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Devita Horse Shows

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Philip J. DeVita


I am a second generation horseman and I have been involved with show horses all of my life.  I have been very fortunate to have had the best mentor throughout my life, one who has always been a guiding force for me, my father.  Working with him, and in my own business ventures, I have enjoyed all aspects of this great industry.  I have been blessed with an incredible wife who has given me three awesome boys and my family is why I continue to strive to be the best I can be in every part of my life and career.

From the mid 1970’s to early 2000 I was fortunate enough to show, compete and train at every level throughout The United States.  From those early years I have had many great opportunities to work at some incredible venues and with some of the sport’s greatest people. 

Having an early interest in judging and course designing, I received my USEF judge’s license at 20 and began doing courses at 23.  My interest in being in management began when I helped Pauline Cook as a course designer and, as what is now called a technical coordinator in Houston in 1983.   In 1995 I began the transition from horse trainer, competitor and occasional judge and course designer to full time horse show official.  This transition lasted about seven years.  Since then, I have been involved with many types of events and many incredible people.  From the smallest of shows to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, I have greatly enjoyed all aspects of the sport. 

As a licensed official for USEF I hold an “R” in Hunters, Jumpers, Hunter Seat Equitation and Hunter Breeding.  For the FEI, I currently hold a 2* course designer’s license and an “I” FEI judge’s license.  Even though my training days are behind me, I still enjoy the educational process by having the pleasure of teaching clinics for the USEF and USHJA.  The Federation has allowed me the privilege of teaching  Hunter, Jumper, Hunter Seat Equitation and Hunter Breeding judge’s clinics as well as Hunter and Jumper Course Designer’s clinics.  I have served committees for the USEF and USHJA and will be serving as the Chair of the USHJA Officials Committee moving forward this year.


Some highlights from my judging and course-designing career would be judging and doing courses for the ASPCA-Maclay finals at Madison Square Garden, being asked back to judge hunters there the following year, judging the other Fall indoor shows at Capitol Challenge, Harrisburg and Washington, judging and doing courses at The Winter Equestrian Festival for the last 24 years and, especially being one of twelve invited to be on the course designing team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.   

I would consider all of the shows that I manage as highlights in that part of my career.  Choosing a particular favorite, I would have to say that managing 2004-2009 of The Charlotte Jumper Classic was particularly fulfilling.  I really enjoyed producing a top FEI show jumping event in this country and at the time the richest show jumping event held in The United States.  In 2008 The Charlotte Jumper Classic was rated as one of the top 5 indoor show jumping events in the world, which was a true honor to be a part of.

It has been a joy to work with so many talented people in the production of these great events.  The “team effort” is the most satisfying part of my career and I feel that the key to success is surrounding yourself with a talented team of individuals that work well together and compliment each other’s skills. 

I started managing the CFHJA shows in 2002 a group I have been involved with as a rider and trainer since the mid 70’s. 

Since 2008 I have had the pleasure of managing the Germantown Charity Horse Show and work with an incredible group on that board to produce their event.  

Beginning in 2011 I have had the honor of managing the Franktown Meadows Hunter Derby's which are a two day event of a $10,000 3' Derby and The $30,000  International Derby in Carson City Nevada and has grown every year.  Franktown Meadows is such a unique event being held on a beautiful grass field with the back drop of the Sierra Nevada's it is truly amazing.  

Also in 2011 I added The American Royal in Kansas City, Missouri  which is a showpiece of the Mid-West, we have hosted the Init2Winit Qualifier series for The Omaha International Horse Show since 2017.  

Beginning in 2015 I have had the opportunity to manage The Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Horse Show and work with another great group of people producing a quality event in Ohio and will hopefully be able to continue a great show jumping tradition there in Cleveland.  

Starting in 2017 taking over the Management position at The Menlo Charity Horse Show in Menlo California has been another of the most recent shows that I have gotten involved with. It is another show that is organized by an incredible committee dedicated to producing a high quality event.   Menlo is certainly one of the few very special Boutique horse shows left in this country.  Many consider Menlo to be the South Hampton of the west coast which to me would be as great an honor and compliment that one could have for any event.  Menlo is certainly a very special Horse Show and one that is at the top of the list of many exhibitors and officials including myself.

The most recent of shows that I have the privilege of managing beginning in 2018 is the Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show.  This is another Boutique horse show in Darien Connecticut that is organized by an amazing group of talented people that want to run a quality event.  It is a beautiful venue and is in the process of rebuilding to even be more spectacular.  

I hope to add my own best attributes to these existing teams of people and ultimately, to further these horse shows’ wonderful reputations with the new teams we create.  It has been a privilege and an honor to be a part of so many wonderful shows and talented people through the years.