Mary Phelps and "The Gangsters" Headed to Wellington for A Valentines Day Treat

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Posted by


Mary Phelps and the her ponies on the marathon

Mary Phelps and the her ponies on the marathon at the 2018 Palm Tree Little Everglades Event. photo:

Bringing Driving sport back to the Wellington community are FEI Drivers Bettina Scherer and Mary Phelps showing the versatility of the sport of Combined Driving. It is an FEI Sport that will be represented with Four-In-Hand International Teams at the World Equestrian Games (WEG), Tryon 2018.

This Valentine’s Day, Wednesday, February 14, 2018 an exciting fundraiser for the Big Dog Ranch Rescue at the Polo West Golf and Equestrian Club, under the lights.

Big Dog Rescue Valentine's Fundraiser

Big Dog Rescue Valentine's Fundraiser. Click here to buy tickets.

There will be an silent auction of epic proportions. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with music from Wellington’s Tom Blake and The Backroads Band, and Burnt Biscuit Southern Rock Band for dancing the night away. A guest appearance of Nashville’s newest country sensation Randy Hauser has donated his performance for the Big Dog Rescue making the night a truly Western themed celebration.

About Combined Driving
Modeled after the sport of Eventing, it was England’s Prince Phillip, when president of the FEI, who created the sport for the world stage. The three phases, Dressage, Marathon (Cross Country) and the third phase, Cones, has their own World Championships for Singles, Pairs, Four-In-Hand, and Ponies.

Randy Houser

Country Western star Randy Houser to perform and the Big Dog Rescue Valentine's Fundraiser.

Scherer will demonstrate the elegance of dressage with her Standardbred Dutch Harness horse cross, Banjo. In the traditional dress with her lovely presentation carriage, Bettina will show some of the moves required in the FEI 2* Dressage Test, required for qualification for the Single Horse World Championships.

Scherer organized eight Combined Driving events in Wellington from 2011-2014, and is eager to bring this exciting and versatile sport back to South Florida. Scherer’s husband is a polo player and based in the Wellington community. She hopes to someday bring back the competitive sport to the region.

Then Mary Phelps and “The Gangsters” Markel’s Al Capony and Bugsy Maloney will ramp up the speed in their Marathon carriage doing a Derby style demonstration showing the speed and agility required for the Marathon and Cones Phase.

Mary Phelps, owner of is a well known personality in the equestrian community as a photographer and journalist, who for years was the official photographer for Dressage at the Wellington shows. Now competing at the FEI Level in the sport, Phelps and her ponies spend the winter months in Ocala where many of the FEI Level competitons are scheduled.

Bettina Shearer and Banjo in Driven Dressage

Bettina Scherer and Banjo in Driven Dressage

Both Scherer and Phelps, will be aiming for the Live Oak International Combined Driving Event which will be held in Ocala at the Live Oak Plantation March 15-18. In April they will be competing at the 2018 World Equestrian Games Tryon test event, the same week as the Dressage and Para Test event, April 19-22.

Check out the Video of Mary and the Gangsters. A marathon obstacle has 6 gates for the Advanced FEI level. There are tight turns, balls that are considered "knockdowns" and in some cases hills and water.