The 117th edition of the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair got underway on Thursday, and the competition consisted of junior riders in equitation in the Dixon Oval and pony breeding classes in the Gold Ring.
Some things remain the same, such as the winner of the Show Jumping Talent Search. For the second straight year, the winner was 16-year-old Lillie Keenan of New York. She said she has been competing at Devon since she was 12.
"My mom showed here as a young girl, so we shared that, and qualifying for Devon in itself is exciting," Keenan said.
Also, Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, Fla., won one of the three sections of the first equitation class and placed fourth in another to be tied for the lead for the equitation championship, which will be awarded on Friday.
One of the highlights next week will be the appearance of Star Street, a retired thoroughbred racehorse and among the top sport horses in the nation. He will begin showing on Monday.
Star Street is ranked No. 1 in the second Year Green Working Hunter section in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York area, typically the most difficult in the nation, and he is ranked 10th in the country.
"I feel like he has really matured this year and been champion pretty much every time he has shown," said Star Street co-owner Kelly Wilson, in a phone interview from Gladstone, N.J.
Another highlight this year will be the return of two-time U.S. Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward. He will defend his Leading Open Jumper Rider title at Devon.
Ward, from Brewster, N.Y., also won last year's $100,000 Wells Fargo Grand Prix of Devon.
A total of $400,990 in prize money will be awarded through June 2. More than 2,500 horses are entered, and those qualifying will show in 45 divisions and 283 classes. Last year's paid attendance surpassed 100,000.