the National Drive

There wasn’t much going on in the CDE barn when I wandered over this afternoon. A few people were organizing things. Horses and ponies were hanging out in their stalls. One couple was giving their horse a bath.


it was a pretty quiet afternoon in the CDE barns


So I kept going, over to the National Drive barns, where I saw more dogs out in the aisles than horses / ponies / minis / donkeys. Here, too, some equines were hanging out in their stalls, and a few people were hanging out at the trade fair or relaxing by their horses’ stalls, or unhitching or putting to. But this is such a gorgeous day that I would venture a guess that most folks were out driving.


this dalmatian was hanging out with his people


the big curly-haired dog standing on the back step of this carriage, with his (her?) paws on the seat, just might be bigger than the pair of miniature horses


And, I have to admit, I sought out Bond (the miniature donkey from yesterday’s post) and his brothers. They are stabled two to a stall, they’re so little (and so darned cute). They were all moving around too much to get any good overall photos, but here’s an ear:


As you’ve no doubt gathered by now, the Kentucky Classic CDE is here at the KY Horse Park this weekend. I’ll be blogging about it throughout the event (probably tomorrow through Sunday afternoon; with any luck, more than once a day).

Also here at the KHP this week is the National Drive.

I went over to their barn area this afternoon to look for the miniature donkeys that Sally Armstrong (from Texas) drives three-abreast. I happened to find little Mr. Bond and his “mom,” Sally, both wearing new hats:


he doesn't seem to know quite what to do with his ears & his new hat, but he's so adorable

Saturday of this past weekend was a busy, busy day here at the Horse Park. There was a charity walk, a wedding, a horse show in the covered arena, “regular” KHP tourists, the many equines and people here for the National Drive, and more.

As part of the National Drive, there was activity in the barns:

heading out of the barns for a drive

stopping to say hello on the way to getting weighed (a scale was provided at the far end of the vendor area, for the weighing of minis, drafts, and everything in between)

… activity in the various arenas being used by the National Drive participants:

taking a lesson

taking a turn through a practice marathon obstacle

getting the hang of a cones course

… and activity out in the park itself:

a variety of turnouts out for a drive

these two were ready with their rain gear, although (thankfully) it stayed dry

a smart-looking pair of ponies

“goodbye” from the National Drive

With a few dry, sunny interludes, we’ve had quite a lot of rain over the past couple of days. Which has made for some wet horses, ponies, and drivers at this week’s National Drive.

Things didn’t start out so wet, though. The early-bird arrivals had sunshine to drive in on Wednesday:

waving on the way by …

… and driving off into the sunny Horse Park

I never made it out of the office on Thursday to see what was going on in the barns, vendor area, and park generally. But we did get rained on a good bit in the afternoon. Bill Kraatz sent the following photo of the end of his drive in the rain (he said they weren’t going to let “a little rain” stop them and that they had a fabulous time):

returning from a wet, but enjoyable, drive

returning from a wet, but enjoyable, drive

Today, the weather is alternating between gray, sunny, and downpours, as a huge storm system slides by Lexington (along the Ohio River valley) and catches us with a few of its outlying squalls. With any luck, the forecast for tomorrow (sunny) will hold true.

enjoying the Horse Park between rain storms (1) ...

enjoying the Horse Park between rain storms (1) …

... and 2 ...

… and 2 …

... and 3 ...

… and 3 …

... and then, sadly, this was the scene in the vendor area about ten minutes later (fortunately, everyone seems to have brought their wet-weather gear, even if they don't have it with them at all times)

… and then, sadly, this was the scene in the vendor area about ten minutes later as yet another downpour moved in (fortunately, everyone seems to have brought their wet-weather gear, even if they don’t have it with them at all times)

It was quite chilly here this morning … sweater weather, almost. Once things warmed up to daytime temperature, the skies were a beautiful autumnal blue, the sun was shining, and the thermometer (well, registered in the low 70s. Delightful.

One of our local weathermen* said this morning that this “cold air” was about a month early. Soooo … let’s all keep our fingers crossed that we get this gorgeous weather or something very similar (and neither drought nor too much rain nor ridiculous heat) this time next month, for the Lexington Combined Driving Classic and the National Drive (also here at the KHP, the weekend after the CDE, and hosting CAA Driver Proficiency Program evaluations).

*Bill … the geeky one. And I mean this in a very good way. I think meteorologists should geek out over the weather and not just report it. Weatherman Bill gets visibly excited about weather patterns and events; he presents Weather 101 classes to local school kids; and he has a blog where he can (and does) talk at length about the weather.