Long Branch Plantation

It was almost too hot, a little too muggy, and yet there was an intermittent breeze and overcast skies. Some folks figured that since we are certain to have better carriage days ahead, it might be best to “sit this one out”…..maybe catch the World Cup Soccer final between Argentina and Germany in the comfort of one’s air conditioned home, maybe float about in the pool all day.
“Some” but not all: despite the disparaging weather, 7 turn outs arrived at Long Branch for a late morning drive. Molly Savage drove Team Cox’s “Black Boys” with owners Carl and Caroline drinking chilled wine in the back. Mary Munster drove her Friesian girls with Club President Anne Watkins and Kitty Newman on board. Al and Vicki Baturay came along with their Haflinger pair. Single turn outs included Wayne Porter with “Tucker”, Debbie Bauserman with her Haflinger (and guest DebbieFeemster, an accomplished whip, on board), Judy Hahn with “Buddy” and her girls on board, and Sam Davis with “Foxglove”, her pretty Connemara mare.
Anne Watkins had arranged for a lovely shaded rest stop about 2 miles from Long Branch. We all met there for Champagne, crisps, goldfishies… and also for shade, rest and chatter. PDC Members Ben Cox and wife Elizabeth Cummings had volunteered to serve the treats. Another member, Lisa Andersen, appeared with buckets of cool water, sponges and sweat scrapers and very kindly worked to cool off each horse and pony. There had been some hills, a lot of walking and a bit of trotting and we were pleased that all the equines appeared to tolerate the weather and the exercise very well. (Us, well, maybe not so much!) The three pair turned back for Long Branch while the four singles continued another mile or so to the Shenandoah. Go figure!
Back at Long Branch we had set up tables on the back lawn under large shade trees. Picnic host for the day, Caroline, had previously decided that we should have a “cold plate” theme and so it was that our luncheon included chilled teriyaki chicken salad, caprese, wonderful chunks of melon, cold beets, broccoli and assorted other salads, caviar-topped deviled eggs, fruit tart, more fruit, cookies and cupcakes….all this plus chilled wine, sodas, water and such. With horses and ponies sponged off and
resting in their shaded trailers, and everyone balancing full plates on their laps in the shade of stately Long Branch, it became a most pleasant day!
And, yes, we did return home in time to watch Germany’s historic win…..

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