Moore County Driving Club Holds Event at Big Sky
Sunny skies welcomed over 20 drivers to Claire Reid's Big Sky Farm last Sunday to compete at one of the Moore County Driving Club's popular one-day combined driving events.
This relaxed format offered something for every driver, including those gearing up for the FEI recognized combined driving event at Live Oak in Ocala, Fla. next weekend, or those drivers who want to give their horse, pony or themselves a gentle introduction to combined driving.
Dressage was judged by Vicki Kelly of Pinehurst and cones was judged by Tommy Doonan of Southern Pines.
Doonan, in his Irish brogue, entertained the spectators and volunteers with his color commentary as he watched every entry approach each set of cones.
Craig Kellogg drove a young horse of Marcie Quist's in Training Level Single Horse and won the largest class of the show, while Quist drove her Hackney horse Halstead's Shale in the Intermediate Level Single Horse class. Quist won by a narrow margin over junior driver Jacob Arnold. Quist took a 10-point lead after dressage but gave up six points in cones while Arnold went clean. Arnold edged Quist by only .32 penalties on the marathon, but it wasn't enough to catch up.
Another junior driver, Brianna Ek used soothing verbal encouragement to persuade Cinderella, her bay Welsh pony to drive a flawless cones course. They took the blue ribbon in the Preliminary Single Pony class. Advanced four-in-hand driver Gary Stover, a World Equestrian Games (WEG) hopeful, used the opportunity to practice dressage and cones but skipped the marathon.
The four kilometer marathon course wound through Big Sky and neighboring horse country farms. Four hazards, cleverly gated by course designer Richard Pringle, fairly tested each of the four levels represented -- Training, Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced.
Virginia-based driver Kate Shields drove two entries and posted some of the fastest times of the day in the Preliminary and Advanced levels.
The One-Day CDEs, which have been organized for many years by Linda Long, current president of the Moore County Driving Club, are held as fundraisers for the driving club.
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