The Greatest Show on Earth… Walnut Hill

Not from Cecil B. DeMille’s Academy Award winning 1952 film about Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, this show is real and from the master minds of two upstate New Yorkers – Bill Remley and wife, Sue. Bill has always slightly reminded me of P. T. Barnum and through the many years I have participated in this grand event … I have always called the Walnut Hill Farm Driving Competition “The Greatest Show on Earth.” Bill’s motivation for Walnut Hill was fostered by his love of showmanship, teaching, and the romance of yesterday. The two, Bill and Sue, created …

The Origins of the Harness

From the chariot races held at the Circus Maximus during the period of ancient Rome … to the draft horse pulling competitions held today at the local county fair … horses have been laboring to entertain and benefit mankind for over 6,000 years. Used for transportation, industry, commerce and warfare … horses have been outfitted for the specific job they were to perform. A key to the efficiency of man’s utilization of the horse was the creation of the harness. Through time the harness has evolved, but the mechanics of the basic harness that we use today has not changed …

Golden Carriage of the Austrian Emperor in Florida

Like all European monarchs, the Habsburgs had an extensive collection of carriages. Until his death in 1916, Emperor Franz Jozef I, married to the famous Empress “Sissi,” almost exclusively used horse-drawn carriages. The Imperial stables in Vienna exceeded all others in their magnificence and size. Around 1900 there were no fewer than 600 driving and riding horses stabled at Schönbrunn Palace, mostly Lippizaners and Kladrubers. The Imperial Mews contained about 400 carriages; the state carriages for personal use by the Imperial family (some of which dated back to around 1750), other town carriages, all kinds of service carriages, and a …

A Prince, Horses and a Birthday Party

The flight was flawless and the British do know how to be on time. David Saunders picked me up at the airport and was my escort to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Equestrian Birthday Party celebrating Prince Philip’s 90th year as a blue blood and horse enthusiast. Prince PhillipThe Prince born in 1921, it was fitting that guests contributed to a cigar box made in the year he was born, but newly embossed with an image of the Duke driving his Fell Ponies. As the Prince arrived at the podium, he fained not being able to support the weight of such …

Victorias and Broughams, Country Carts and Peddlers Wagons, Roofseat Breaks and Coaches; all can be seen in very special driving events in Europe. I drove two rented horses and a rented carriage in the coldest of weather in a CAIT event in Diepenheim, Netherlands.  Even though the weather was cold, the spirit of the competitors was warm and enthusiastic.  It was the first of these one-day Sunday events to be held in the Netherlands. As I drove on the 16.7 kilometer Routier (marathon), there was rain and snow flurries blowing sideways into our faces.  I could not keep a hat …

To the lovers of horses…

…and those who care about our history: Welcome to my world of horses and carriages and the ambiance of yesterday. Experience what it is to travel through many lands to collect and drive some of the finest carriages in the world. Wonder at the art and artifacts of a bygone era. To save our history, I have spent the past 31 years driving horses, exhibiting carriages, and developing expertise and knowledge few will know. After winning many championships and awards throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, I am now mission-driven to share my knowledge of horses, carriages, driving, and …

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