The last time I’d been to Devonwood was 10 years ago, at the very first incarnation of the show. The place was barely finished then, but it had the makings of a very special showgrounds, so it was a treat to return and see the landscaping all grown in, the indoor arena and barn complete, and the scenery just as stunning.
The view from Devonwood is all about the trees. Big, tall, straight-standing pines, the kind we don’t have in San Diego. They smell good. They house red-tail hawks. They cast lots of welcome shade, which cooled things down even when the temperature soared into the mid 90’s like it did on Friday.
Each of the competition arenas at Devonwood has its own flavor. the Sand Arena is where the big classes go on, and it’s in an amphitheater flanked by a VIP tent and a grassy hillside where spectators lounge. The Terrace Arena is just above it and just just below the Vendor Village, which was home to about two dozen shops for the weekend. At the top of the hill is the aptly names Sylvan arena, which surrounded by pines on three sides, and has a view of Mt Hood. The fourth arena is the Indoor. Now, this is not your basic-box indoor area: this is an airy, skylighted cathedral of dressage, graced on one end by a stunningly beautiful mural by artist Joanne Mehl.