We had such a grand time last Sunday at Temple Hall Farm that Caroline Collomb wanted to squeeze in another picnic drive before her return to France later in the week. Seven whips were able to take advantage of her kind invitation to drive from her Oakwood estate on Thursday, August 8. Caroline, accompanied again by Bridgette, led with her pair of Haflingers. Mary Munster and Pat McCann followed with the Friesian “girls,” then came 2 more Haflingers driven by Al Baturay with Vicki in the groom‘s seat. These were followed by Carl’s crossbred wheelers.With him were his wife Caroline, her niece and groom Carla and her 9 year old son, Jacob (who practiced his coaching horn). Driving singles were Barbara Wolf and hubby Tom, Wayne Porter with a groom and Alcinda Hatfield with her son. Maryalice Larkin-Matheson worked with Leslie Yarborough as they ground drove Leslie’s attractive new pair of crossbred ponies and exposed them to the sights and sounds of passing carriages.
The route from the heights of Oakwood was smooth and incredibly scenic, as were the roads through Land Ho, Caroline’s adjacent property. Eventually, however, we came to the bottom land at Granville. Here we followed “yet-to-be-mowed” hunt trails until we came to our rest stop, “Nash’s Pond.” The driving was challenging indeed with mud up to hubs near a couple of the water crossings!Fortunately there were no serious mishaps and some of us thought it was rather fun to drive through stalks as high as our horses’ heads. Perhaps as a reward for our adventurous spirit, Caroline had arranged for her staff to serve Champagne and pate-frosted crostini while we rested by the pond. The route home seemed quite easy, albeit uphill, as we crossed mowed hay fields and rejoined the Oakwood farm roads leading to the mansion.
Lunch was served at the terraced gardens near the pool. Wine flowed and plates were filled. Grilled chicken, home made corn bread, salads galore, those wonderful dumplings that Vicki dresses with her “secret sauce”, dozens of cookies and, yes of course, a tray “avec le fromage” completed the meal. We wish Caroline a safe trip and look forward to September when she’ll be with us and back in the box seat!