Show Report: CAA Carriage Festival 2017

Driving Thursday

CAA Carriage Festival
Alltech Arena
Kentucky Horse Park
Lexington KY, USA
June 30-July 2, 2017

Whip Hand Farm ribbons

Greg & Bliss
21 Utility Vehicle Working – 4th of 7
22 Utility Vehicle Timed Obstacles – 1st of 7
23 Utility Vehicle Reinsmanship – 1st of 7
Utility Vehicle Reserve Champion

55 Double Jeopardy Single Horse with Kate Bushman as second driver – 1st of 3

Presentation Pleasure Drive – no place

Thank you to Kate Bushman for the horse, for the coaching, and for dragging us CDE types to a pleasure carriage show.

Official Photographer – Casey McBride. Friday Afternoon, Saturday Morning & Afternoon, Sunday #387-403. Bay horse, black jacket, helmet. In the Sunday photos, the red hat in the photos before ours is Coach Kate, accompanied by her husband, driving Jewel.

Thursday in the warm-up ring. Bliss & Greg are not in frame.

First Class – Zoom, Zoom
I thought the pair looked marvelous, full of style & flair. The judge, not so much. She thought they were too fast. Pfffft.

Second & Third Class – In Our Wheelhouse

Simple cones courses while wearing fancy dress. Piece of cake. In Double Jeopardy, Greg drove the course, switch drivers, Coach Kate drove the course backwards. Not clear which of the three had more fun.


Fourth Class – Redemption
After going too fast the day before, and two speed classes that day, could he reel it all back in? Why yes he could. For carriage driving, as with saddle seat, one trots into the ring. Greg walked down the entry chute. The audience – including yours truly – wondered why. As Bliss passed the ingate, Greg asked for the trot. It set the tone for the class: sedate, mannerly, elegant. I thought it was a snooze. I much prefer the zip of the day before. BSF, the trick is Friday’s energy with Saturday’s control.

The mature part of me recognizes that it’s all about the work. It’s nice to have the work rewarded.

We all got dressed up – with me in groom’s attire – for a drive around the horse park. How cool is that?

Helmet Note
Greg was not the only driver at the show with a helmet, a minority, but not alone. A railbird floated the opinion that Greg’s outfit was too dark. Given the black hunt-cap style helmet and the black apron to match the cart, a dark blue or black jacket are about his only options. I liked how the helmet was integral to the outfit, rather than plopped on top. Plus, the dark outfit drew the eye to the horse. But what do I know. We are as likely to take up pleasure carriage showing as I am to take up hunters.

View From The Back Seat
I. Was. Exhausted. It is way harder to watch than to do. All the nervousness with none of the ability to act. Plus, carriage shows expect decorum from the spectators. I had to stuff a towel in my mouth – seriously – to keep from hootin’ and hollerin’ during the classes.

Heading home with an armload.

Hint solution [What]: We met up with Coach Kate in Franklin TN. She drove the ladies and the cart Greg would use. We followed with a box trailer containing her fancy carriage. No pressure.

Nashville Skyline

Update: the rest of the story, CAA 2017 posts
[What I Love About Lexington]
[Show Photos: CAA Carriage Festival 2017]
[CAA Repercussions]
[7 Ways To Dodge Nostalgia]
[Foto Friday: Instagram July 2017] 4 photos
[Show Photos: CAA 2017]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

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