Join Mary Phelps and Her Driving Ponies May 18 With Ocala's Chamber of Commerce Equine Initiative

Thursday, May 11, 2023
Posted by Mary Phelps


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The Ocala's Chamber of Commerce and their vibrant "Equine Engagement Initiative"  will be holding their monthly meeting and a special event at the beautiful farm and training base for Mary Phelps and Wayne Humphreys May 18, from 1-4 PM.

There is a growing list of members of the Equine Engagement and equine community, who will be participating with free vendor spot where all can visit, mingle and network. Purina, Showcase Real Estate, HHW Riding Apparel, Cara VL Art, Solar Power Paul, Haygain, and Pyranah are just a few of the growing list of participants we have listed and linked below. Come visit this special areas of North West Marion County for a fun time, great connections. Anyone interested please email mary@horsesdaily.com

Just 5 miles from the Ocala Jockey Club and the CHI Institute, this meeting marks the third year Mary and Wayne have hosted the event. This year they will offer free vendor space to most vibrant and diverse group of equine related businesses here in Ocala's "Horse Capitol of the World".

Lunch will be catered by Sisters Place Restaurant. 

Come Enjoy the Driving Pony Show

Our Master of Ceremonies and CEP Equine Engagement leader Louisa Barton, just back from the Landrover Kentucky Three Day Event and The Kentucky Derby, will be doing a driving demo with Wayne Humphrey's Cefnoakpark Bouncer the  2002 overall USA Driving Pony Champion. "Bouncer" won the Gold Medal for the USA in Sandringham, England where his result topped fellow competitor HRH Price Phillip, who developed Driving Sport at the FEI Level in 1970. 

The "Flying Gangsters, Mary's beloved team of Classic American Shetlands, Al Capony, Bugsy Malony, Tony da Pony and Kimba will perform and explain the three phases of competition which makes up the sport of combined driving. The team are two time USEF National Four In Hand Driving Pony Champions, a title they earned in Ocala at The Florida Horse Park Combined Driving Event and Ocala's premier, Live Oak International.

In 2019, under the guidance of her longtime trainer Bram Chardon, against all odds, Mary, the oldest driver (68)  with the smallest ponies in the competition, won the Gold Medal in the Cones phase and finished 12th overall at the FEI World Driving Championships for Ponies, Kisber, Hungary. 

Now four years later, they have expanded the pair into a team of four-in-hand and taken on the challenge of all that that entails. "There is nothing grander than looking over those four colorful bodies in front of me, " said Mary, "and learning the techniques and detail of all that it takes to navigate and position them with speed and accuracy through all the twits and turns of the obstacles and cones." 

Blessing of The Ponies 2023

With the ponies, and mary and Wayne headed to the Netherlands June 20, it's time to once again do their "Blessing of the Ponies". Father George Holston from the Micanopy Church of the Mediator, will perform a Blessing of the Ponies. The late Father Les Singleton did this ceremony in 2019 before the World Championships. Last spring, Father George rode in on their carriage during a Breyer fun day, where the ponies (Bugsy and Tony are Breyer models) and the audience joined him in prayer for yet another safe and successful journey. 

Meet Ocala's Movers and Shakers

This event has always been a combination of Ocala's finest equine community members as well as friends and fellow equestrians. This year marks the largest and most special one to date, as Mary and Wayne prepare the final stages of their journey to The Netherlands, where they will be training to represent the United States at The FEI World Driving Championships for Ponies, in Oirschot, Netherlands August 30-Sept 3.


12555 NW 198 St Rd
Micanopy, Florida 32667