To Cuts, France

We are staying in a beautiful old hotel in Blerancout, France attending a Concourse de Attelage in Cuts, France held at the chateau of Anne Storme and organized by Antoinette and Christian De Longlad. This type of competition requires antique carriage and horses or ponies of any suitable type for carriage driving, as long as they are presented in the traditional manner. I did not anticipate being in France at this show so did not arrange to drive here. I drove my Frisians here in 1999 and my Andalusians here about seven years ago. A picture of me driving those …

Back to England

We are off to England today to pick up the SUV. After its stay in Europe, it will be made available to family when they visit. We expect to stay in Brighton on the south coast of England. This was the destination of horse drawn coaches that traveled south out of London carrying people to this beautiful location. We will travel through the Euro Tunnel each way; and once back on the Continent, we will drive to Spain to meet Regina, who knows all the horse breeders and trainers. More importantly, she speaks fluent Spanish.

Picking up the SUV

After picking up my car at the docks in South Hampton, we made the decision to drive to Dover and travel through the Eurotunnel at night. We thought it better to stay the night in Calais, France, so we might drive around Paris in mid-day to avoid traffic. Well, the best of plans often go astray. There were problems with the tunnel train, so our crossing under the English Channel was delayed by almost two hours; which meant bedtime was 2AM and there is no way to avoid the Paris traffic no matter what time of day you are there. …

Southern Spain looks ever-so-much like Florida, Mexico and Southern California. No wonder those Spaniards of the 16th century colonized these areas of the Americas – they looked like their homelands. We were in Spain looking to buy horses for carriage driving in the New World of Florida, where these horses’ ancestors set foot many, many years ago. In the comfort of the Mercedes GL 350 BlueTech, we traveled through provinces with names like Valencia, Cordoba, Seville and Cadiz and saw mountains, olive trees, sand, and horses, horses, horses. The Spanish horse was an icon of the 16th century and remains …

Where do you still hear ‘Clip Clop’?

If you are in England and know where to look the sounds of horses, the images of horses, and the real things are everywhere. At the Prince’s birthday party for his equestrian friends … on a stage at the New London Theater (War Horse) … in the British Museum … or at the Royal Paddocks … they are everywhere. My first experience hearing the sound of horses while visiting England was the ‘clip clop’ of horses at Hampton Court Palace, while we were standing in the courtyard watching the guests arriving at the palace for a banquet hosted by Henry …

War Horse Wins Awards in the USA and United Kingdom

The War Horse wins the Tony this year for Best Play and The Equine Heritage Institute’s award for preserving the history of the horse. What an accomplishment. Congratulation “Joey”! WWI was a devastating war with 10 million civilians killed, 10 million military dead, and 10 million horses and mules destroyed. Europe was traumatized and property destruction was of a magnitude never experienced as the Kaiser stomped through country after country. The National Theatre of London has brought to light this tragedy in its production of the play War Horse. June 9th I was accompanied by Nick and Liz Byers, their …

Young adults are headed back to USA tomorrow. What great people! David Saunders picked us up in London, and we are in Windsor to pick up hat boxes and extra suitcases that we left here during our bus tour of Great Britain. Globus bus tour was great in that we got to really see the landscape and major cities of England, Wales, and Scotland. Amy really liked the Scottish countryside littered with wooly sheep and recently born lambs. We overloaded Gene with visits to churches. The boys, Corey and Steve, noticed all the mechanical details of the buildings and machinery, …

It is fascinating to try to list all of the various jobs that horses in draft still have today. They have been in the service of man (and woman) for thousands of years and their modern day “outfits” (harnesses and carriages) are all slightly different. Today’s various types of driving … Amish – The Amish drive black and gray enclosed traditional Amish style carriages … black democrat wagons or black road carts. Known as a “plain people,” they use a practical harness for roadwork. They drive either trotting or pacing horses … most commonly of the Standardbred, Morgan, or American …

Driving Diversity Appreciate All – Part III

Dividing light-horse driving into two forms is often helpful: modern and traditional driving. To understand these contrasting forms of light-horse driving a comparison can be made to automobile competitions … Combined Driving is like NASCAR racing and Pleasure Driving is similar to the exhibition of classic cars. Combined Driving requires the sturdy new carriages that have been built to handle the sharp turns and maintain the speed while navigating the hazards. In addition, the Combined Driving horse does not have to work in the company of other horse when exhibited. It works alone in the dressage ring, on the marathon …

Champions at the Kentucky Horse Park

What an opportunity — to present four Friesians to a Beaufort Phaeton by Binder of Paris at the Carriage Classic in Lexington, Kentucky. The Blue Grass State was not blue but just as green as Florida. The thoroughbred mares were with foals at their sides as we drove throughout the countryside, and the Woodford Reserve bourbon is still as good as my last visit. The secret is to enjoy the beautiful Kentucky weather … the rolling countryside … the beautiful farms … and the opportunity to drive in such a horse oriented state. The World Equestrian Games (WEG) helped to …