The Black Prong Horse Driving Trial in March served as a showcase for an up and coming young driver. Lindsey Nevitt, 20 of Indiana, was the only entry in the Preliminary Tandem Horse class. But she was a crowd favorite! Especially for her proud family who drove all the way across the country to watch!
For those who have never seen one- a tandem hitch consists of one horse in front of the other, the wheeler being attached to the carriage with the leader out of draft and way out in front almost beyond the drivers influence! While it looks like half of a four-in-hand, it is at least twice as difficult to pilot and it takes years to master the rein handling required!
At Black Prong, Lindsey drove her FEI Single horse Dragon in the wheel and veterinarian and FEI Team competitor Wendy Ying’s leader and 1st Level dressage horse, Duke on her maiden voyage with the most difficult of all driving combinations.
Lindsey can normally be seen skillfully (as noted by Michael Fruend the US Team Coach) navigating for Wendy with a four-in-hand. This was her time to shine as Wendy took over the back of the carriage. And shine she did! Young Lindsey put down a score of 65.04 in Dresssage- better than 21 competitors at the show! She was also one of only twelve double clear rounds in cones.
In Marathon, the horses flowed through the hazard gates like a snake finishing the course with 66.76 penalties, a score that would have beaten all three of the Preliminary Pair competitors and all but the top four of the eleven Single Horses!
For the past 4 years, Lindsey has been employed as a working student with Sterling Graburn and Wendy Ying in Bonifay, FL. She also serves as assistant to Dr. Ying, a specialist in equine dentistry and acupuncture.
On the experience, Lindsey says, “with Wendy and Sterling I have learned everything. My driving skills have improved significantly and I have also learned several veterinary skills. Working for Wendy and Sterling has made me a more well-rounded horseman.”
Lindsey will be one to watch for in the future as she preps a new single pony to compete - in her spare time!
Photos provided by John Robinson, Picsofyou.com