Louisville, KY- The Kentucky Classic Combined Driving Event (CDE), held once a year in Lexington, Kentucky has announced it will share hosting responsibilities. After this year, the event will rotate between Hermitage Farm, owned by Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown and Hillcroft Farm, owned by Misdee Wrigley Miller and James Miller. In 2018, it will be hosted by Hermitage Farm in Goshen, KY and in 2019 at Hillcroft Farm near Paris, KY. The rotation will continue there after.
The Kentucky Classic Combined Driving Event began in 2011 and has been contested each year since, on the grounds of the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park, just north of Lexington, Kentucky.
The Kentucky Classic combines three days of different competitions that the same driver and horses have to compete. Scoring is based on a combination of scores from the three days. They include Dressage, a pattern of movements based on historic military training for Calvert, Marathon, a 15K race that includes 8 obstacles, racing against the clock, and Cones, also a race against time through 20 narrow gates made of cones.
Misdee Wrigley Miller has been a major force behind the success of the Kentucky Classic Combined Driving Event for years. Misdee has been driving horses for over a decade, but got involved in the Combined Driving sport in 2007. She won the USEF Pairs National Championship 2 times. She was selected to represent the U.S. Team at the Pairs World Championships in 2011 & 2013. In 2014, she started competing with a 4-in-hand team and was selected to represent the U.S. Team at the World Equestrian Games in 2014 (France) and also in the 4-in-hand World Championships in 2016 (Netherlands).
Furthermore, Misdee and her husband, James Miller, built a platform called the Developing Driver Program, which provides funding for clinics and lessons with a US Team Coach. The clinics are arranged around the country for groups who are looking to improve their competition. The overarching purpose of the clinics is to find potential athletes that could become international players.
“I am thrilled and honored that Hillcroft Farm has been chosen as a rotation site for future Combined Driving Events.” Misdee Wrigley Miller says, owner of Hillcroft Farm. “Steve and I both are looking forward to growing the sport and making it better year after year. With more competitors, this will make it more entertaining for spectators and the larger audience in attendance will make it more interesting to sponsors as well.”
The Millers and the Brown Wilsons started the USET Driving Challenge Fundraiser, which both have offered to match the funds collected. The money raised will go into the USEF Combined Driving budget, which funds U.S. Teams competing internationally at World Championships, and adds to the budget for Coaching, Team Veterinarian, and the Development programs.
Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown launched the Hermitage Classic in 2010. This exceptional Combined Driving Event and fall festival takes place over a 3-day period at the historic Hermitage Farm in Goshen, KY. The Classic has become known as one of the premier Combined Driving Event competitions in the United States, however the 2017 Hermitage Classic has been cancelled due to the timing of the World Championship Pair Driving Competition in Lippica, Slovenia in September. Steve is competing in Europe this summer and is a contender for the USEF Equestrian Team, which will be announced in the coming months.
“When I started the Hermitage Classic, I had in mind creating a situation similar to Florida where there could be two or three CDEs in one area so competitors could travel to Kentucky, stay awhile and compete at more than one location.” Steve Wilson, owner of Hermitage Farm says. “It turns out that most people are not able to do that and very often have had to choose whether they could go to one or the other. We are excited about this announcement and Misdee and I both believe having one successful Combined Driving Event in Kentucky would be an advantage and will receive much better participation from out-of-state competitors.”