The Carriage Pleasure Drive

Sunday, May 15, 2011

This year's Devon Carriage Pleasure Drive will take place on Sunday, May 29.  This event is without a doubt an amazing sight. The exhibitors will gather at noon in the fields at the St. David's Church on South Valley Forge Road. The entries will be judged, in a line-up by section, on turnout and proper appointments as well as equipment for the horses.
Among the necessary appointments are spares for a breakdown. They will also check to make sure that the harnesses and horses are appropriate for each type of carriage. From there they will embark on the 4.5 mile route to the Devon Horse Show grounds. The maximum time allowed will be forty minutes. The carriages will be observed on the road and many homes along the route host elaborate picnics while enjoying the passing parade.

The variety seen in this class is unlike any other. There will be horses and ponies and many different types of carriages. The single harness section will include two and four wheel vehicles. This class is also open to pairs, tandems, unicorns and four-in-hands.  The carriages have taken almost the same route for nearly half a century.

The pleasure drive started back in the early 1960's at the Radnor Hunt Club, then moved to Blackburn Farm, and now begins at St. David's Church. Once they arrive at Devon, each section will be judged in the Dixon Oval. The condition of the horses and ponies, as well as overall turnout, will be taken into consideration by the judges. First and second place winners in each section will be invited back for the championship drive off.

Photos courtesy of the Devon Horse Show