Safety is an issue that has always been paramount for members of the Piedmont Driving Club. This year we were fortunate to have Albert Andersen, owner of Greenway Welding in Boyce, Va., VOLUNTEER his services…yes, VOLUNTEER…for a day long clinic in which he personally inspected and adjusted the wheels and brakes for all of the Members who chose to participate. Albert and Board Member Lisa are both avid whips who not only enjoy picnic drives but also have achieved success in the show ring.
Many of us will long remember January and, especially February and the first half of March 2015 as cold, snowy, icy and decidedly UNFIT for carriage driving. Yes, a few PDC members took to their sleighs, but confined these ventures to their own farms where crackling fireplaces and hot coffee were never far away.
The first agreeable weather we experienced brought on a hastily arranged but enthusiastic Club drive from the Cox’s Singletree Farm. What better way to start the season than a leisurely trip over country roads leading to Mediterranean Cellars, a winery that has long been a carriage-friendly destination. Carl drove his “Black Boys” (with Caroline and groom Molly on board) and the Baturays (with guest and PDC member Wayne Porter) drove their Hafflinger pair (I like to think of them as the “Golden Boys”). Alcinda Hatfield brought one of her children’s large ponies for his first time out in company. This fellow clearly does it all….rides, jumps, plays “dress-up” when necessary, and as we saw, has NO issue with driving in company! We hope soon to see him as a pair with Alcinda’s trusty “Buddy”.
Adding flair to this occasion were the Cox’s guests: The Honorable Don Ritter (retired 7 term MOC) and his friend, Victoria Stack (well known and loved for her work in promoting animal rights issues). Eminent, yes, but we value them most as friends and neighbors!
Once at the winery we unhitched and sat on the veranda where we enjoyed a variety of delicious sandwiches, fruit, cheeses, breads, shrimp and the pie that Wayne had so thoughtfully brought along. All this and fabulous wine provided by our good friend Louis Papadopoulos, 4th generation wine maker and architect of one of the prettiest wineries in Virginia. Take a peek at the website and you’ll certainly agree:www.mediterraneancellars.com