Smitten Farm

Thomas and Barbara Wolf, long time members of the PDC (Barbara serves on the Board), also enjoy a long association with the Orange County Hounds, of The Plains, Virginia (Tom has been an active member lo these many years).   Sheba – and by now all followers of this web page know who she is – enjoys her status as a well- respected “member” of both organizations, in that she shares the “lines” with Barbara during picnic drives and carries Tom swiftly and safely over Orange County territory on hunting days.  There aren’t too many carriage horses who do both, as often or as well, as Sheba!

As a happy consequence of the Wolf’s excellent standing in both the hunting and driving communities, they were able once again to arrange a Club drive though a portion of the magnificent Orange County territory.  Eight turn-outs arrived at Gosling Farm in The Plains for a well mapped “go as you please” trip through the beautiful Smitten Farm  where many a great TB racehorse got its start) and over the peaceful gravel roads that surround the area.  The rest stop was at Cromwell’s Run, recently purchased by the carriage-friendly Wiseman family.  We were welcomed by Thomas and Alexa Wiseman, along with their son Thomas who saw his first horse-drawn carriages and appeared to be an instant fan…..is there a pony cart in his future, we wonder?

Barbara drove Sheba with former Master of the Los Altos, Ca. Hunt, Giny Hunter on board – showing her yet another way to enjoy our magnificent countryside.  Carl drove his Black Boys to an ECC wagonette (why is this important?  ….because it holds a trap door with a cooler)  And why is THAT important?….because celebrated coaching horn stylist, Bobby Dryer and his lovely guest Linda Perry were on board…..along with Carl’s wife, Caroline, of course.  Silver goblets graced the turn-out for the Pierre-Jouet Champagne Carl brought along in recognition of their 25th Wedding Anniversary.

The ever-stylish Mary Munster drove her Friesian mares with special passenger, Pricilla Hatfield, on board.  Pricilla’s mom and dad drove the family pony, “Buster Brown” to a two wheeled cart, so it was nice to have a seat available for her behind Mary’s elegant pair.  However old Buster Brown might be (I’ve heard 20, 25, 30), he was the only equine to arrive at the rest stop who didn’t appear to NEED a rest! 

Club President Anne Watkins brought “Czar” along for his inaugural outing with the Club.  He appears to be everything one could want in a driving horse – attractive, quiet, obedient, willing and he knows his job!  Moreover, when she pulled her carriage along side Wayne Porter’s, it was apparent that “Czar” and his “Tucker” (another fool-proof steed) could make a nice pair – right size, right color, right attitude!

Marci and Keith Bade drove their Haflinger mare, Maya.  These picnic drives are getting to be “old hat” for her….she places herself well, stands well, and generally seems to enjoy the experience of being out with other carriage horses.

Teresa Young and husband, Seppo Karkkainen, drove their beautiful Friesian mare on her first PDC picnic drive.  She was put to a very nice Meadowbrook and she performed splendidly.  We certainly hope to see the three of them on many future drives!

Can’t write about a PDC picnic drive without mentioning the food…..and, yes, it was plentiful as ever!  Host Thomas had prepared a pork tenderloin, accompanied by applesauce and assorted beans from the Wolf garden.  Barbara’s table décor was a profusion of autumn flowers, also from their abundant gardens.  Various accompaniments to the main course included sesame noodles with shrimp, corn pudding, deviled eggs, platters of cheeses/crackers/grapes, stuffed muffins, cookies, pumpkin pie and the coup de grace, a delightful sheet cake wishing Carl and Caroline a “Happy 25th Wedding Anniversary”  HOW do these people know these things?  Apparently there is a “mole” among our equines….      

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