There were nine turn-outs in all at the Innisfree Farm picnic drive including TWO unicorns, three pair and four singles. Yes, host Doug Kemmerer took out three of his well -matched chestnut thoroughbreds, and Mary Munster hitched her three Friesians. The Baturay and Collomb carriages were pulled by pairs of Haflingers (of course!) Carl Cox drove his black and tan geldings, Barbara Wolf drove her big black Sheba, Tom Albert drove his very black Lino, Albert Andersen drove his splashy grey Amos, and Alcinda Hatfield drove her butterscotch pony (don’t know the name!)
Doug led the way ‘round a 5-plus mile loop along historic gravel roads. The scenery was breathtaking, every inch of the way. Every farm, house and cottage is maintained to perfection with intact stone walls and thoughtful landscaping. We passed through the tiny village of Unison and up a winding farm road to “Kennedy’s Hill.” There we stopped for refreshments. The view from this height was magical in every direction, thanks in part to the Kemmerer’s continuing efforts to lobby for land preservation.
With the help of Queenie and her staff, Caroline Cox distributed Bauchant-infused fresh fruit cups and “lemon drops” with/without Vodka as requested. Light faire for a fair day to be sure! With temps in the low 80’s, a slight breeze and NO humidity, it was easy on horses, whips, grooms and guests alike.
Once rested we wound our way down the meadow and past a glistening pond, then it was back onto the gravel road for a leisurely trot to Innisfree.
Somehow, in between putting Doug’s horses to and loading their wagonette, Queenie had managed to transform their stable into an inviting eatery. She’d arranged a buffet and set out chairs for all. The tables were over-laden with homemade pulled pork, coleslaw a la Barbara Wolf, delicious stuffed grape leaves, yummy baked beans, ciabatta rolls, Queenie’s signature cheese dollars, and quiche as only the French can make it (I think I already hinted that Caroline Collomb drove with us!) There was homemade lemonade and plenty of wine (we’re still emptying bottles left over from our Christmas Party). In all it was quite a feast!
What about dessert? Isn’t the Piedmont Driving Club known for finishing off every event with something sweet? Well, how about TWO chocolate sheet cakes: one in celebration of host Doug’s birthday and the other to recognize the significant accomplishments of two treasured members. Doug and Sam Davis were both elevated to “Honorary Membership” status for their long- time and unwavering dedication to the Piedmont Driving Club. President Anne Watkins made the presentation. Congratulations on behalf of the entire Membership!