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Carriage Drivers Scurry To Compete


By Tommy Brannon, photos by Nancy Brannon

Carriage classes have an air of sophistication and elegance. But don’t think all of that spit and polish, grooming and washing make you think that carriage driving is not fun, fast, and furious. New at the Germantown Charity Horse Show this year, and one of the most exciting classes at the show, was the Carriage Barrel Racing/Marathon event.  Always game for a fun class, the Nashoba Carriage Association folks went full-tilt-boogie racing around three barrels at the north end of the arena in the traditional clover-leaf pattern. Then they raced toward the south end for a simulated Marathon obstacle that required several twists and turns through the 4-sections (A, B, C, D). Dr. Ruth Wilburn’s Rollingwoods Back In Black, Kelli West driving, turned in the fastest time with no faults to win the event. Brooke Ballenger, driving Wanda Chancellor’s Flying Diamond Twist-n-Trot was second. Dr. Wilburn’s Rollingwoods Berry Last One, with Joanna Wilburn, flew into third.

Again, moving from classically formal to precision speed, the Carriage Scurry Race challenged drivers to navigate a series of cones, narrowly set to barely accommodate the carriage wheels, with tennis balls atop each cone. Joanna Wilburn showed her competitive edge, winning with Rollingwoods Berry Last One. Kelli West was not too shabby, coming in second with Rollingwoods Back in Black. Bob Martin got the most “ooh”s from the audience for running over the most cones with his Friesian pair Clair and Naomi.

In the whimsical Best Carriage Dog class, Sarah Foster won best of show, driving Major Marlow. Rollingwoods Cookie Thief, Dr. Ruth Wilburn driving, was second. 

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