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Nashoba Carriage Classic


By Pam Gamble

The 2011 Nashoba Carriage Classic was held at the Germantown Charity Horse Show Arena on October 27-30. This weekend was one of the cooler weekends of October, showing a definite frost on the Halloween pumpkin. The recent rains made the arena very sloppy, but carriage exhibitors were undaunted and turned out in their finery nonetheless.
The Nashoba Carriage Association hosted clinician Bob Giles several days before, and throughout, the show.  He gave lessons, and also rode with several people as groom. His gentle constructive criticism and good humor were a welcome addition to the show.

The first day of the Nashoba Carriage Classic was an Arena Driving Trial (ADT) on Friday the 28th.  An ADT is smaller version of a Combined Driving Event (CDE), which is the driving equivalent of three-day eventing.  Dressage, cones, and hazards are all done on a scale which will fit inside of an arena.

The Dressage Tests were driven Friday morning, with the cones phase on Friday afternoon. The cones phase is basically equivalent to the show jumping phase of a three day event. The finale was the Arena Hazards, which Nashoba has named “Thrill on the Hill,” on Friday evening in the big bowl at the Charity Arena. Like the cross country portion of Eventing, this phase is fast and furious, and a favorite with spectators. Upper level competitors galloped the course as upbeat music filled the stadium.

The winners (with fewest penalty points, as the lowest score wins) in each division were:
The top VSE entry (Very Small Equine or mini) winner: Kathleen Carey driving Hero, with an 83.90 combined score.
The top Training Level Single Horse entry: Jan Robbins driving Genesis. Jan and Genesis won all three phases of the event with a combined score of 57.94.

Training Level Single Pony winner: Michelle Walters driving Farnley, scoring 49.99.
The top Preliminary Pair Pony division winner: Leslie Bebensee with her team of Swedish Gotland ponies, Ovation and Peter Pan. Her score was a 76.92.  

The very talented Preliminary Single Pony division winner: Joanna Wilburn and “Berry” or Rollingwood’s Berry Last One.  Joanna and Berry had the best score of the day with 33.06!  

The second day of the Nashoba Carriage Classic was a pleasure show. The Saturday show had a dressage test (for those people who had not done one the day before), a reinsmanship test (equivalent to an equitation class with a few cones), a rail or working class, and two timed cones classes.

The VSE division was won by Kathleen Carey and Hero. Suzanne Campbell and Moone Pie were reserve.
The Single Pony division was dominated by Welsh ponies: won by Joanna Wilburn and Rollingwood’s Berry Last One. Ruth Wilburn and Rollingwood’s Cookie Thief were reserve. 
The Single Horse division was won by Rose Marie Lawson and Scooter. Ann Ince and her Morgan, River were reserve in this tough division.
The Pairs division was won by Leslie Bebensee with Ovation and Peter Pan.  Leslie brought her Swedish Gotland ponies from the Lexington, KY area.
The Junior division was won by Sarah Foster and her pony Molly. Kelli West and Back in Back were reserve.
The Draft division was won by Pam Gamble with Magnolia’s Rebel. Reserve went to Carolyn McSparren and Azora. 
The coveted Concours d’ Elegance award went to Imogene Erb. Every entry is automatically entered into this class, and it is judged throughout the entire show.  But only one award is given in this class.
In honor of the spooky Halloween weekend, a costume class enlivened Saturday night’s events. This was such a success that it is destined to become a tradition.
Singer Joni Bishop was at the show Saturday evening entertaining exhibitors and also displaying her folk art.  As the evening became quite cool, people gathered in the pavilion, warmed by large propane heaters, and listened to her songs. A highlight of the evening’s dinner was a special award given to the Mid South Horse Review by Nashoba Carriage Association for outstanding coverage of carriage events.

The last event of the show was the Sunday morning’s Magnolia Drive. This was a cross country pleasure drive with a stop for refreshments along the way at Nancy Kopp’s adjacent property. The Nashoba Carriage Association is thankful for Mrs. Kopp’s generosity in allowing the Magnolia Drive to take place each year on her property. 

Photographer Patrick Jacks was on hand taking many beautiful photos of this drive. Equine Sports Massage Therapist Billy Anderson of Anderson Equine was available for massages and therapy for the horses’ sore muscles after the long show weekend.

The sport of driving is becoming more popular and more accessible. If you are interested in learning more about driving please go to the Nashoba Carriage Association website at

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