite could now watch the show in complete comfort.