Driving Club Holds Carriage Classic
The Moore County Driving Club hosted the 17th annual Carriage Classic in the Pines over the weekend of May 18-20.
For the first time, the Classic was also a benefit event for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.
This year’s show drew more than twice the entries of last year’s event, as drivers turned out on a beautiful day both to compete in their favorite pastime and support a worthy cause.
The Classic returned to the three-day format of past years. Driven dressage and cones obstacle courses opened the show on Friday, and Saturday’s highlights included traditional pleasure driving classes and the always popular timed obstacle course.
Saturday evening, local village merchants hosted the first annual “Sips and Whips” wine tasting event at the Pine Crest Inn, encouraging competitors and locals to join in supporting the Food Bank.
While Tim and Carla St. Germain, the organizers, hoped for 100 tasters, the event drew a sellout crowd of 250 enthusiasts.
Michael Cotten, director of the local food bank, said he was thrilled with the support and is enthusiastic about the future of the food bank and MCDC relationship.
Hundreds of area residents were treated to the annual Pleasure Marathon through Pinehurst, as 25 carriages turned out for Sunday’s four-mile journey through the village. A commentary on the drivers, the horses and the historic traditions of the sport of pleasure driving was offered over the public address system.
The carriages were followed by a vehicle picking up canned goods to be donated to the food bank.
As expected, local drivers enjoyed a great deal of success in the Classic. Willard Rhodes’ pair of Dutch harness horses, driven by Jen Ozley, took home the open horse pairs championship, with Mike Keatley and his two Hanoverians earning reserve championship honors.
In the open pony pair division, Deborah Branson won top honors with her young Welsh pony pair. Deborah D’Angelo and Rebecca Estes tied for reserve champion in the novice horse and pony division. Estes’ mare, Hollylulia, was one of a pair of livery horses that drove the streets of Pinehurst more than a decade ago.
Linda Ward, another local driver, competed in the first Carriage Classic back in 1997 and has participated in all 17 renewals of the event. She drove Casper in the Classic this year.
Driving Club president and show organizer David Frump said he was pleased with this year’s event and expects to double the participation in both the driving show and in the fundraising events for the Food Bank next year.
“It was wonderful, owing to the hard work of the many volunteers who wanted to support their sport and, at the same time, whip hunger in our area,” he said.
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