Devon Horse Show and Country Fair welcomes Sweet Briar College as special guest

Devon-Horse-ShowSweet Briar College was a special guest Friday night at Pennsylvania’s Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, the oldest and largest outdoor multi-breed competition in the United States. Overall, more than 100 Sweet Briar alumnae and prospective students from the region attended the show after receiving an invitation from Wayne W. Grafton, chairman of the Devon Horse Show.

“Last fall we came here for an event and had a great weekend,” said Sweet Briar College President Phillip C. Stone. “Wayne told us about the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair and asked us if we would be interested in coming here for an event during the show. We knew the reputation of this event, so we jumped at it. This is the first of what we hope will be an annual event.”

President Stone (left) and Devon Horse Show Chairman Wayne W. Grafton
President Stone (left) and Devon Horse Show Chairman Wayne W. Grafton

According to the Devon Horse Show’s newsletter, Grafton, in turn, knew of Sweet Briar’s reputation and wanted to form a partnership. He had heard about the College’s announced closure last spring, and watched in awe as alumnae staged an unprecedented fundraising and social media campaign, raising $28.5 million in 100 days to save their alma mater.

“The Devon Horse Show is so grateful to be in a partnership with Sweet Briar College,” Grafton said.  “After listening to what they have done, they inspired me to move forward with all of the improvements here. They are the stars.”

In its first year back, Sweet Briar College won the ODAC championship — its fifth overall — and director of riding Mimi Wroten was selected coach of the year.

“For generations, our students have been winning equestrian titles across America and more than one third of our students ride,” said Mary Pope Hutson, vice president of alumnae relations and development. “We are really fortunate to be here at Devon to launch a partnership with them.”