In 1965, a group of riding enthusiasts got together and formed a club, in response to the question "How come the kids get to have all the fun?" The idea of an adult pony club caught on and the Delaware Valley Combined Training Association or "DVCTA" was born.
The mission of the club is to provide instruction and training for members and to inform and demonstrate dressage to the public. So, in the early 70s, the club put on a successful dressage show at the Willcox's Tory Hill Farm in Glen Mills, PA. Gaining in popularity, the show moved to The Radnor Hunt Club in Malvern, PA while continuing to search for a permanent home. We credit the late Pat Franco with the idea of moving the show to the Devon Horse Show Grounds and in 1975 Dressage at Devon or "DAD" was born.
The increasingly popular Fall Festival actually started as an Art's & Craft's Festival, a reflection of the "back to nature” culture of the 70s. At that time there were more horses than spectators, but the high level of enthusiasm among the competitors convinced the volunteer DAD committee that this was a show with great potential. Early on, most of the volunteers came from the ranks of the DVCTA membership. Today, volunteers come from all over the country.
The show continued to grow, added two days for the breeding show, adding exhibitions and larger classes. Today these efforts at improvements continue, with revamped scheduling, new classes in performance, new vendors, additional educational opportunities, and the increasingly popular Dressage Explorers.
Dressage at Devon has evolved into one of the most prestigious dressage competition in the hemisphere. It is an internationally rated dressage show as well as the largest open breed show in the world. The food vendors are rated as the best on the horse show circuit and the Festival area and overall venue is unique in the horse show world.
But what makes Dressage at Devon truly special is the dedication and efforts of our competitors, sponsors, volunteers and spectators. We couldn’t do it without you.