Our own Maryalice Matheson-Thomas presented a driving clinic in preparation for the Morven Park Carriage Driving Show, scheduled for June 17,18 in Leesburg, Virginia. There were 5 whips who participated (Doug Ward, Molly Savage, Lisa Andersen, Deb Bauserman and Lil Jacobs) and there were about 10 auditors. The clinic was held at Dr. Tom and Mary Kay Albert’s beautiful Traumerei Farm in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Tom had meticulously groomed his spacious outdoor arena for the event and there was room for practice in cones as well as practice for all the maneuvers that would be expected in the show.
Maryalice began the day with a very informative lecture. Her experience as a coaching judge, driving judge and long -time competitor was invaluable. She covered a wide range of topics including how to dress appropriately for your turnout, how to enter the ring, salute the judge, take the rail in the proper direction, pass others and so forth. She emphasized the need for crisp and clearly defined changes of gait and discussed the safe manner for lining up, backing and taking direction from the ring master. She carefully evaluated each participant, giving helpful hints and making adjustments to harness as necessary. Following the “show” section of the morning in the ring, Maryalice set up a cones course and most whips went through it multiple times. For some, it was the first time they had ever attempted cones. In all, there was plenty of fun for everyone!
Following the clinic, participants and auditors were invited to the Albert’s patio for a sumptuous luncheon of barbecue with ALL the fixin’s. As we waited for the caterers to set up we enjoyed wine, strawberries and other summer goodies by the edge of the Albert’s Koi pond. Not shy, the fish came out from under lily pads and rocks to put on a dazzling display of color and, I suppose, to see what we were all about. Soon we were joined by Gunter and Hilde, two LARGE and well -mannered Great Danes who also live at Traumerei.
It was a wonderful day and the Club is grateful to both Maryalice and the Alberts for making it possible.
By the way…….the PDC “killed” at the show! More on that later…