Glen Bolton Farm

Due to heavy rains throughout the area, the picnic drive that was scheduled for March 29 at Mary Munster’s Glen Bolton Farm in The Plains has been postponed until Sunday, April 27.

rain

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Blandy Farm

The Piedmont Driving Club has decided to schedule 4 “tune up” drives prior to our Opening Drive which is scheduled for April 13, 2014 from Club President Anne Watkins’s Kittery Point Farm in Berryville, Virginia

 The first of these drives occurred on Sunday, March 15, 2014 at the Virginia Arboretum, Blandy Farm, in Boyce, Virginia.  It was two days prior to St. Patrick’s Day — close enough for a “Wearin’ of the Green” theme! Who knew that on St. Patrick’s Day there would be a foot of snow at Blandy?  Could it be that the “O’Baturays” were ken (that’s an old Celtic word that roughly translates to “they knew about it”) to this outcome?  Clever and crafty, the “O’Baturays” concocted the Club’s first picnic drive in 60-plus degree temps, with mild winds.  ‘Tis sure there was no GREEN at Blandy, but happily there was no SNOW either.  As with all of the “tune up” drives, the idea was to give Club members the opportunity to reunite equine, harness and carriage with as little stress as possible.  The decision was made to make these drives “come as you are, go as you please….have as much fun as you can”…..with no worries!

Carl Cox was so relaxed about the whole thing that he simply handed over the reins to Team Cox Lead Groom Molly Savage, while he and Caroline and new PDC member Teresa Young polished off a bottle (or 2?) of Champagne.  Mary “McMunster” piloted her Friesian girls throughout the Blandy grounds with Club President Anne Watkins at her side.  The “O’Baturays” could be seen driving their McHaflinger pair across the fields where they were observed at least once on a “stop” (an Irish whiskey break perhaps?)  Most colorful of all was Deb “O’Bauserman” with PDC Member Lisa “McAndersen” on board — both were festooned in green, with “tams” to match.

Afterwards, we met for a picnic as usual.  Did I mention that the “O’Baturays” hosted?  With THAT information you can be sure that the picnic was anything but “usual”.  There were potted shamrocks in profusion over a groaning board of traditional Irish fare:  bangers and potatoes, a tasty array of cheddars, soda bread, fruit salad, sandwiches, green quiche and about 300 crème puffs (or so it seemed). No green beer, to be sure, but there was plenty of 

 WINE and even a bottomless pitcher of mango mojitas.  At the end of the feast there was a “pot of gold” filled with (chocolate) coins and other sweets….but wait, I’ve left out the BEST….Vicki met each whip, groom and guest with a green mini tankard of an amazing concoction:  “whiskey Jello shooters”  (Yes, indeed!) Wonderful way to bring in the 2014 driving season!

The next PDC “tune up” drive was scheduled for Sunday, March 23 at Great Meadow.  Sadly, and because of the afore-mentioned FOOT of snow that arrived on March 17, this drive had to be cancelled.  Next “tune up drive” is scheduled for Saturday, March 29 at Mary Munster’s Glen Bolton Farm. 

Annual Meeting

Approximately 50 members and friends of the Piedmont Driving Club met on March 2 for the Club’s Annual Meeting, held at Whitestone Farm in Aldie, Virginia.  In recognition of the Club’s outstanding 2013 season, in which members participated in 35 picnic drives, including 7 exhibition drives, Dr. Tom Burgess (CAA President and PDC member) and Mr. Doug Kemmerer (noted 4 in Hand Whip and long time Coachman) presented Club President Anne Watkins, of Berryville, Virginia with a Certificate of Achievement.  Pictured with Anne are Dr. Tom Burgess, Mr. Carl Cox (PDC Picnic Committee Chairman) and Mr. Doug Kemmerer.
 
A highlight of the PDC Annual Meeting was Mr. Kemmerer’s talk on the history of coaching in the United States.  He first drew parallels with the system of mail delivery by coach in the UK and the challenges of coaching in the Northeastern United States.  He then gave special emphasis to the the logistics of both travel and mail delivery by coach in the Western United States.
 
The Piedmont Driving Club will begin the 2014 season in March.  In addition to dozens of local drives throughout the Northern Virginia area, the Club anticipates another trip to Acadia Park in Maine, a trip to Fair Hill Maryland, and possibly a trip to the Jamestown State Park in Virginia.   There is also a possibility for a trip (without horses/carriages!) to France to attend a Concourse elegance near Chantilly.  The PDC cherishes its affiliation with the CAA and would welcome CAA members to join us.
meeting