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June 13, 1955
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June 13, 1955

The Wonderful World Of Sport

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Class 68 of the Devon (Pa.) Horse Show—the country's largest outdoor show—is one of the most colorful anachronisms in the world of sport. It is the last remaining coaching marathon in America, a run for four-in-hand coaches, park drags or breaks along 8.6 miles of macadam road, from the heavily shaded Radnor Hunt Club in Delaware County to the blue-and-white tented Devon grounds in Chester County. To see them off last week at a pre-hitching luncheon at the Radnor Hunt, horse lovers gathered from Philadelphia Main Line farms, Virginia, New Jersey and New York. As they fanned out from the clubhouse after lunch toward the hitching area at the barns, the assemblage displayed a sporting look worthy of the event: silk top hats, bowlers, hacking suits, checked knee aprons and livery. The spectators thronged around the four entered vehicles to observe the hitching of Mrs. Robert C. Winmill's ponies and break, of the coaches and horses of the James K. Robinsons, John M. Seabrook and Dr. Clarkson Addis Sr. At 3:30, with a flourish of horns, the coaches, driven by their owners and carrying guests and footmen, curved down the graveled drive and headed for Devon. The winning team, judged on correctness of turnout and condition of the teams, was that of Crebilly Farm, owned by James and Gay Robinson of West Chester, Pa., two of the country's biggest coaching enthusiasts.

Straw hat shades Mrs. E. W. Shober Jr., watching with Mrs. Gouverneur Cadwalader.

Derby hats, glen plaid hacking suit and coachman's coat are worn by Jack Seabrook and Mrs. Arthur E. Pew Jr.

Checked apron protects Mrs. Robert C. Winmill of Warrenton, Va. She won in 1953-54.

Silk topper, leather hatbox, stiff collar and cane make Isaac H. Clothier Jr. the most formal figure at the coaching marathon.

Gray topper, velour Tyrolean and sennit boater are worn by Edward Smith, Lawrence Kelley, Stanley Reeve.

Black bowler is worn by Jim Robinson, who won the Widener and Gambrill trophies.

Nothing can be more embarrassing to an athlete than a prat fall. As surprise fades away, the performer becomes aware of the thousands of eyes focused on his impromptu posture. If the fallen one is a professional wrestler such as Benito Gardini, he may take refuge in the time-honored tableau of the wounded gladiator, balanced on knees, eyes closed, mouth pursed with pain, especially if the fall really was a surprise. For a baseball figure such as Roy Campanella of Brooklyn the only thing to do is to shift attention to the nearest umpire, especially if he has heaped indignity on indignity by calling Campy out on strikes. Incredulity will not alter Jocko Conlon's decision, but the look is obligatory under baseball's code of manners despite one's posture. For the unimaginative approach, trust a girl such as Daphne Seeney of Australia, who picked herself up and continued her tennis match.