The Piedmont Driving Club was pleased to find a NEW venue for picnic drives thanks to the generosity of Magalen O. Bryant, owner of the beautiful Locust Hill Farm in The Plains. Her grandson, Michael Webert manages the farm and is assisted by horse-manager Karen Russell. Together they developed a plan for the Club’s drive that included mowing the parking area as well as many pathways along the fields. The route that they chose allowed for our rest stop on the grassland where the Orange County
Races are run. PDC Board Members Mark Duffell and Barbara Wolf (assisted of course by hubby Tom) coordinated with them, ensuring all the details that made for a spectacular 7+ mile drive. There was plenty of shade along tree-lined lanes that boasted both excellent footing and gorgeous scenery. Arrangements were made to pass through neighboring Foxbrook, the farm of Dr. William and Valerie Lees who came out and took pictures as we came up the driveway (careful not to flatten even ONE beautiful plant!)
Mark arranged for a very memorable “rest stop” hosted by Whitestone’s secretary, Laura and her son.They were tasked with serving the cucumber sandwiches and other goodies that Mark HIMSELF had prepared in the wee hours that morning. These were accompanied by Champagne, Mimosas and Sangria — absolutely delightful! After the drive there was a huge picnic luncheon in a shaded meadow. Once again Mark, Barbara and Tom left nothing to chance – while the Club was driving Mark had been heating a huge pan of Whitestone beef barbecue and thus it was bubbly hot and delicious when the hungry crowd gathered for lunch. Side dishes included Barbara’s nearly famous wild rice salad, freshly made veggie casseroles, more salads, fruit compote and plenty of deserts. Nothing says “summer” like strawberry shortcake and Marci’s did not disappoint! (And there’s nothing like canned whipped cream to liven up a party. Laura’s son put it on everything…) Wine and chilled mojitos flowed freely,
along with tea and lemonade. The eight turn-outs for the day included Mark and his fancy pair of Paint Drafts (with guest Erin, plus Michael & Valerie Webert and their 2 year old son William on board for his inaugural “Father’s Day” ride), Mary Munster with her Friesians (Club President Anne Watkins and Pat McCann on board), Barbara and Tom Wolf with “Sheba”, Lisa Anderson driving “Cloud” (hubby Albert and guest from Journeyman Tack on board), Judy Hahn driving her handsome crossbred “Buddy” (4 guests/grooms), Marci and Keith Bade with their lovely Haflinger mare, “Maya”, Sam Davis and her Connemara mare “Foxglove” (and guest), Alcinda Hatfield with hubby. She drove the smallest and probably most game pony, “Buster Brown”.
Not driving, but there to offer support and sample the wines, were Carl and Caroline Cox and Club VicePresident Maryalice Matheson – Thomas. Carl was sporting a sling following recent surgery to repair a torn shoulder. For anyone who may not know, he “fell off the wagon” quite literally at an earlier drive after loading his carriage. And yes, this occurred BEFORE the apres-drive party…!)
The Locust Hill Drive was a huge success and there can be no doubt that we will happily accept any future invitation to drive there. Many thanks are due Magalen O. Bryant, her family and staff, for their gracious hospitality and support of the Piedmont Driving Club.