Alabama Whips and Wheels Carriage Club Inaugural Driving Derby
February 19, 2017
Preliminary Horse, Greg & Bliss – 1st of 1
Thank you to Kate Bushman, Whip Hand Farm
The first official AWWCC activity had seven entries, pretty good for driving. We had horses from Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Entries in the Training division where split among Single Horse, Single Pony, and Single VSE (Very Small Equine – really, that’s what it’s called), and Tandem. As a result of the entry/class ratio, everyone but the three VSEs won their class. In addition, Greg and Bliss took the Prelim Division as the only entry. Hey, I’ll take our victories where we can get them.
Coach Kate and her youngster, Jewel, won Training Horse. Bliss had the fastest time overall; Jewel was second. Go, Whip Hand Farm!
Each driver gets three tries at the course. The first is a practice round. The next two are timed. The best time is taken as the score. Greg’s rounds were awesome, of course. Not that I am biased in the least. He trotted Bliss quietly around the first time getting a feel for the course. Then, he laid on the speed. As the only Preliminary entry, we were the only ones allowed to canter. We did. After the second trip we came out for a break.
The third trip was going great, right up until Greg drove backwards through a set of cones. Within an obstacle, taking the wrong gate is either 20 points or elimination, depending on which way you go through what gate [Report updates]. In cones, anything but forwards and in order is the big E. Oh well, we still had our second-round time.
View From The Back Seat
It was a learning curve for everyone. In saddle seat driving, the driver is alone in the cart – with advice generously supplied from the sidelines. In CDE dressage and cones, ditto – minus the outside assistance. (If there is a groom in dressage (upper-level & multiples), the groom is not allowed to speak.) In CDE marathon, suddenly you have the peanut gallery hanging off the back of the cart.
When Greg headed in the wrong direction. I thought, ‘What the H*ll is he doing?’ However, I didn’t SAY, “What the H*ll are you doing?” I need to sort out in my own mind whether I am part of the team or animated ballast.
Thank you for reading,