Walnut Hill


This is Jill’s final report from the 2011 Walnut Hill Farm Driving Competition:

“All day on Sunday, it threatened rain and then at 2:00 p.m. it finally came!

“The coaches were all put to and had lined up, ready to go in the ring, when the rain started. They came for the class — Turnout, no less. Once they were all in the ring, the skies opened up and it rained so hard you could not see! Eventually Ed Young (show manager) stepped in and asked them all to leave the ring. He quickly got a lot of the show volunteers together to help the coaching people get their horses out of the rain and the coaches put under cover.

“And still it rained! People were huddled under tents to stay dry. I quickly put the CAA books away in tubs, and soon a river was flowing through the CAA tent! And still the rain kept falling, then came lightning and thunder, and finally the remainder of the show was cancelled. The show committee announced at 3:30 p.m. that they would award the championship ribbons in the big food tent.

“Once the rain slowed down a bit, I was able to pack up the car and leave the grounds (wet!) at 5:00 p.m.”

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(photo by Jill Ryder)

Jill’s report from Saturday at Walnut Hill:

After such nice weather for several days, Saturday turned hot and humid again, and it lasted all day!

The first class of the day was the Single Pony Cross-country Obstacles (this class was so large that it was divided into three groups, with each run one after the other and then all pinned at the end). This all took over an hour, so we saw the tandems come in just after 9:00 a.m.

We saw the coaches again today, plus the multiples, the Park Wicker Phaetons, lots of singles and pairs, and miniature horses. Some of the divisions completed their classes and championships were awarded.

On Saturday evening, the show held its competitors’ dinner in a large tent on the showgrounds. Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided to rain just as dinner started, which was not really a problem as everyone was under cover.

Today started at 9:00 a.m. with the three-mile drive off the showgrounds, to a local park and back. Hundreds of people usually line the roads to watch, and some people host brunch in their front yard and entertain friends. It is a great tradition at Walnut Hill.

… and part of day four …

First, Jill’s report on Friday’s activities:

“Friday was a beautiful day at Walnut Hill: the sun shone all day and at times there was a nice breeze. Large crowds came out to watch the jam-packed schedule.

“The Coaching division started on Friday, and Glenn Werry from Illinois, with his beautiful team of Hackneys put to a Park Drag, was the winner of the first class (5 entries) for Coaching – Best Team. This was followed by an obstacle class — won by Harvey Waller — and then four of the five coaches set off on an evening drive to Toddy Hunter’s farm, where they enjoyed a short break before returning to the show ring. There, Jack Pemberton awarded the trophy named for him to the best Park Drag entry on the drive, that of Paul Martin. Then Elizabeth Ryder Ashbridge presented the Tom Ryder Trophy to John White as the winner of the best Road Coach entry.

“The Friday evening performances are always a crowd pleaser, from the Trade / Commercial class to the Fancy Dress (Costume) class and the Carriage Dog class. There’s also a Gig class and a Park (Bonneted Phaetons) Evening Turnout class.  All the classes were well attended and were met with very enthusiastic applause. ”

This morning featured the Park – Ladies’ Wicker Phaeton – Picnic Turnout class. According to Jill, the ladies are first judged while driving, then they leave ring, take out their horse(s), and set up a picnic with enough food for the number of people on the carriage. The food has to be carried on the carriage, but the tables, chairs, and tablecloths are provided by the show.

Here are a few photos of the Picnic Turnout class, all by Jill Ryder:

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Jill’s report from Thursday:

“After Wednesday’s rain and wind, Thursday was glorious. The sun was shining, and there was a steady breeze. Some people actually complained that they were cold!

“The show started early and right on time at 7:30 a.m. I was there (as I like to arrive with a “Box of Joe” coffee from Dunkin Donuts for everyone in the office) to see it and to open up the tent sides of the booth and let it air out while enjoying the first class and a cup of coffee. The day stayed nice and ended at 5:30 p.m. I am told that some people were curious where the results were being posted and so I checked with the show office. They should be going on the Walnut Hill Show website but due to the bad weather yesterday they were not yet posted when I checked — I will follow up.

“Today saw tandems, pairs of ponies, and lots (and lots!) of singles in reinsmanship, progressive obstacles, and cross-country obstacles classes. There was a special event by a Texas stunt man, who rode one horse and drove another tandem and even took some jumps to show off his skills.”

Looking for a few photos from the show? Jill is sending snapshots to me each day, and I’m posting them on the CAA’s Facebook page as I get them. If you’re not already a Facebook “friend” of the CAA, come visit us there as well as here!

 

 

Jill’s report from yesterday (Wednesday) evening:

As you can see from the photos [at the end of yesterday’s post], Day One started out sunny and bright with a cool breeze — perfect for all the morning classes. Right after lunch, the clouds blew in, and for a couple of hours the skies kept threatening something. Just before 4:00 p.m.: lightening, thunder, and rain, and then more rain, and then more. Finally the show was stopped for the day.

Then, half an hour later, out came the sun again and all was well, except for everyone who got soaking wet.

There were some great turnouts today, especially all the single ponies — forty-two of them, it turns out.

Jill is at this year’s installment of the famed Walnut Hill Driving Competition with the CAA booth and is sending daily reports and photos. The show started at 8 a.m. this morning and continues through the pleasure drive on Sunday morning.

Here’s Jill’s report from Day One:

Tuesday — check in day at Walnut Hill

While on my way to Walnut Hill (in a rental vehicle with a lot of CAA stuff for the booth), I received a phone call from a friend telling me that it was pouring down in Pittsford. So I expected not to be able to drive up to my booth upon my arrival due to the wet grass, but we all were able to (thank goodness — so we didn’t have to carry heavy boxes a long way). I understand the stabling area is quite muddy due to the large number of motor vehicles coming and going.

I saw all the officials for the show: Mickey Bowen (PA), Kail Palmer (OK), Diana Brownlie (UK), and Terry Pickett (MI), plus organizer Trish Remley and show manager Ed Young.

All the vendors were unloading and setting up today. I unloaded and set up the book stands and tables, but did not get any of the books out of the plastic tubs because of the weather.

I have been coming to this fantastic show for so long I almost feel part of the crew. My job in the mornings is to stop at Dunkin Donuts and pick up coffee for everyone in the show office and even some of the grounds crew (I get one of those big coffee boxes, which has about fifteen large cups in it). This I do early and then I sit and enjoy my coffee while others are scurrying around. The show starts bright and early Wednesday at 8 a.m., and one thing that you can set your watch by is the fact that it will be on time and remain so all day. This show is a real lesson in organization and a pleasure to watch.

I understand there is a record number of entries again for this year — the fortieth anniversary of the show — 230 entries! The largest division in the Large Ponies, with more than thirty entries. Bill Remley would be so proud.

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And a few photos from Wednesday morning. It looks like a gorgeous day at Walnut Hill!

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the CAA booth (photo by Jill Ryder)

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the Walnut Hill show office (photo by Jill Ryder)

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the first class started promptly at 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning (photo by Jill Ryder)

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entries in the Single Horse / Runabout Pleasure Turnout class (photo by Jill Ryder)

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John White won the Four-in-Hand Reinsmanship class (photo by Jill Ryder)

First, the Parade of Champions from Walnut Hill:

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Next, the latest (fresh photos, taken this morning) on the ongoing parking-lot construction at the KY Horse Park — getting the various pavilions, tents, etc. ready for the WEG:

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