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Middle Tennessee Carriage Club Driving Derby


By M. Rebecca Jones

The weather and competition could not have been any better for the Middle Tennessee Carriage Club’s Driving Derby on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at Whip Hand Farm in Franklin, TN.  Hosts Kate Bushman and Kevin Smith had the course impeccably groomed and ready for a great day of competition for drivers.  Entries ranged from a Very Small Equine, Ponies, Horses, to a Draft cross. 

A Driving Derby is a carriage-driving competition of speed and accuracy, in which drivers compete over an arena course that is a combination of marathon and cone obstacles. Each driver is timed through a numbered course of obstacles/gates in the proper direction and in numerical order to the finish line. Drivers may enter horses of any breed and size, from minis to horses. Training and Preliminary+ divisions were offered for each of the following groups:

• VSE (Very Small Equine)/Small Pony (less than 12.2 hands)
• Pony (12.2 to 14.2 hands)
• Horse (over 14.2 hands)

The Driving Derby course for this day was a combination of marathon and cones obstacles, including a drive-across bridge.  Drivers were timed as they navigated through the numbered course.  One of the popular features of this event was that drivers could return to the course for a second round, with the fastest time with the fewest faults determining the placings. 

The Driving Derby was well attended with several members from the neighboring Nashoba Carriage Association heading east to participate.  After all drivers completed their two rounds, everyone gathered for lunch and the awarding of ribbons.  In usual carriage driving fashion, drivers, navigators, and spectators all had a delightful time.  For more information about the Middle Tennessee Carriage Club, visit www.midtenncarriageclub.orgor the Nashoba Carriage Association at  Both groups also have pages on Facebook. 

Awards for the Day:
Training Division
Very Small Equine/Small Pony (Training) – Rebecca Jones, driving Mary Kay
Pony (Training) – Ardeth Obenauf, driving Sybil
Single Horse (Training) – Wilbur Sensing, driving BlueRay 1st; Victoria Bramblett, driving Carmin 2nd
Preliminary Division
Very Small Equine– Joanna Wilburn, driving Lacecap
Pony – Jeanette Haislip, driving Henning 1st; Joanna Wilburn, driving Rollingwood’s Berry Last One
Horse – Greg Walcott, driving WH Bliss 1st; Brenda Rachor, driving Viva 2nd; Laura Shifflette-Lawson, driving KT Barnabus 3rd, Rose Marie Lawson, driving Milo 4th

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