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Devereus, Walter B.

Walter B. Devereux U.S. Army WWII
Walter B. Devereux U.S. Army WWII


 
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Date of Birth: 3/5/1910
Died On: 1970
Street Address: Post Road
Service Number: 12059581
Branch of Service: U.S. Army-WWII

Veteran Code: USARMY-159


BIOGRAPHY
 
Walter B. Devereux was born in New York in 1910. In Rye his family lived on Post Road. Walter enlisted and served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Walter B. Devereux, president of the National Horse Show died in Lenox Hill Hospital last night at the age of 60. He had residences at 1 East 66th Street and in Greenwich, Conn.

Mr. Devereux, who had been riding horses since he was years old, when his father gave him a pony, was in his eighth consecutive year as head of the National Horse Show.

He had also served as presi dent of the event, which by tra dition opens the New York so cial season each fall, from 1954 to 1957, and again in 1961, be fore settling into the prestigi ous position for good in 1963.

He oversaw the show's diffi cult but successful move from the old to the new Madison Square Garden in 1968. Despite some hardships, such as less room for horses, an 11 P.M. closing time, and two nights of snow, the horse show made the transition, attracted record crowds and turned a profit.

The week‐long colorful spec tacle, with the country's top horses and horse fanciers, teams from abroad, flags and pomp, often ran into the early morning hours.

Faced with the threat of costly overtime and an ulti matum from the Garden's man agement, the show was stream lined.

“Three hours is long enough for people to watch a horse show,” Mr. Devereux com mented last October. “Just about all our spectators went away happy last year and so did the president because he was able to get some sleep.”

Mr. Devereux's family had long been horse devotees. His father, who had the same name, helped to found the Intercol legiate Poio Association, in 1903, and wrote the authorita tive “Position and Team Play in Polo.” His grandfather, also the same name, played polo, and the Devereux's were the first in the country to mount a family polo team.

Mr. Devereux learned to play polo himself with Wyoming cowboys when he was 19, hav ing watched them play at a dude ranch near Cody. He was on the freshman and junior var sity polo teams at Princeton, a school “from which,” he said later, “I don't recall gradu ating.”

He played for many years afterward on teams for Squadron A. Fort Hamilton, the Fair field Hunt Club, Blind Brook and Bethpage, and accumulated 11 stitches in his face from op ponents' mallets, although the scars were not apparent. For while, his string of polo ponies averaged six.

During World War II, Mr. Devereux enlisted in the caval ry, but was dismounted when it was mechanized 18 months later, and he went to France as an intelligence officer.

Although he found time to manage the family's invest ments, the horse show presi dency kept him busy. Making arrangements, negotiating with the international teams, select ing judges, and the show's other details constituted a year‐round job for him, and paid a staff of five.

Mr. Devereux also headed the American Horse Shows Association, which has been coping with a horse show boom in recent years. He headed judging panels at the Pan American Games and served as an officer of the United States Equestrian Team. For many years he lent Sinjon, a cham pion jumper, to the equestrian team before retiring it in 1967.

He and his wife, the former Zilph Palmer, both enjoyed sailing. He was a member of the Union, Turf & Field, and New York Yacht Clubs and the Downtown Association.

Besides his wife, Mr. Deve reux leaves two daughters, the Misses Lindley Read and Anne Haves Devereux.

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